Facts about sexual addiction

Dr. Patrick Carnes

1. What is sex addiction

PC: Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and ones work environment.  

2.  Why do people become addicted? 

PC: Dr. Rob Weiss says, there are three types of addicts: "biological addict is someone who has conditioned their body to receive endorphins and enkephlines (brain chemicals) primarily through reinforcing a fantasy state with the ejaculation that provides the chemical release. Psychologically the need to medicate or escape physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, can demand a substance...or Spiritually a person is filling up the God hole in them with their sexual addiction.

3.  Is there a difference between sexual addiction and a high sex drive?

PC: If you have a high sex drive when your partner says no, you don't react and feel totally rejected.  Whereas if you are addicted the reaction is great and there is a need to have to have it, or else you will get angry or act out in some other way. 


* Up to 65% of Christian men are struggling with regular use of pornography

* 86% of porn revenue goes to organized crime

* So-called "Gentlemens Clubs are opening faster than Walmarts and many of the girls make more than $200k a year



www.cosa-recovery.org                  www.recoveryranch.com

www.sexhelp.com                          www.themeadows.com

www.recoveryzone.com                 elements: 844-875-4165


908 N. Howard # 102   Grand Island, NE  68801 V: 308-398-6050  F: 308-398-6051  here.

If you believe your partner has a sex addiction, don't hesitate to get help for yourself.  Spouses/partners often suffer trauma from the discovery process and getting help for spouses/partners is very important even if the addict refuses to get help.

It is extremely painful to discover that someone you have loved and trusted has betrayed you by going outside the relationship emotionally and physically.  The word that best sums up this feeling is trauma.  Bessel A. van der Kolk and his colleagues describe this anxious fixation in this way, "After exposure to a trauma, most people become preoccupied by the event; having involuntary intrusive memories is a normal way of responding to dreadful experiences." 

Living in a culture that does not tolerate emotional vulnerability often forces those who suffer trauma to "suck it up", "get over it", and "move on" without addressing their own emotional needs.  

You may be suffering from a contradictory thoughts about your partner's actions. You may see how out of control he or she is, you may not understand why he or she just cannot stop the behavior, and you may even blame yourself that you could not make them happy or that you did not realize what was going on sooner.

With your own therapy, you will begin to peel back the layers of coping skills that were ineffective in the relationship that may have compromised your self-worth.  


908 N. HOWARD # 102,   GRAND ISLAND, NE  68803  V: 308-398-6050   F: 308-398-6051

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Mending a Shattered Heart by Stefanie Carnes, Ph.D.

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse by Barbara Steffens,Ph.D., LPCC, & Marsha Means, M.S. 

Intimate Treason by Claudia Black, Ph.D., and Cara Tripodi, LCSW

Facing Heartbreak by Stefani Carnes, Ph.D., and Mari A. Lee, LMFT, and Anthony D. Rodriguez, LCSW


Having an affair does not necessarily mean your partner is addicted to sex, nor does isolated instances of looking at porn.  What we look for is a pattern of compulsive behaviors that can take over the person's life, such as: 

* Serial Infidelity

* Love & Relationship Addiction

* Compulsive Masturbation

* Cyber-Porn Addiction, 

* Anonymous Sex

* Sexual Boundary Problems

* Voyeurism,

* Exhibitionism

* Prostitution

* as well as relationship, health and legal consequences that often accompany these behaviors