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Sexual Addictions

Sexual addiction is a persistent and escalating pattern or patterns of sexual behaviors acted out despite increasingly negative consequences to self or others.


Some out of control repetitive behaviors, which may reflect sexual addiction include:


  • Masturbation

  • Simultaneous or repeated sequential affairs

  • Pornography

  • Cyber sex, phone sex

  • Multiple anonymous partners

  • Unsafe sexual activity

  • Partner sexualization, objectification

  • Strip clubs and adult bookstores

  • Prostitution

  • Sexual aversion



Key Criteria for Sexual Addictions:


  • Recurrent failure (pattern) to resist impulses to engage in specific sexual behavior.


  • Frequent engaging in those behaviors to a greater extent or over a longer period of time than intended.


  • Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control those behaviors.


  • Inordinate amount of time spent in obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experience.


  • Preoccupation with the behavior or preparatory activities.


  • Frequent engaging in the behavior when expected to fulfill occupational, academic, domestic, or social obligations.


  • Continuation of the behavior despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, financial, psychological or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the behavior.


  • Need to increase the intensity, frequency, number or risk of behaviors to achieve the desired effect, or diminished effect with continue behaviors at the same level of intensity, frequency, number or risk.


  • Giving up or limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the behavior.


  • Distress, anxiety, restlessness or irritability if unable to engage in the behavior.


Screening Tool:


  • Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts? (Preoccupied)


  • Do you hide some of your sexual behavior from others? (Ashamed)


  • Have you ever sought help for sexual behavior you did not like? (Treatment)


  • Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior? (Hurt others)


  • Do you feel controlled by your sexual desires? (Out of control)


  • When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterward? (Sad)


**A positive response to just one would indicate a need for additional assessment. Two or more indicates likely sexual addiction.**


Assessments & Questionnaires






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