Sexual Addiction

Sex is a normal part of life and does not present a problem for most people. However, it can become an issue for some. Sexual addiction, or sex addiction, is characterized as a state of compulsive participation or engagement in sexual activity, particularly sexual intercourse, despite negative consequences. Individuals with a sex addition act out sexually in ways they feel they cannot control, and which may be detrimental to their health and relationships. Sex addiction typically progresses over time, with compulsive sexual thoughts and acts becoming more extreme as it advances. A sexual addiction can manifest in a number of ways. It might be limited to compulsive masturbation or the excessive viewing of pornography, or it may include such extreme behaviors as exhibitionism or rape. If you think you might be experiencing a sexual addiction, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today.

Meet the specialists

I'm a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist helping men and women find healing and recovery for sexual compulsivity and intimate betrayal. I'm trained through IITAP and have specialized in sex and porn addiction since 2014. I'm also trained through APSATS as a Certified Clinical Partner Specialist Candidate and work with partners from the Multi-dimensional Partner Trauma Model. I am sex positive and believe that sexual compulsivity hinders healthy sexual expression. My goal is to help people connect authentically with themselves and their partner(s), both sexually and non-sexually. Sex addiction is not about sex. It's a compulsive way of dealing with life, in the same way many use substances, gambling, food, etc. I help people discover healthier ways to cope. Partners of sex addicts often experience symptoms of PTSD after discovering their partner's infidelity. I help partners find safety and navigate the path to healing from betrayal, whether they stay in the relationship or not.

— Heather Seguin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Upland, CA
 

We have helped many individuals survive the consequences of sex addiction. We know that with hard work and a commitment many find peace from the noise and pain that sex addiction creates. At Novus, our expert therapists believe everyone can overcome sex addiction. We have seen it happen. At Novus, we see sex addiction as the compulsive use of sex to deal with painful feelings and moods. The behavior leaves the person feeling guilty and shameful. It creates more problems in the person’s life. To deal with these problems and the emotional pain the person turns back to sex to find some escape. The sex addiction cycle continues. Even the loss of their marriage, relationship or job does not mean they will stop. They look to sex as the solution. Like the drug addict who knows the drug will end his pain, so does the sex addict. The problems of sex addiction are real and painful. Often, the person using compulsive sex gains little long-term satisfaction from the behavior. They feel lonely, depressed and out of control, which in turn leads them back to the addictive sex to “feel better.”

— Duane Osterlind, LMFT, CSAT, Marriage & Family Therapist in Long Beach, CA

Many of my clients struggle with porn use, mismatched desire or low desire. I take a non-pathologizing approach to sexual issues and pride myself on being sex positive. Educating people on sex topics and using techniques to adjust behaviors and perspectives allows them to be freed from what is holding them back in order to have better sexual experiences.

— Corrin Voeller, Marriage & Family Therapist in St. Louis Park, MN
 

One of my main "niches" as a therapist is working with men who struggle with sex and pornography addictions. It's an area of life that brings with it a lot of shame and embarrassment. It is very often one of the underlying problems that leads to infidelity and just damages relationships. It is something that can be healed and relationships repaired when people can be brutally honest with themselves. When treated with kindness and compassion, people can overcome these problems.

— Gordon Brewer, Counselor in Kingsport, TN

If you don't find the sexual addiction model effective -- or have not had success with 12-step programs -- I can help you explore the feelings and core beliefs driving your out-of-control sexual behavior, and help you develop strategies to continue gaining fulfillment from your sexual behaviors (provided they are not harmful) without the compulsivity.

— Jeffrey Kishner, Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY
 

Sometimes the pleasure sex brings and our need for connection through sex can lead to out-of-control behaviors that threaten not just the individual with the problem, but their close relationships, family life, and work life. I work closely with my clients to develop a plan to control these behaviors and to understand where they come from. The combination of emotional working through, personal insight and behavioral strategy is the best way forward toward a healthier sexual life.

— Eric Larsen, Licensed Professional Counselor in MONTCLAIR, NJ

If you don't find the sexual addiction model effective -- or have not had success with 12-step programs -- I can help you explore the feelings and core beliefs driving your out-of-control sexual behavior, and help you develop strategies to continue gaining fulfillment from your sexual behaviors (provided they are not harmful) without the compulsivity.

— Jeffrey Kishner, Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY
 

I help people struggling with out-of-control sexual behavior. For some, abstinence or having "bottom-line" behaviors (in line with 12 step groups) works for them. For others, the addiction model is not helpful, and I work with them to explore the feelings and core beliefs that are driving their behaviors, and to develop strategies to be able to have satisfying and non-compulsive sexual relationships with themselves and others.

— Jeffrey Kishner, Mental Health Counselor in New York, NY

Behavioral: Excessive porn use Frequent masturbation Making explicit or obscene phone calls to others Extramarital affairs Regular use of escorts or prostitutes Frequent attendance to strip clubs Engaging in cybersex or phone sex Purchasing and hiding sexually explicit content from family and friends Displaying sexually offensive behaviors to others / engaging in sexual harassment Partaking in risky sexual behaviors Having anonymous sex with others Cognitive: Preoccupation with thoughts that are sexual in nature Obsession with sexual activity Inept decision-making Poor impulse control Euphoria when anticipating or engaging in sexual activity Psychosocial: Feelings of guilt or shame following sexual encounters Depressed mood Mood swings

— Kelifern Pomeranz, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Menlo Park, CA
 

I have extensive training working with men and women struggling with compulsive sexual behavior (Sex Addiction) or repeated unhealthy patterns around relationships (Love Addiction). This may show up in many forms, including porn, infidelity, prostitution or isolation.

— Jenn Kennedy, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Barbara, CA