The distinction between strong sexual desire and sex addiction is important because true sex addiction is always underpinned by anxieties, deep discomfort, pathological lack of confidence, and other important psychological elements to take into account in order to be able to get out of addiction.

True sexual addictions pose great difficulties in emotional relationships and can prevent people who suffer from it from building fulfilling relationships, for themselves and for their partners.

Sexual addiction or strong libido?

There are 3 criteria to know:

  • The ability to resist the sexual drive: a person who has a strong but not pathological sexual desire can still resist and let go of the sexual drive if there are negative consequences. In the event of sex addiction, it is extremely difficult or even impossible to resist the urge even when this person is aware of the damage (insisting and putting partners in difficulty, wasting a lot of time masturbating or disrupting their professional life, etc.).
  • The feeling and attitude in case of deprivation of sex: a person with a strong desire will naturally be frustrated if they have not been able to have their sexual moment but this remains bearable and does not have a major impact on their attitude. A person with a sex addiction can quickly become irritable if deprived with anxiety, discomfort, even aggressive behavior (a bit like someone addicted to a drug deprived of its dose).
  • The feeling and state of mind after the sexual act: a person with a strong non-pathological desire will feel relaxation with well-being. A sexually addicted person will initially feel a relaxation but quickly a returning malaise, sometimes a guilt for having had this behavior or a self-deprecation of not having been able to resist… in any case negative feelings.
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Does the frequency of intercourse matter?

The frequency of sexual intercourse is a bad benchmark, as is the richness and variety of sexual fantasies. This does not differentiate frequent cravings from sex addiction. It is really the state of mind and the feeling that must be observed.

Is sex addiction common?

Classically, sexual addiction concerns 5 to 6% of adults and is clearly predominant in men. These numbers are probably underestimated because it is not easy to become aware and to consult for sexual addiction and even less for a woman who will naturally, and unfortunately, fear moralistic value judgments and social taboos.

Several types of sexual addiction

There are several types of sexual addiction, an addiction to sex alone through masturbation, or to sexual relations with a stable partner, or an addiction to relations with sex workers, etc.

There are sometimes nuances such as, for example, people who need to multiply the conquests who often have an addiction to seduction and not necessarily to sex. This is a useful subtlety to spot in consultation.

Tips for addicts

It is strongly recommended to ask for help and to consult because it is complicated to get by on your own and this for several reasons, two of which are important:

  • Unlike drug or alcohol use, sexuality (with yourself or someone else) is a biological reality. It is therefore difficult to say to yourself “I am going to be sober” as we often do for alcohol or drugs.
  • The other difficulty is that if one seeks to suppress an addictive sexual behavior or other without having understood how and why one suffers from it, there is a strong risk of relapses.
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If you are concerned, know that by consulting you will never be judged morally or mocked, you will be listened to and you will have help and support adapted to get out of it. .

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