“What just happened?”
That can be the feeling you get when you’ve encountered a seduction addict. These are the “nice guys” of sex addiction. But anyone who has ever dated a compulsive seducer can tell you that they are as intimacy disabled as any other sex addict, maybe more so. They tend to leave a nasty trail of non-relationships behind them and their future looks pretty much like their past.
We’ll look at what to expect in a typical scenario of a person dating a seduction addict, but first let’s look at the essential features of this kind of sex addict.
Characteristics of seduction sex addicts
- They are addicted to the rush of falling in love, not the sexual act.
- They are obsessed with being desired sexually and making a romantic connection.
- They begin to lose sexual desire for a person immediately after the initial conquest.
- They are not interested in having a real relationship.
- They cannot sustain interest beyond the initial romance.
- They are deeply cynical about lasting relationships because they fear them and don’t understand them.
- They often carry on multiple flirtations to insure a supply for the future.
The stages in a seduction addict’s romantic scenario
(The seduction addict can be male or female. I am using “he” for convenience only.)
- Predatory Flirting. He uses any encounter to start a flirtation. He finds extremely subtle ways to be romantically suggestive. For example, he might say “Maybe it’s not an accident that we ran into each other.” Sometimes he will take a strong interest in you, or he may be very protective. But he keeps it vague and indirect so he always has an “out.”
- Romantic Connection. Assuming you actually connect, there is the initial romance. Everything is exciting and special. This beginning stage in an attachment is called “limerence” and it is an altered state. One seduction addict admitted to me that the high point of a relationship for him was the first kiss. However, at no point can you expect the addict to take the lead. Instead of making a definite plan for a date he may call or email on some flimsy pretext in order to get you to take the initiative. Above all he wants to know he is desired. He will want to feel that you initiated sex.
- The Affair of the Century. The two of you are perfect together. You are likely to be swept away and to not notice that you don’t know anything about what this guy really wants for the future. That’s because the future doesn’t exist. If you ask what his intentions are you will get only vague hints. You never really get past his “story,” that prefab profile of himself that he uses to win people over. He will resist appearing socially as a couple. Real life would spoil his addictive “high.”
- The Exit. The final phase is one in which the seducer’s “high” wears off. He begins to feel trapped. Often he will hide his waning interest by “doing things” for you; anything from walking your dog to painting your kitchen. This is partly to avoid a real relationship and partly out of guilt, as he knows he’s getting ready to leave. He has already begun noticing new targets for seduction. He will then exit, perhaps explaining that he has neglected his work, or that he’s not ready to make a commitment.
Compulsive seduction is the same as any other sex addiction
In the end, the seduction addict is the same as any other sex addict. Voyeurs, exhibitionists, pornography addicts; whatever the behavior the addiction is the same. The addict uses the behavior to avoid intimacy and kill the pain of low self-worth.
Not realizing he needs help, the seduction addict may think he wants a lasting relationship but he will not realize that the problem is him. He may go on for a very long time without hitting bottom.
Last reviewed: 9 Aug 2012
Hatch, L. (2012). Fake Romance: Understanding a Seduction Addict’s Playbook. Psych Central.
Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex-addiction/2012/08/fake-romance-understanding-a-seduction-addict%e2%80%99s-playbook/