Sex addiction is a controversial topic in the addictions field. One of the debates that people have is over whether or not sex can be an addiction at all. The controversy likely originates from a long fought educational battle that was waged to move past the sexual repression of our puritanical roots. Over time, we have tried to teach people that sexuality is not something that is bad. Long battles have been fought to show that masturbation is a normal sexual behavior. We have fought hard to show that being attracted to various genders is just another human expression of attraction. These necessary battles have made the topic of sexual addiction a sensitive one. People who do not think that sex addiction is real misinterpret it as a label that is demonizing normal and healthy sexual behavior. The truth is that the behavior is not healthy or normal at all. It is not just a high sex drive. However sex addiction is not necessarily about the behavior. The behavior itself does become compulsive and often destructive, but there are other underlying issues that are likely the source of this. This is what is significant in sexual addiction therapy. Good sex addiction therapy helps clients understand the origins of their addictive behavior, rather than only focusing on controlling the behavior itself.
When healing occurs, and clients learn how to establish and maintain true intimate relationships, without responding to traumas of the past, evidence shows that the brain itself heals from this.
In order to understand sex addiction, it is best that you understand that it is not insinuating that you are a sex addict simple because you enjoy sex, or you want a lot of sex. There is a criteria for sex addiction that goes beyond healthy sexual behavior. Sex addiction is also not reflective of a moral issue relating to sexual behavior. Sex addiction therapists are not suggesting that pornography viewing or masturbation alone show that you are a sex addict, nor are they saying that these behaviors are destructive for everyone. Instead, sexual addiction is defined when the behavior is distressing and destructive, and is a sign of a larger underlying issue.