Reconnect with Your Love Ones

Criteria for Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is difficult for many to understand. Most healthy men and women enjoy sex and intimacy, and would be happy to increase the frequency with which they engage in sexual behaviors. But having frequent intercourse does not necessarily mean that someone is struggling with a sex addiction, and the differences affect who is enjoying a healthy sex life and who qualifies and should engage in treatment.

With so much access to pornography and instant gratification, as well as a rise in a more sexually focused generation, many people are struggling with uncontrollable sexual desires in a world that makes it easy to enable them.

The difference between healthy sex and unhealthy sex can be seen in the response to those behaviors, as well as the risks involved and their effect on others. Keep in mind that not all sexual addiction is going to match every criteria. Criteria for sex addiction includes:

  • Significant struggle to resist sexual impulses, often causing significant personal distress (sometimes during the sexual encounter or immediately afterward).
  • Gratification of sexual impulse in situations that may be considered dangerous, taboo, unusual, or inappropriate.
  • Failure to stop the behavior despite knowledge of and experience of personal, professional, financial, and/or emotional repercussions.
  • Frequent gratification of sexual impulse, often with disregard for personal and professional obligations.
  • Obsessions or compulsions related to the sexual impulse, including an thinking about the desire or action often enough to be considered “excessive.”
  • Desire to increase the risk or frequency of the behavior, possibly with high risk sexual practices and/or illegal activities.
  • Symptoms of anxiety or stress when significant time has passed since you were last able to gratify the sexual impulse.

Those that have sexual addiction tend to find little comfort in their sexual exploits. Often they feel shame, stress, anxiety, or depression, yet continue to perform or seek out the activity. Many also struggle with their personal and professional lives as a result of their sexual activities.

You may not be struggling with all of these sexual addiction criteria and yet you may still qualify for a sex addiction. If you’re interested in learning more about sex addiction therapy, contact CALGARY SEX ADDICTION COUNSELLING today at 403-879-2503.

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