Sex addiction is a term that’s becoming more and more prevalent in all aspects of the addiction community. This is particularly true as we discover more about the addiction interaction disorder of stimulants and sex. A spirited debate as to whether there’s even such a thing as sexual addiction has been developing for some time now. “People can’t be addicted to sex – it’s just what people do” is often heard, while on the other hand, there are people that apply the same definition of addiction to alcohol and/or drugs to that of sex. There’s no way to deny that someone who has difficulty controlling their sexual urges, behaviors and/or thoughts will see a progression of their symptoms leading to negative consequences in their lives. For sex addicts, there are levels to the severity of the addiction and these are a good indication of the type of treatment that is needed. There are three levels of sex addiction.
Level One: Some of the behaviors listed may exist in someone without a sex addiction, but when acted upon compulsively, is considered level one of sex addiction. There’s no doubt that these can be devastating when done compulsively.
Affairs, chronic infidelity, love and romance addiction
Sexual relationships with multiple partners
Pornography use and collection (with or without masturbation)
Phone sex, cybersex
Going to strip clubs
Level Two: A common theme among these behaviors listed are that of someone being victimized. There are also legal consequences to these actions which is a primary difference between Level One and Level Two behaviors.
Public sex – bathrooms, parks, etc.
Voyeurism – online or live
Level Three: These are behaviors in which there are significant boundary violations culturally and legally.
Obtaining/viewing child pornography
Obtaining/viewing rape/snuff pornography
Sexual abuse of older or dependent persons
Professional boundary violations (clergy, therapists, teachers, doctors)