The expanding importance and role of the Internet in everyday life has an interesting side-effect, that of an increase in cyber-sex addiction.Clinicians who treat sex addiction have noticed more individuals and couples coming into treatment where compulsive viewing or pornography has led to psychological issues necessitating treatment.They crave it just like an alcoholic craves alcohol or a junkie craves his next high.
Can “looking” or ogling be a symptom of your sex addiction?
Does looking trigger you into deep fantasy leading to compulsive sexual thoughts that won’t stop until you act out?
Addiction to sexual activities can be just as destructive as addiction to chemical substances.
Addicts may jeopardize their marriage and family relationships, allow their job performance to deteriorate, and endanger themselves and their partner through multiple sexual exposures.
I will describe a few cases and then explore clinical aspects of the problem in this brief paper.
Case Studies: (all names and identifying information have been changed) Mike: A 24 year old single man living with his girl friend (Dora) of four years reveals that he has an "unhealthy" sexual desire for teen age girls.
He acknowledges that his compulsion has hurt his relationship and his sex life.
He is extremely ambivalent about his relationship but has not talked about his feelings openly with Dora.
Unfortunately, some types of sex addiction, such as exhibitionism and pedophilia, are illegal. Patrick Carnes, author of the book “Don’t Call it Love” and an expert on the topic, discusses ten different types of sex addiction which will be discussed below.