Behavioral Patterns of Sexual Addiction
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As discussed, the symptoms of sexual addiction might not be easily decoded unless its effects subsequently appeared to be destroying the addict’s individual life. But how do we determine if a sexual ...
As discussed, the symptoms of sexual addiction might not be easily decoded unless its effects subsequently appeared to be destroying the addict’s individual life. But how do we determine if a sexual act is still considered as normal to being abnormal, unhealthy or already destructive? There are list of behavioral patterns that indicate sexual addiction. This is important so the addict himself or his family will be able to accept and deal with the addiction.
First is the Out-of-control sexual behavior. The acts associated with sexual addiction such as exhibitionism, prostitution, indulging in pornography, voyeurism, sexual harassment, multiple and anonymous sexual partners, once transformed into a habit might be uncontrollable as the addict himself ventures to some other acts to increase his pleasure. This might be committed regardless of the place or the partner. The intensity arises if the addict considers it as an exploration or risk which he can get away with later on.
Second is the inability to stop the sexual behavior knowing its severe consequences. The addiction overpowers the person and he continues to satisfy his sexual desire notwithstanding its consequences believing that he can deal with it. This includes health and legal risks, marital or relationship problems, unwanted pregnancies, loss of job opportunity and others.
Third would be the persistent pursuit of self-destructive behavior and an attitude that says “I’ll deal with the consequences when they come”. But in reality, when the consequences come, the addict is in a position where he cannot redeem himself due to shame, low self-esteem, hopelessness, intense anxiety, self-hatred and moral conflict.
Fourth is the ongoing desire or effort to limit sexual behavior. When the addict later realizes of the disorder and knowing that the addiction is inherently wrong, the addict tries to escape this situation by shifting his attention to some other things. He could splurge on material things, move from one place to another, get married or enter into a new relationship. He believes that this will at least distract or diminish his acts.
Fifth is sexual obsession and fantasy as a primary coping strategy. Every addiction started with the simplest act of purchasing pornographic materials. Later on, its frequency and the search for some level of pleasure aggravate the addiction. The addict becomes dissatisfied with the sexual fantasy and would want to commit overt acts for some real pleasure.
Sixth is regularly increasing the amount of sexual experience because the current level of activity is no longer sufficiently satisfying. As the addict becomes discontented of a particular sexual act, he tends to increase the sexual experience to gain more satisfaction. For example, from a monogamous relationship, he tries two, three or more sexual relationships which also increase the possibility of the acquisition of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Seventh is the severe mood changes related to sexual activity. The addict does not develop any emotional attachment to any of his partners as he engages himself to multiple risky sexual activities. This causes his mood to be altered from time to time. The addict feels the conflict and inconsistency of his emotions which he cannot control.
Eighth is the inordinate amount of time spent obtaining sex, being sexual and recovering from sexual experiences. An addict is spending more time in engaging himself in sexual activities rather than keeping himself productive from work and society as a whole. The addiction can also be rooted from previous sexual abuses that the addict might have experienced.
Last is the neglect of important social occupational or recreation activities because of sexual behavior. The addict already isolated himself from the society and might have set aside the more important and pressing matters that is more helpful to his self-development. The steps to recovery are acceptance not just by t
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