From a biological standpoint, research has shown that certain formations in the right temporal lobe make certain individuals more prone to sexual arousability from birth.Whether such an individual becomes sexually compulsive or perverse then depends on the child’s home environment.Sex addicts use behaviors rather than substances as coping mechanisms.These might include masturbation, compulsive viewing of pornography, infidelity, one-night stands and a host of other ‘acting out’ practices that undermine the ability to form intimate bonds with another human being.
Here the therapist can offer gentle, loving encouragement to try giving people their own age a chance.
While the definition of sex addiction is the same as that of other addictions, sexual compulsion is set apart from other addictions in that sex involves our innermost unconscious wishes, needs, fantasies, fears and conflicts. While there currently is no diagnosis of sex addiction in the DSM-IV, clinicians in the sex addiction field have developed general criteria for diagnosing sex addiction.
If an individual meets three or more of these criteria, he or she could be considered a sex addict: How do I know if my partner is a sex addict?
Sex addiction is an obsessive relationship to sexual thoughts, fantasies or activities that an individual continues to engage in despite adverse consequences.
These thoughts, fantasies or activities occupy a disproportionate amount of “psychic space,” resulting in an imbalance in the person’s overall functioning in important areas of life, such as work and marriage.