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Just as alcoholics find it difficult to control their drinking, sexual addicts find it difficult to control their sexual acting out behaviour, often resulting in relationship problems, family break-ups, work problems and financial damages.
Sexual acting out, refers to any sexually related compulsive behaviour which interferes with normal life and starts to become a priority in the sexual addict’s life, often at the cost of family, friends and work.
Some of the patterns may include:
- A pattern of out-of-control sexual behaviour (which might be any of the following: compulsive masturbation, compulsive watching of pornography, chronic affairs and cheating in relationships, high risk sexual practices, anonymous sex, compulsive sexual episodes and relationships, prostitution, etc.)
- An inability to stop the sexual behaviour regardless of consequences
- Persistent pursuit of high-risk behaviour
- Ongoing desire or effort to limit the behaviour
- Sexual behaviour is used as a primary coping strategy, often including obsession and fantasy
- Mood changes associated with the sexual activity
- Excessive time spent planning, anticipating, being sexual or recovering from sexual experiences
- Severe social, physical or psychological consequences
- Individuals who see any of these patterns in their own life, or in the life of someone they care about, should seek professional help.