The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders (DSM) describes sex addiction as, “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.
When someone has sex, they can feel the rush of endorphins flooding their brain. Similar to how some drugs trigger the release of dopamine. This can make the process of looking for and having sex a strain in the person’s life. Rather than them enjoying what sex they have, they are instantly compelled to look for their next “fix.” What makes this addiction so hard is that, unlike using opioids or meth, sex is necessary for human beings to reproduce.
Symptoms of Sex Addiction
People suffering from sex addiction, to an extent, won’t have control over their impulses. Similar to how someone addicted to heroin will feel the need and be willing to go to great lengths to feed their addiction, people addicted to sex will do whatever they need to fill their need. They may lie to people, cheat on their significant other, or even pay for sex. Symptoms that someone might be suffering from sex addiction include:
Engaging in sex with multiple partners.
Craving sex to the point that it interferes with other engagements.
Continuously engaging in excessive sexual activities despite wanting to stop.
Unsuccessful attempts to cut down on sexual activity.
Spending time in activates related to or that could lead to sex.
Neglecting other obligations in the pursuit of sex.
Continuing to engage in sexual behavior despite detriments to relationships.
Needing to escalate sexual activity to achieve the same, desired effect.
Feeling withdrawals, or negative feelings when unable to engage in sexual behavior.
The Link Between Sex Offenders and Sex Addiction
It is unfortunate, but there is an association between people who suffer from sex addiction and sex offenders.
Roughly half of convicted sex offenders can be diagnosed with a sex addiction. However, what is missing is a deviation between the two groups. It is commonly believed that people can become addicted to However, what is missing is a deviation between the two groups. It is commonly believed that people can become addicted to sex due to a chemical reaction in the brain.
For sex offenders, it is accepted that they do not act for sexual gratification.
Rather, they act out of a perverse need for power, dominance, control, revenge, or even anger. That being said, there are still changes in their brain that are similar to those who suffer from sex addiction, but the two don’t coincide.
Not all sex offenders are addicted to sex, and not everyone who is addicted to sex will become a sex offender.