Sex addiction is a psychological condition which should not be confused with people who have a strong sex drive. The difference being the former is not satisfied by sex but the latter is. Sex Addiction can involve a wide variety of practices and those afflicted have to deal with several unwanted behaviours. Commonly reported is obsessions with masturbation, pornography, or relationships which over the years progress to become compulsive behaviours that impinge upon normal behaviour. Sex addicts experience extreme shame, pain and self-loathing from their out of control behaviours.
Some sex addicts prefer the fantasy world and fantasy sex similar to fetishism to relational sex with their spouse or partner and hence lose close relationships. Their compulsive behaviour can lead to difficulties with work, ensuing financial troubles, a loss of interest in things not sexual, low self-esteem, despair and many run foul of the law. Abnormal preoccupation with sex takes tremendous physical and mental energy and most sex addicts develop established patterns of behaviour (or rituals). These can be triggered by a diverse range of activities including the more common flirting, or reading pornography, or just meeting people.
The sex addict spends a lot of time in the pursuit of their sexual behaviour/fantasy or they may have a binge of sexual behaviours and despair and shame prevent them from being able to break the pattern. Some authorities believe sex addiction is a way some people cope with stress but so little is known about the disorder that it is likely to involve a combination of conditioning and or bio-psychological causation.
The fantasy/trigger is thought to increase adrenalin and release endorphins and enkephlines into the blood stream which then act on the brain to give a temporary feeling of well being and relief from stress. This theory is based upon a simple stimulus-response reaction. Preoccupation with sex starts earlier than alcohol or drug addictions because it is available to very young children. Coming to terms with the addiction is the first step to overcoming any compulsion and because there is better understanding of the condition many sex addicts and their families can now get help from their doctor or sex therapist.
One main reason why sex addiction is better accepted is due in no short measure to high profile individuals who have declared themselves as working to overcome their compulsive behaviour. Ulrika Johnsson is a self confessed sex addict who has very publically (and not sensationally) shared her desperation which has given many fellow sex addicts greater opportunity to seek help. Ulrika Johnsson (former BBC weather girl), admitted her main attraction to men was their footwear and she was especially partial to strong men in boots.
Affirmotive Sex Addiction Australia (ASAA)
Celebrities and Sex Addiction health.com