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Counselling, Sex and Relationship Therapy, Psychotherapy in Birmingham

Sex and Porn Addiction


What is sex addiction

The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP), explains, Sex Addiction involves but is not limited to,  compulsive masturbation, compulsive heterosexual and homosexual relationships, pornography, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls, child molesting, incest, rape and violence and, sexual behaviours which are out of control (IITAP, 2010). 

Depressed man sitting on the floor

Sex Addiction  refers to events where an individual’s report being unable to manage their sexual behaviour (1). Sex Addiction  has been called “impulse control disorder,” and “sexual compulsivity” and, more recently “out of control sexual behaviour” (2). Sex Addiction has also been referred to as hyper-sexuality (3), however hyper-sexuality places a judgment on ones sexual appetite which is subjective and relational, that is, in a traditional relationship which a partner may perceive the other partner to be highly sexed.  Proponents of sex addiction (2) propose terminology focus on the issue of control rather than high levels of sex. Nevertheless, contention to the existence of Sex Addiction and the terminology continues to date, whilst clients continue enquiring for help with Sex Addiction.

 

 

 

 What happens in sex addiction?

Depositphotos_35831949_s-2015Compulsive use of pornography changes the brain, evidence suggest the internet can induce pathological learning or excessive memory (Addiction) and, can cause the same brain changes seen in drug addicts (4).

In compulsive porn use the brain becomes dependent on dopamine not the pornography, increasing the need to see greater level of neuro-chemical stimulation.  A recent 2014 Cambridge study regarding internet porn addiction, found that 50% of porn users had difficulty achieving erections with a real partner, yet could achieve with porn (4).

At utalkaboutit.co.uk we aim to keep up dated with the latest research and treatment methods for sex addiction, we recommend a thorough assessment so we are able to formulate a treatment plan together suitable for your needs, this may include further referrals to other specialist who also share experience in this area.

(1) Weiss, R. (2013). Sex addiction 101. [S.l.]: Elements Behavioral Health.

(2) Bancroft, J. (2009). Human sexuality and its problems. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

(3) Stein, D. (2001). Hypersexual Disorder and Preoccupation With Internet Pornography. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(10), pp.1590-1594.

(4) Voon, V., Mole, T., Banca, P., Porter, L., Morris, L., Mitchell, S., Lapa, T., Karr, J., Harrison, N., Potenza, M. and Irvine, M. (2014). Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours. PLoS ONE, 9(7), p.e102419.

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