Like all addictions, sex addiction can be defined as a compulsive pursuit of something which eventually does harm to the addict and their relationships with family and friends.

Sex or pornography

Unlike many other addictions, sex addiction has a very wide range of symptoms and scope for expression. Being a sex addict for one person may mean compulsive masturbation, whilst for another it could express itself in more destructive ways such as the compulsive seeking of new sexual partners.

Given the wide availability, Counsellors & Psychologists are now seeing many people struggle with addiction to massage parlours, prostitution and internet pornography.

Importantly, counselling professionals including Counsellors and Psychologists, can offer therapy as a means of treating sex addiction by helping the patient to understand and express the underlying issues triggering their sex addiction before they are acted upon in a self-destructive manner.
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sex and pornography treatment

Symptoms of sexual addiction

symptoms of sexual addiction

As mentioned above, Sex Addiction has a much wider range of symptoms than most addictions which will vary widely from person to person. One person will not necessarily exhibit all the symptoms listed below:

• Excessive or compulsive masturbation, with or without the use of pornography.
• Excessive or compulsive use of pornography (including the internet – see also our page on internet addiction).
• Compulsive seeking of multiple sexual partners.
• Self-destructive or harmful sexual practise (unsafe sex, self mutilation).
• Excessive use of fantasy (including internet or other pornography) to escape from reality.
• Prostitution addiction – The compulsive use of sex workers (including phone sex services) including massage parlour addiction, to a degree where it places a strain on the individual’s relationships, finances or psychological wellbeing (experience of shame, guilt, etc).
• Compulsive behaviour which leads to the committing of crimes such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, or sexual abuse.

In America, sexual addiction has been defined by The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. They deem sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” So we might say that the sex addict continues their behaviour despite the potential costs whether they be financial, emotional or health related.

Also, the main guide to psychiatric diagnosis, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, Volume Four, classified sex addiction as “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used.” They go on to state that it is characterised by a “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.” If you are suffering from compulsive sexual behaviour you may well relate to these descriptions.

If you feel that you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, counselling therapy provided by a professional Counsellors or Psychologist may be helpful in breaking the compulsion to act out on harmful sexual behaviour.

Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney is able to refer you to a practitioner with experience in compulsions and addictions. Contact us in complete confidence to make an enquiry or a booking.

You may also wish to visit ‘ pornography addiction ‘ – a new web project aimed at helping people with pornography and sex addiction.

Please note that in providing counselling treatment it is mandatory for clinicians to report persons who engage in acts which seriously harm others including all acts against the interests of children which may include the use or production of child pornography where there is an identified child victim.

If you feel that seeking treatment in such areas will compromise you, we suggest you seek help with an offender counselling organisation in your area.

Common mispellings and alternative search terms used to find this page include: sex counseling, sex counceling, porno addiction, pron addiction counselling, pron addiction, net addiction, porn counselling.

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