Sexual addiction, sometimes called compulsive sexual behavior, can take many forms. In general, a person may have a sexual addiction when they cannot control their sexual feelings, thoughts or behaviors. Like other types of addiction (drug, gambling, internet etc.), the severity and type of problem can vary but is usually characterized by the individual's continued involvement in sexual activities despite negative consequences. Some symptoms of sexual addiction may include an abnormally high sex drive, intense and distracting sexual fantasies, an obsession with seeking out numerous sexual partners, compulsive masturbation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, the excessive use of pornography, or illegal activities (like rape or molestation). If you are having obsessive sexual thoughts or engaging in risky sexual behavior that is interfering in your daily life, a mental health professional can help you. Seeing a qualified therapist is the first step towards getting a handle on your sexual addiction and making positive changes.
Local Experts in Sexual Addiction
My specialty in love and sex addiction grew from my own experiences, charted in my memoir Loose Girl, and recovery
Trained by Patrick Carnes, PhD, I am a certified sex addiction therapist and have been treating individuals and their partners or other family members for over a decade. I am a member of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), and continually update my skills through training, consultation and research.
Addiction to sex and pornography is a controversial issue, but one that I believe is very real, and one that is potentially highly destructive. Addressing a sexual addiction involves the most holistic counseling approach I have seen, as a sexual addiction is often related to other addictions, trauma, other mental health and relational challenges. I am committed to your holistic health.
I have worked with sex addiction in individuals and couples for 25 years. My approach is similar to that developed by Patrick Carnes PhD, but with some significant modifications. I try to include the partner/spouse in any treatment whenever possible.
You want to choose your partner and respect the contract the two of you have created yet you continue to seek out extra relationships and contacts that invite betrayal, deceit, excitement, risk, pleasure, and pain into your life. I can support you in better understanding the many parts of you that are activated in these multiple relationships and complicated behaviors.
Sex addiction takes many forms and impacts both men and women. I have worked with multiple clients and helped them along the path to processing shame, reclaiming sobriety and healing damaged relationships.
Sexual addiction is more about the lack of vulnerability, and emotional maturity that is required to have a healthy life. When we run from our feelings, and not able to express ourselves, for what ever reason, we may substitute our needs with less than savory actions. While our desire for intimacy may be greater these days, temporaries forays external to ourself are never completely fulfilling.
Have you been caught doing something you are ashamed of? Are you feeling betrayed by yourself or confused? It's normal to struggle with parts of life. When you feel out of control, hooked on a sexual addiction or ritual, you need a trained therapist to help you slow down and take an inventory of your life. I have completed the Advanced Training in Problematic Sexual Behavior program or ATPSB.
Although the concept of sexual “addiction” is widely-recognized by the general public, it remains a controversial topic in the sex therapy field. If your sexual thoughts or behaviors are upsetting to you or your partner, I provide a level headed and well-researched perspective. I have helped many people with this and would love to hear from you.