Sexual Addiction

Out-of-control, damaging sexual behaviour, sexually compulsive behaviour and sexual dependencyWhat is sexual addiction?

The term Sexual Addiction is used to describe out-of-control, damaging sexual behaviour. Sexually Compulsive Behaviour and Sexual Dependency are also used to describe the same problem. The sexual addict may engage in or feel compelled to seek out a variety of sexual behaviours and activities despite the negative consequences this may have on their personal life and physical or mental health.

Types of sexual behaviour engaged in by the addict

  • Anonymous Sex
  • Compulsive Masturbation
  • Chat Room/Online Sex
  • Compulsive use of Pornography
  • Dangerous sexual practices
  • Multiple Ongoing Affairs
  • Illegal  Sexual  Practices
  • Internet Sex
  • Partner  Sex
  • Pornography
  • Prostitution
  • Sexual  Obsession  or  Fantasy
  • Sexual  Preoccupation
  • Sexting
  • Telephone  Sex
  • Voyeurism

Signs of sexual addiction

  • A pattern of out of control behaviour
  • Increasing amounts of sexual activity as the current behaviour is no longer sufficient
  • Persistent pursuit of  self-destructive behaviour
  • Sexual obsession and fantasy as a primary coping strategy
  • Severe mood changes around sexual activity
  • Inability to stop despite adverse consequences
  • Severe consequences due to sexual behaviour
  • Neglect of important social, occupational activities because of  sexual behaviour
  • Ongoing desire or effort to limit sexual behaviour                                                                                                

    (Carnes 1991)

Counselling for partners and spouses

One to one counselling provides emotional support and coping strategies in a safe supportive space for men and women affected by their partners sexual behaviour, infidelity, or pornography. It is often very difficult to share with family and friends details of your intimate and closest relationships, and how these disclosures have affected you personally.

How can I get help for a sexual addiction?

Getting help for a sexual addiction is similar to getting help for any other addiction or other personal problem. It begins with the acknowledgement that there is a problem which they are finding difficult to deal with, or you realise that this behaviour is having negative consequences on your life.

The stages of change

Change begins with the “Contemplation Stage“– Thinking about making changes to their life, but not doing anything about it.

The “Preparation Stage” – You are actually looking at how to get help finding out what support options are available and what approaches you may take.

How long do I need to attend counselling?

Counselling can be a short term brief solution focused or brief intervention in a time of crisis or it can be long term personal therapy depending on each clients needs and the level of support they needed at that time.

Please feel free to send me an email with any questions you may have and with a view to setting up your first appointment.


Barbara Kinsella member of the IACjP