Almost everyone enjoys sex and masturbation. Most people enjoy it a lot. It is a natural phenomenon, right? Yes. But…
Is it possible to have an addiction to what seems so natural and instinctual? Many have made strong comparisons and logical correlations between the similarities of sexual addiction, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other verified addictions. They are the same in some ways and different in others.
First, I think it is important to define an “addiction” before describing a sexual addiction. Addiction in the context of this page will be defined as “a disorder that constitutes a repeated behavior which has caused negative consequences even though the individual has paradoxically made significant effort to quit or reduce the behavior”.
I agree that sounds too much like somebody with a degree in psychology.
Therefore, I think I will forget my educational background for a moment and describe an addiction in more universal terms. An Addiction is like “a problem where you know the solution is to stop doing it so much, but you just can’t stop for some unknown reason”.
I think at this point, it is important to say who is not sexually “addicted”. Frequently people may ask us if they are addicted to masturbation or sex. They will say something like: “I masturbate 3 times a day, am I addicted?” or they will say: “I have had sex with a different girl 35 times in the past month, am I a sex addict?” The answer to questions like this is always “I don’t know”.
Based on the limited amount of information above, it is impossible to say if the individual has an addiction or if they should begin to seek treatment. A young person that masturbates three times a day because they are often sexually aroused and/or has spontaneous erections is probably not an addict. This is especially a major concern among young men and women.
Changes are, their masturbation behavior will level out on its own in the future. Hormonal changes that cause an increase in sexual desire happen periodically throughout a person’s life, but especially so when young.
The same may be true for a recently divorced person who is “seriously looking” to settle down again but has not found the right person. The point being made here is: There are reasons why someone may be having frequent masturbatory or sexual experiences which are not necessarily related to a sexual addiction.
It is also important to mention that addiction is not necessarily related to quantity. Contrary to popular belief, quantity is not the most prominent factor in defining individuals who have addictions. The most prominent factor is what the results are from the addict’s behavior.
For example, take the case of two beer drinkers. Drinker # 1 drinks 12 beers a day. Drinker # 2 only drinks 10 beers per day.
Drinker # 1 was recently informed by his doctor that he has high blood pressure and may have a swollen liver. Drinker # 1 stops drinking. His blood pressure is manageable and his tender liver heals.
Drinker # 2 is told by his doctor that he has high blood pressure and a swollen liver. Drinker # 2 has also been arrested three times for driving while under the influence of alcohol and once for public drunkenness. Drinker # 2 tries to stop drinking when his doctor tells him he must do so for his health. Drinker # 2 continues to drink, continues to get in trouble with the police, and continues his poor health habits.
He may even start to drink more to ease the stress that all his drinking has caused. Drinker # 2 always drank less than # 1 but cannot quit drinking even though he has seriously tried to cut down or quit many times. Both drinkers used (and abused) alcohol, but Drinker # 2 is more likely to have actual alcoholism.
Some parallels can be drawn from the drinkers above when examining the life of someone with a sexual addiction. For example, Individual # 1 masturbates to ejaculation 3 to 4 times per day. Individual # 2 masturbates to ejaculation or has sex once per day (sometimes once every other day). Individual #1 is 18 years old and is quite limited when it comes to hobbies, sports, or school/work/religious/community involvement because of his remote location.
Individual # 2 has access to public transportation, cuts school, and takes days off from his job to go to adult theatres where he spends countless hours of his time engaged in viewing and obtaining erotic material. He spends considerable time thinking erotic thoughts and fondling his penis.
However, he only fully masturbates to ejaculation about once a day. He also is willing to have anonymous sex with any willing partner at any time. His fiancee found his stash of pornography and questioned his commitment to the relationship.
She often inquires where he has been when he is on long pornographic binges. This has affected several of his relationships in the past. Individual # 2 also often worries about the possibility of having contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).
A lot of the time, he is is in denial and assumes that he is 100% immune to any disease because he usually wears condoms. Individual # 2 was invited to a one week vacation by his fiancee and her parents.
He did want to go deep down inside, but he knew he would not be able to get free for sex and masturbation while on the vacation so he declined to go. Both individuals used (and over-used) their sexuality, but individual # 2 is more likely to have a sexual addiction.