Sex Addiction and Compulsivity

Charlotte Counseling Associates specializes in treatment for sexual compulsivity and pornography addiction.

What Is Sex Addiction/Compulsivity?

Sexual addiction is typically defined by continued out-of-control or compulsive sexual behavior even when the possibility of serious life consequences occur. They typically have difficulty with closeness in committed relationships and use their sexual addiction behavior to escape painful, lonely and stressful feelings. They also use denial, rationalizing, minimizing, and lying to avoid the truth to themselves and others.

Patterns of problematic fantasy-driven behavior typically exhibited by sex or porn addicts often include*:

  • Compulsive use of pornography, with or without masturbation.
  • Compulsive use of one or more digital “sexnologies,” i.e., webcams, sexting, dating/hookup websites and hook-up apps, virtual reality sex games, sexual devices, etc.
  • Multiple affairs or brief “serial” relationships.
  • Consistent involvement with strip clubs, adult bookstores, adult movie theaters, sex clubs, and other sex-focused environments.
  • Ongoing involvement with prostitution and/or sensual massage (hiring or providing).
  • A pattern of anonymous and/or casual sexual hookups with people met online via apps, websites or in person.
  • Repeated engaging in unprotected sex
  • Repeated engaging in sex with potentially dangerous people or in potentially dangerous places
  • Seeking sexual experiences without regard to immediate or long-term potential consequences.
  • In some, repeated patterns of minor sexual offenses such as voyeurism, exhibitionism, etc.

*Robert Weiss

Criteria for Sex/Porn Addiction:

  • *The following criteria are used to diagnose sexual addiction* (3 or more):
  • A pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior.
  • Severe or ongoing life consequences due to sexual behavior.
  • An inability to stop sexual behavior despite major consequences and previous attempts to stop.
  • Persistent pursuit of self-destructive or high-risk sexual behavior (to self or others).
  • Important social, recreational, or occupational activities are sacrificed or reduced because of sexual behavior.
  • Ongoing desire for change or failed attempts to limit sexual behavior.
  • Sexual obsession and fantasy are becoming primary emotional coping strategies.
  • Symptoms of sexual withdrawal (irritation, depression, anxiety), when stopping the sexual behavior.
  • Sexual behavior begin to occur more often, and can be more risky and dangerous.
    *Patrick Carnes

Not sure if it is sex addiction or porn addiction:

Check out our page on porn addiction to see learn more about the differences. Some individuals only have one or the other, and some have both. Learn more by clicking below:

Porn addiction description

Contact Us:

Phone: (980) 224-3233

Healthy sexual behavior is characterized by trust, respect, joy and safety.

Without treatment and recovery, overcoming sexual addiction can be very challenging.

Sexual health is a major goal in sexual addiction treatment. Sexuality should be a much needed and balanced part of our life experience. However, when sex becomes all-consuming, or when we deprive ourselves of healthy sexual expression, our sexuality acts as a barrier filled with shame and self-contempt. It keeps us from having healthy relationships bonds with others. Healthy sexual behavior or sexual health, on the other hand, creates intimacy and closeness. It is characterized by trust, respect, joy and safety.

Sexual health can be achieved by sex addicts in recovery. Overcoming sexual addiction requires hard work and a commitment to do whatever it takes for a full recovery. In doing so, sexual addiction recovery moves in the direction of hope and a better life.

Free Sex Addiction/Compulsivity Screening Test

Still not sure if you have a sexual problem/addictive behavior? 

Take five minutes to take the FREE Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST). You will receive instant results. If you score a “6” or higher or feel that your life is unmanageable, please reach out to us for a full sexual problem behavior assessment to see about options for help.

Contact Us:

Phone: (980) 224-3233

Send Us a Message

New clients, please send us a message to schedule your free 15-minute Q/A call with Charlotte Counseling Associates, so we can answer any questions you may have and find out if we’re a good fit for working together to help you achieve your goals.