Startling Facts About Sex Addiction

Startling Facts
According to The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, an estimated three to five percent of the U.S. population suffers from sexual compulsion disorders or more simply put, sex addiction. However, because of the rather secretive and personal nature of the addiction, these numbers are considered very conservative. The estimate is based only on the number of people who are actually seeking treatment for their addiction.Another indication of sex addiction that is considered fairly reliable or at least telling, is the amount of pornography viewed on the Internet. This is because pornography addiction is one of the most common forms of sex addiction. According to tracking data released by Nielsen Online in 2010, 25 percent more people with Internet access at work viewed pornography during their office hours over the data taken in 2007. This is only one snapshot of all of the activity online that is related and fueled by sexual addiction. However, it indicates a growing problem.Another, perhaps alarming, statistic about the realities of pornography addiction comes from Alexa research in 2010 which shows that two porn websites rank in the top 50 for worldwide traffic. Nearly all of the top 50 websites are social networking sites and CNN.com ranked below these at 57th. When looking at these facts, it is obvious that porn addiction and sex addiction in general are a real and growing problem. While many people don’t understand the implications of a sexual addiction, it should be thought of as a drug or alcohol addiction.Behaviors of a Sex Addict
Sex addiction can take on many forms of sexual thoughts and activities. Some of the most common include masturbation, viewing of pornography, sexual activities with multiple anonymous partners, experiencing some sort of sexual aversion, affairs, cyber/phone sex, unsafe sexual activity, attending strip clubs, frequenting adult stores and engaging in prostitution. While many people may engage in some of these activities as a healthy part of their sex lives, the sex addict will be compelled to repeatedly engage in them, even when they desire to stop.Symptoms of Sexual Addiction
The symptoms of sexual addiction have been adapted by clinicians and researchers from the criteria used for chemical dependency because of the similarities. The criteria are as follows:* Repeatedly engaging in more sex with more partners than desired* Preoccupation with sex combined with a desire to cut back or stop.* Thoughts of sex to the point that it affects other activities. Continually engaging in sexual acts to the point of excess despite the desire to stop.* Spending large amounts of time engaging in sexual thoughts or acts. (Spending hours visiting pornographic websites is just one example.)* Neglecting obligations like family, work or school to pursue sexually compulsive activities.* Engaging in sexual activities despite negative consequences such as health risks or broken relationships.* Escalating in scope or frequency of sexual activities in order to achieve the desired effect.* Feeling angry, irritated or frustrated when unable to participate in desired sexual activities.Overall, sex addiction is a very troubling disease for both the addict and those who are close to them. With the continued growth of the Internet and mobile technology, it is a safe bet that more and more people will become involved in addictive sexual behaviors. Therefore, it is important for professionals who work with people to be able to understand some of the facts about sexual addiction in order to identify it and get addicts the help that they need.