Are Sexual Compulsion and Sex Addiction Real?

sex addiction

Sex is an important part of a healthy, intimate relationship. But for some people, compulsive sexual behavior can crowd out everything else, leaving relationships, careers, and even lives, in ruins.

In the 2005 mock documentary “I Am a Sex Addict,” the protagonist sits dolefully in an anonymous 12-step meeting for people “addicted” to sex. He’s ended up there after being unable to control a compulsion to seek out prostitutes when his intimate relationships faltered. “The more I indulged the addiction, the stronger it became,” he says, confessing to the group that his sexual compulsions destroyed his marriage.

Based on the filmmaker’s life, “I Am a Sex Addict” isn’t a compelling movie, but the underlying message is powerful: Out-of-control sexual impulses can be as devastating as a drug habit. In this scenario, sex can overwhelm people’s thoughts and lifestyle, ruining their careers, friendships, and closest relationships.

But having a sex addiction isn’t as straightforward as having an addiction to nicotine or alcohol. You cant satisfy a sexual craving with a patch or a pill. On the other hand, if you have trouble controlling your sex drive, you shouldn’t have to give up sex completely. If you feel like your sexual urges are threatening the rest of your life, the best thing you can do is get help and learn how to regain control.

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