The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

Could I have a sexual addiction?

Many clients have been requesting assistance with what they feel is possibly a sexual addiction. Some individuals define it as the need to masturbate daily. Others feel it's the need to use pornography in their sexual experiences. And still others indicate a more severe need for masturbation, the necessity of pornography for any sexual satisfaction, or engaging in more bizarre and risky acts of sexual behaviors to fulfill their "needs."

As I broach this taboo topic, I feel it is neccessary to tackle it at least briefly as there are many individuals out there seeking validation and assistance in what they feel is something that is problematic for them. In my counseling experience, sexual addiction would include anything that has started to interfere with your every day functioning- not leaving the house, negatively affecting your work/school, affecting your interpersonal relationships, etc. It is also something that may come into conflict with one's on belief set or faith. For this person, he/she feels that he/she cannot stop the need for this "sexual satisfaction," and feels guilty, ashamed, and overwhelmed.

Do you or someone you know have a sexual addiction? How DO you know? I encourage you to ask these questions while considering this "diagnosis" of sorts:

1) Are your actions negatively affecting your relationships with others?

2) Are your actions interfering with your ability to be successful at work or school?

3) Are you engaging in increasingly unsafe/more bizarre behaviors in order to meet your sexual needs?

4) Do you feel shame, guilt, or worry about your behaviors?

5) Has someone suggested that you might have a problem?

If you have answered yes to any one of these questions, it might be time to seek counseling. If for no other reason, but to put your fears to rest as to what is healthy sexual behavior and what is not. There are many counselors and therapists that specialize in this area. Sessions are confidential- so a fear of discussing these issues could be laid to rest with just knowing that your personal information is kept from outside knowledge. Trying Live Person online counselors could be a start in the right direction if you are looking for immediate but anonymous help.

With that, I would like to leave some resources for you to look into as you make your way through this journey of emotional and physical confusion:

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/sexual-addiction/content/article/10168/55141

http://www.medicinenet.com/sexual_addiction/article.htm

http://www.sexualcontrol.com/index.php

Remember: “This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” ~Susan Polis Schutz

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