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Sex addiction is no fantasy but a real disorder

Posted in: Sexual Health 18 Oct, 2012

Traditionally sex addiction has often been accused of, as being an excuse for philandering men, whose cheating has been exposed. I must admit that I too have often been dubious of the idea of sex addiction, having many a time scoffed at yet again another celebrity who has been found with his pants around his ankles. Who in turn, has tried to justify his lothario ways by shifting the blame to his addiction to sex. But according to the Daily Mail, a new study has claimed that sex addiction; much like drug addiction is in actual fact, a real disorder.

If this is the case, we have to wonder if precautions are being used, to prevent consequences such as contracting STIs and the risk of pregnancy? And whether the use of contraception to those who suffer from the condition is not being overlooked.

Defining sex addiction

If sex addiction or hypersexual disorder is real, then how is it defined? It is not, fervently stressed by Rory Reid, the University of California’s assistant professor and research psychologist as a ‘a person who simply has frequent sex’, but rather could be defined as ‘a person whose sexual activities are excessive, frequently used to cope with stress, and interfere with their ability to function in daily life.’According to medical professionals, sex addiction symptoms include:

  • Excessive amounts of sex used as a mechanism to cope with stress
  • Excessive use of pornography
  • Feelings of guilt after sex
  • Recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, urges and behaviours
  • Sex interfering with the ability to function, in all aspects of your life such as work
  • Feeling out of control and an inability to control sexual urges
  • Drugs, alcohol or mental disorders are not behind these sexual urges and actions.

The risks

According to the study, the feeling of not being in control, and subsequently acting impulsively on sexual urges regardless of any repercussions, was a common attribute shared by sex addicts. Thus I would argue if such disregard for anything other than sex, leaves little room for rational thinking then it is highly unlikely that the use of contraception for some addicts may not be considered at all.

Contraception

According to the BBC, consequences of sex addiction will not only include the ‘breakdown of a relationship’, or ‘potentially the loss of job opportunities’, but will also significantly increase the chances of a person to contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as genital herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, or even HIV or Aids. Likewise BBC health stress that the risk of pregnancy is also another consequence that can be brought upon by the actions of a sex addict.

Treating the condition

For those who suffer with sex addiction, it is often hard to ask for help. However, such has the attitude towards sex addiction changed by medical professionals that the ‘disorder’ is being considered for inclusion in America’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In the UK, there are clinics, support groups, and local counselling services which help and support those suffering from this addiction.

Although due to a lack of knowledge and understanding, the notion of sex addiction to the average person might not be looked upon the same way as alcohol or drug addiction, the dangers relating to it are just as destructive. A lack of thought regarding the use of contraception, could create complications such as a the risk of pregnancy and an STI, and with figures estimating that 6% or more of the population experience this form of addiction (one in five being a woman), the dangers faced are just as real.

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