Sex addiction may be described as psychological disorder, in which an individual is unable to control his or her sexual behavior. The addiction usually starts at puberty and it may continue later in life. Sex addiction once developed, it leads to compulsive sex desire that the person desperately attempts to avoid but cannot.
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In the early stages it may provide a good feeling of sexual fantasies, however, in later stages it may affect a person’s social life. It deprives one of self respect; self esteem and greatly affects the way one associates with others. People may become sex addicts because of various reasons.
Among them is the feeling of failure to establish an intimate relationship, loneliness, watching of pornography or a coping mechanism as an outcome of traumatic childhood experience. An open minded and honest person will attest to the fact that sex addiction does not provide a long term pleasure; it puts one in mental turmoil (Laaser, 2009, p.187).
The process of becoming an addict may be divided into three stages that is: early, middle and final stage. In early stages, the person believes that the addiction provides exorbitant pleasure and in this stage sexual intercourse or masturbation is very frequent.
In the middle stage, the person starts wondering whether the addiction is providing pleasure. This marks the beginning of guilt conscious, regret and repression of sex addiction.
It is in the final stage that a person comes to the realization that the addiction is more painful than pleasurable, but due to the addiction he or she cannot stop. Negative consequences like heath risks notwithstanding, the person may lose control over the behavior.
According to research, many people who are sex addicts live in self denial; they do not want believe that they have a problem that needs to be addressed (Canning, 2008, p.128).
Sex addiction is associated with many different behaviors, which include: frequent masturbation, having multiple sexual affairs, persistent watching or reading pornographic materials, sexual harassment and prostitution among many others. It has adverse effects not only to the individual but also to the people in the society.
For example, if a married man has this problem, he risks contracting sexually transmitted diseases and could infect his partner. It can also make one to develop depression; the implication is that the person cannot perform at work and may eventually lose the job (Carnes & Adams, 2002, p.202).
Various measures could be employed in the endeavors of stopping the addiction. For instance, one needs to accept that he has a problem and seek the help of a professional counselor.
However, there is more to stopping the habit than just going for counseling; it calls for self free will and hard work. Counseling may provide one with the knowledge and help in motivating free will decision to stop, but the effort to actually stop it is up to an individual.
Partners also have a role to play in helping each other stop sex addiction. For example, if a wife realizes that her husband has an addiction either through having multiple sex partners or compulsive pornography usage, she should start by helping him accept that he has a problem. Having owned up, the next step is to seek the help of a counselor.
More important is giving him psychological and emotional support. This could be done by showing him love despite his state and expressing encouraging words or telling him that he can overcome the problem.
However, it is advisable that he refrains from burdening himself with the problem as this may affect him. The effort to triumph over the addiction is supposed to be his effort and not his wife’s; the wife’s role is basically to offer him moral support (Canning, 2008, p.128).
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In conclusion, any extreme obsession that results in an abnormal deviation in sexual behavior should be addressed as soon as it is discovered. The most important step is accepting that you have a problem and start looking for help. Otherwise, self-denial worsens the problems and the situation may be very difficult to deal with it later in life.
Canning, M. (2008).Lust, Anger, Love: Understanding Sexual Addiction and the Road to Healthy. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
Carnes, P., & Adams, K. M. (2002).Clinical management of sex addiction. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.
Laaser, M. (2009).Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction. Muchigan, MI: Zondervan.