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Welcome to Recovery from Sexual Addiction in St. LouisBrought to you by St. Louis Area Interfellowship
Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive disease characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder progresses. Over time, the addict almost always intensifies the addictive behavior to achieve the same results. Sex addiction affects men and women of all ages and orientations.The sex addicts behavior can include any or all of the following: compulsive masturbation, extensive use of pornography, phone or computer sex, multiple sex partners/affairs, compulsive cruising for hetero/homosexual sex partners, public sex in adult theaters and public parks, unsafe sex, fetish behavior, bestiality and prostitution. Sex addition can intensify to include clearly illegal activity. Episodes of sexual acting out can vary from occasionally to hours each day. "The addict experiences the addiction as an obsession, which is a mental preoccupation with sexual behavior and fantasy, and as a compulsion, an urge that is stronger than the addicts will to resist" (SAA Green Book page 3). The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity has defined sexual addiction as engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others. In other words, a sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even arrest.
The same compulsive behavior that characterizes other addictions also is typical of sex addiction. But these other addictions, including drug, alcohol and gambling dependency, involve substances or activities not necessary to our survival. For example, we can live normal and happy lives without ever gambling, taking illicit drugs or drinking alcohol.
Sex is different. Like eating, sex is necessary for human survival. While some people choose to be celibate healthy humans have a strong desire for sex. In fact, lack of interest or low interest in sex is often the other side of the coin in sex addiction (similar to compulsive over eating vs. anorexia).
Like all addictions, sex addiction is often debilitating and can often destroy the life of the addict and those close to them. **The views expressed here are are the authors and not necessarily those of SAA, SCA or SLAA.
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