What is this addiction?
Sex addiction has been referred to by a number of different names: nymphomania, compulsive sexual behavior, erotomania, hypersexuality and many more. This addiction is often described as the inability to control or show restraint when it comes to sexual urges, thoughts or behaviors. Sex addiction in men often presents itself with different compulsions that they are unable to control, such as pornography, cyber or phone sex, affairs, strip clubs or other sexually related activities. As is common in many other types of addiction, sexual addition often feels like it’s an uncontrollable urge or desire that the addict is unable to fight off. This can even be stronger than the addict’s moral code, their fear of losing their family or friends, their career or even losing control of their finances. Sexual addictions are a very complex condition, and are not completely understood. One of the most important things to remember is that this condition needs to viewed as the disorder that it is, and the addict needs love and understanding, not judgement or criticism.
What are the signs?
There are different signs of sexual addiction based on what the addict’s particular preferences are. Nevertheless, there are some common signs to look for that can be an indicator of sexual addiction in someone you care about. The addict may be unable to resist or control their urge to perform sexual acts, or may be engaging in more sexual acts with several different partners. An addict may also spend a large amount of time focusing on their sexual encounters, such as procuring sex or recovering from a sexual encounter. There’s also the possibility that an addict may be willing to disregard the negative consequences of their sexual behavior, which can even include letting social, occupational or domestic obligations fall to the wayside in order to secure sex. Sexual addicts may also be willing to put themselves in riskier situations to get their desired outcome, which can include unsafe sexual practices.
How can someone fight this?
One of the first steps to fighting this addiction is to recognize that there is a problem. If someone you care about is unable to recognize the signs and symptoms on their own, it may take talking through the problem with them in order to help them realize they need help. Helping someone get a support system is another important step, whether that be with a mental health professional, a doctor or even a support group. As much as you care about your loved one, having someone to talk with that understands this addiction and the ways in which it can impact someone’s life can often be cathartic for both your loved one and yourself. Support groups that focus on sexual addition exist, and they can often help by showing that there is a community willing to help and provide support without judgement. While talking through the addiction is a big part of overcoming the problem, avoiding triggers is another important part of overcoming sex addiction. By learning what the triggers are, whether those are places or situations or even people, and then finding ways to avoid those triggers, an addict can help reduce their chance of a relapse.
Sexual addiction is a condition that is still being researched and treatments are still being developed. Although sex addiction in men can be a difficult condition to treat, finding ways to talk through the problem with your loved one is often the first step to a successful treatment. If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from sexual addiction and you’re not sure where to start, contacting a certified mental health professional, counselor or doctor can be an excellent resource. Even with hard work and counseling, your loved one will need your involvement and support throughout the entire process.