Sexual Compulsivity and Sexual Health

Healthy sexual behavior recognizes one’s need to explore their sexuality within a positive manner in an affirming environment. This occurs when some one has a good understanding of their sexual values, preferences, attractions, history, and behaviors. People have developed a realistic and positive body image. For many in the LGBT community that has meant shedding the shame and guilt associated with sexual thoughts and desired intimacy that is not heterosexual in nature. Positive sexuality is when someone has the ability to get and give sexual pleasure while setting sexual boundaries.

Sexual compulsivity is the inability to control one’s sexual behavior and thinking. Out-of-control sexual behavior often continues in spite of tremendous consequences, including damaged relationships, loss of self-esteem, sexually transmitted diseases, financial and/or legal problems.

Signs of sex addiction/compulsive sexual behavior can include:

  • Multiple and/or anonymous sexual partners, and/or frequent one-night stands when you don’t want to this behavior
  • Sexual behavior that frequently accompanies drug or alcohol abuse
  • Sexual behavior that includes risk-taking, unsafe sex and/or potential exposure to sexually transmitted diseases
  • Obsessive use of pornography, phone-sex services, or pornographic web sites
  • Obsession with and sexual harassment of another person
  • Severe mood changes surrounding sexual activity
  • Neglect of relationships, work or other responsibilities as a result of thinking about or pursuing sex
  • A sense that sexual behavior is “out of control,” and an on-going desire to control or limit sexual behavior

Love Addiction

Love addiction is often perceived to be “less serious” than other process addictions i.e. compulsive sexual addictions, eating disorders or self-harm / mutilation addictions. In reality it is extremely painful and can be very dangerous to both the addict and their partners. Our culture has traditionally glorified love addiction with the notion that we fall in love and live “happily ever after.” This ignores the groundwork that relationships require.

Signs of Love Addiction:

  • Compartmentalization of relationships from other areas of life
  • Mistake intensity for intimacy (drama driven relationships)
  • Seek to avoid rejection and abandonment at any cost
  • Afraid to trust anyone in a relationship
  • Highly manipulative and controlling of others
  • Perceive attraction, attachment, and sex as basic human needs, on a par with food and water
  • Sense of worthlessness without a relationship or partner
  • Feelings that a relationship makes one whole, or more of a man or woman
  • Escalating tolerance for high-risk behavior
  • Intense need to control self, others, circumstances
  • Presence of other addictive or compulsive problems
  • Insatiable appetite in area of difficulty (sex, love or attachment / need)
  • Using others, sex & relationships to alter mood or relieve emotional pain
  • Tendency to trade sexual activity for “love” or attachment
  • Tendency to leave one relationship for another. (Inability to be without a relationship.)
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Physicians are on the medical staff of Pride Institute, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Pride Institute. The facility shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.

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