Many different types of addiction affect British people. Addiction is usually associated with substances such as drugs or alcohol or with compulsive behaviours such as gambling. However, many individuals suffer every day with addictions to things such as shopping or sex.
A sex addiction is classed as sexual activity of any kind that is out of control. This could mean sexual activity with a partner, masturbation, pornography, sex chat lines or visiting prostitutes. A sex addiction may not be problematic for many individuals but, for others, it can cause damage to relationships and may affect work and home life. Some find that their finances are affected by the addiction, especially if they are paying for sex chat lines or prostitutes to satisfy their addiction.
According to relationship and psychosexual therapist Viv Howells, there is a growing number of men in the Bristol area where she is based, suffering from an addiction to sex. She said, “Sex addiction is very real, and I have seen more and more young, male clients seeking help over the past few years.”
She is keen to point out that, while sex addiction is not a new phenomenon, more people are aware of it these days. She believes that the accessibility of internet pornography has led to the increase as increasing numbers are getting into the habit of watching it.
Estimates put the number of UK adults addicted to sex at between three and six per cent.
Viv says that sex addiction is focused on the euphoric feelings that orgasms and ejaculation induce, and those who become addicted to those emotions will want to recreate them repeatedly. This often leads to a cycle of watching pornography and masturbating.
Viv believes that watching porn and masturbating is not necessarily always a problem. It is only when it begins to affect an individual’s life or when that person cannot stop that it starts to cause issues. It is at that point treatment becomes effective.
When sex addiction develops into a problem, it can affect a person’s ability to form or maintain intimate relationships. In many cases, the sufferer will be unable to maintain erections with a partner or to reach an orgasm.
Those with a sex addiction can be treated, and Viv says that most treatment involves assessing the patient to try to identify the cause of the addiction. She says that in many cases the cause will be linked to a past or current relationship that is, or was, abusive or destructive. Once the cause has been identified, it will be necessary to pinpoint the triggers of the addictive behaviour so that the individual can learn how to break the habit. Viv said, “Ultimately it is not something you can cure as such, but it is something people can learn to live with and manage.”
For many years, sex addiction was the focus of jokes on TV and in the media, but it has become more and more apparent that this is a serious problem affecting many individuals around the country. Viv believes that people’s attitudes to sex and sex addiction are changing and that more sufferers are now willing to admit that they have a problem and try to seek help.
Help for sex addiction is available throughout the UK and Rehab Helper can assist sufferers to access suitable treatments. If you or a loved one needs help for addiction, contact Rehab Helper today.