Sex addiction is described as any sexual activity that feels out of control. It could involve sex with a partner, but it may also mean activities such as pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes or using chat lines. For many people, these habits don't cause them a problem. However, sex addicts are unable to control these urges and actions despite the problems they may cause in their relationships and to their finances or professional lives. This addiction is similar to substance abuse because it is caused by the powerful chemical substances released during sex.
Love addicts, become dependent on the emotional stability provided by romantic partners. Love addicts often have low self-esteem and lack self-identity, and their addiction can result in obsessive, controlling behaviour. The cause of love addictions and sex addictions is often rooted in childhood or adolescence. Early trauma, neglect or depression may be factors.
The consequences of sex addiction and love addiction are varied. Sex addicts and love addicts will typically have long-term relationship and intimacy problems, but the addiction can also affect them financially, professionally, physically and socially.
The recovery process for sex addicts and love addicts is similar to that of substance addictions. It involves identifying and changing behaviour that's painful and damaging.