Sexual addiction, also referred to as sex addiction or love addiction, is a disorder marked by persistent and excessive focus on sexual thoughts, desires and behaviors which an individual cannot manage, in spite of efforts to stop or the painful consequences resulting from his/her choices. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, an estimated 12 million adults in the US are affected by sex addiction.
Sometimes, it’s challenging for individuals to differentiate between a healthy sexual appetite and an unhealthy obsession with sex. Key indicators we look for in the clients who come to us for help with their sex addiction include:
While a single emotionally and/or sexually involved affair is generally not an indicator of sexual addiction, multiple affairs usually signal that an individual’s sexual behaviors have become unmanageable. This is especially true if an individual values fidelity in marriage and has continued to behave in ways that contradict his/her internal value system, as well as promises made to others.
Because our sexuality is such a sacred and private part of us, we often do not disclose our sexual thoughts, desires or behaviors with others. Individuals who hold a Christian worldview may feel especially ashamed of their sexual desires and choices and usually attempt to manage their sex addiction privately without help from others.
At HopeQuest, we believe that recovery from sexual addiction is only possible in the context of safe relationships in which we are truly known by others and find grace and acceptance for the parts of us that we believe are unlovable. Our treatment approach is multi-dimensional, informed by evidenced-based research and integrated with Christian principles which promote healing and growth.