Compulsive sexual behavior is a condition in which an individual cannot manage their sexual behavior. Persistent sexual thoughts interfere with their ability to work, maintain relationships, and complete their daily activities.
Some people refer to compulsive sexual behavior as sexual addiction. However, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) published guidelines advising that sex addiction and porn addiction are not diagnosable psychological disorders due to a lack of empirical evidence.
A 2014 review reports that 3–6% of people in the United States experience compulsive sexual behavior.
In this article, we explain compulsive sexual behavior, including its symptoms and treatments, and the controversies around its diagnostic criteria.
What is compulsive sexual behavior?
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) do not classify compulsive sexual behavior as a diagnosable mental health disorder.
Debate continues as to whether the APA should include compulsive sexual behavior in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
The World Health Organization (WHO) included compulsive sexual behavior in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and defined it as an impulse disorder “characterized by a persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior.”
The APA describe addiction as a condition that causes “changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior control.” These changes can be visible on brain scans.
However, the APA define addiction as a dependency on a substance and not an activity.
The following characteristics indicate compulsive sexual behavior:
- repetitive sexual activities that become a central focus of the person’s life, to the point of neglecting health and personal care or other interests, activities, and responsibilities
- numerous unsuccessful efforts to significantly reduce repetitive sexual behavior
- continued repetitive sexual behavior despite adverse consequences or deriving little or no satisfaction from it
- a pattern of failure to control intense sexual impulses or urges and the resulting repetitive sexual behavior over an extended period, for example, 6 months
- persistent behaviors that cause marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, and occupational function, as well as in other important areas
Distress that relates entirely to moral judgments and disapproval of sexual impulses, urges, or behaviors is not sufficient to meet this requirement. ….. Continue Reading……..