Insight Recovery Coaching

What are the types of Sexual Addiction?

Just like any type of addiction, the impact it can have on your life. From consuming all of your time, effort, and energy to damaging your relationships, sexual addiction is a destructive behaviour dependence.

Sexual addiction is compulsive, and it controls you—up to 30% of all adults on the planet struggle with sexual addiction. But the act of sex isn’t the only type of sexual addiction.

So what are the types of sexual addiction? Read on to find out.

Type of sexual addiction #1: Online Dependence

In the age of the internet, the average person spends roughly 144 minutes per day on social media. This excessive amount of time doesn’t include shopping or video games.

The majority of people, at some point or another, have also viewed pornography online. Typically, men spend an average of 5-17 minutes watching porn online. But sometimes, people become addicted to this activity and can’t stop. It may take over their day, their sexual self, their relationship, and much of their free time.

Type of sexual addiction #2: Love and Sex Addiction

Often, people with sex addiction are actually seeking a deep emotional connection with another person. However, because they cannot fully meet this need or don’t know how to, they may compensate for it through sex, which at least offers a brief sense of intimacy.

Men may become obsessed with more than sex itself, constantly fantasizing about their perfect future life with each new potential person. As a result, they may jump quickly between affairs or sexual partners, always striving to meet that need for closeness but unable to.

Becoming attached and a bit preoccupied with a new relationship is normal. Unfortunately, however, some people tend to become attached to those who are not available or self-sabotaging anytime a healthy partner comes along. In this case, the unproductive pattern is getting in the way of a genuine, fulfilling connection. And the obsession gets in the way of having a meaningful life.

Dating App Obsessions

It’s easier than ever for people with compulsive sexual behaviours to find one another. The use of “hookup” apps also encourages a culture of casual sexual relationships. While many people believe people should be able to act freely on their sexual desires, this feeling of freedom isn’t present for many people who start to feel obsessed.

Those with sexual addiction may instead feel their desires are controlling them. For example, men may become engrossed with dating apps because of the easy and quick access and the thrill of anonymous or impersonal sexual encounters. Even if they’re not always meeting up with the person they’re chatting with; they may still spend an extended amount of time cruising on the apps. Once people get pulled into this pattern, it can be hard to stop.

Impulsive Affairs

The truth is, many people have affairs. In Canada, up to 10% of people admit to having cheated on a partner, and another 10% or so have seriously considered it. In the U.S., that number jumps to 20% for married men.

However, having a brief affair and regretting it, or working out infidelity issues with your partner, is very different from an ongoing pattern. Those who have repeated affairs may be purposefully or unknowingly doing so to get that “high” feeling that often comes on at the beginning of relationships.

Once you meet someone new and an initial attachment is triggered, “love chemicals” hijack the brain. This involves a large release of dopamine, which makes the new partner feel a lot like a drug. Over time, this effect wears off, and the addicted person may become attracted to a new partner to start the cycle all over again. Unfortunately, they may have no awareness of why this is happening.

In other cases, the affair ends, only to start back up again. Each time it starts over, the love chemical process is triggered again. In this way, people may become addicted to the cycle of a particular relationship.

Niche Sex Addictions

This category covers multiple other types of sexual addictions, such as fetishes. It’s normal for humans to have fetishes or kinks. In fact, at least half, if not a majority, of humans typically acknowledge some type of kink in formal surveys.

However, as with any behaviour, the level of preoccupation is what matters. If the behaviour or interest feels obsessive and interferes with someone’s personal life, relationship, or work, it may be considered problematic.

Finding Support

If you feel your sexual behaviours have taken over your life, you don’t have to stay in this cycle. I have suffered from this myself, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. As a recovery coach, I help men who are still stuck in their compulsions, so they can break out and begin to live a normal life again.

Are you interested in finding support and changing this cycle? Set up a free initial call here, and see how I can help.

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