Sexual Addiction

Posted by Max Priestley | 8:15 AM

Most common among men, sexual addiction is an overwhelming desire to have sex. Sexual behavior becomes a problem and is considered an addiction when it is repeated often enough to interfere with normal daily living. Addictive sexual behavior interferes with relationships, work, friendships, and lifestyle.

There is a line between being enjoying sex, its peripheral pleasures and sexual addiction. In sexual addiction long periods of time are given over to sex-related activities. Sex addicts feel unable to control sexual behavior or even reduce its incidence. People with sexual addiction behavior often use sex as an escape from other problems such as anxiety, stress, depression and social isolation.

Other names for sexual addiction

Nymphomania, hypersexuality, erotomania, perversion, sexual obsession, sexual addiction.

Signs and symptoms of compulsive sexual behavior

  • Having multiple sexual partners or extramarital affairs.

  • Engaging in sex with many anonymous partners or prostitutes. Sex addicts treat sexual partners as objects rather than social intimates that are only used for sex.

  • Engaging in excessive masturbation, as often as 10 to 20 times a day.

  • Using pornographic materials a lot. Using chat rooms or on line pornography or sex chat phone lines excessively.

  • Engaging in types of sexual behavior that you would not have considered acceptable before. Examples are masochistic or sadistic sex. Sometimes more extreme forms of sexual behavior are engaged in, for example pedophilia, bestiality, rape.

  • Exposure in public.
  • Causes of sexual addiction

    There are a number of theories on why sexual addiction occurs. For example, psychological and emotional difficulties, personality disorder, as a form of coping mechanism, a result of childhood trauma. In some forms of mental illness sexual addiction can be a feature, in depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder
    Some neurological disorders can, rarely, result in sexual addictions. These include epilepsy, head injury and dementia.

    Some drugs have been found to cause hypersexuality. Examples are apomorphine and dopamine replacement therapy.

    Problematic effects of compulsive sexual behavior

    Sexual addiction can cause a vicious circle of low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. Although excessive sex can bring short term relief, the harm to the psychological well-being of the individual and to their relationships means intervention is required to bring the problem back into their control.

    Someone with a sexual addiction often puts their physical health at risk because of their behavior. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD's), HIV/AIDS, alcoholism and other drug addictions as well as placing themselves at greater risk of violence.

    Getting help for addictive sexual behavior

    An intense preoccupation with sex that results in unacceptable or highly deviant sexual behavior requires treatment from an expert in the field. An evaluation by a psychologist, psychiatrist or sex therapist can be done on an out-patient basis. Treatment may depend on the cause. Behavioral treatments have been found to be helpful. A doctor may be able to treat depressional aspects of sexual addiction with medication.

    The first point of contact can be your family doctor or local psychiatric services who offer specialists in sexual behavior disorder. Marital therapy may also be helpful.


    Does Penis Size Matter?

    Penis size matters mainly because we think it does. The famous sexuality researchers, Masters and Johnson, say that penis size has no physical effect on female sexual satisfaction.

    Women & Sexual Satisfaction

    Russell Eisenman's research into women's perceptions of sexual satisfaction considered penis size and width. Fifty sexually active women aged between 18 and 25 years old were asked, "In having sex, which feels better, length of penis or width of penis?" No consideration was given to issues like love, physical attractiveness or romantic feelings. The survey found:

    • Most of the 50 women said that width was more important than length.

    • Only 5 women reported length felt better than width. In fact, a long penis can cause discomfort.

    • None of the women said that size and width were equally important.

    • None of the women said they did not know.

    Penis width and penis length

    There are a number of reasons why penis width could be described as more sexually satisfying by women. First, the width of the penis at the base may be more stimulating to the clitoris. The researchers also suggest that a wide penis gives a woman a 'greater feeling of fullness' and is therefore physically and psychologically more satisfying.

    Male anxiety about penis size

    Men tend to misjudge the size of their penis, due to viewing it from above. Research shows that many men believe that their penis is smaller than normal when they actually have a normal-sized penis.


    Kinsey, Alfred C. et al. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; Bloomington, IN: Indiana U. Press.

    N Mondaini, R Ponchietti, P Gontero, G H Muir, A Natali, E Caldarera, S Biscioni M Rizzo. (2002) Penile length is normal in most men seeking penile lengthening procedures. International Journal of impotence Research. August 2002, Volume 14, Number 4, Pages 283-286.

    Smith A. M A; Jolley D.; Hocking J.; Benton K.; Gerofi J. (1998) Does penis size influence condom slippage and breakage? International Journal of STD & AIDS, Volume 9, Number 8, 1 August 1998, pp. 444-447.