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Sexual Addiction and Its Devastating Effects

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The definition of sexual addiction or also known as sex addiction is theoretical model which aim to explain some forms of hyper sexuality whereby it includes their sexual urges, attitudes or thoughts. Usually, one will be appear as extreme in sexual activity in terms of the frequency or feel out one’s control.

However, hyper sexuality is often to be correlated with addictive or obsessive personalities, escapism, psychological disorders, low self-esteem, self-destructive behaviour, lowered sexual inhibitions and behavioural conditioning. Addiction is a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance. The term has been partially replaced by the word dependence for substance abuse. Addiction has been extended, however, to include mood-altering behaviours or activities.

“It is estimated that three to six percent of the general U.S. population suffers from some form of addictive sexual behaviour with self or others. However, the current lack of a universally recognizable clinical diagnosis which combined with a dearth of publicly funded research and ongoing cultural shame and stigmas regarding sexual disorders in general is more likely prevent many more individuals from identifying the problem and seeking help” (Weiss, R. 2012)

Apart from that, in the absence of sexual acts or orgasm, sex addicts tend to abuse their sexual fantasies which most likely to create the intense, insensibility feelings that temporarily lead to emotional detachment and disconnection from life stressors. Research suggests that these feelings, often described as being in “the bubble” or “a trance,” are the result of the neurochemical process induced by a fantasy-based release of adrenaline, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, not dissimilar to a “fight or flight” response (Weiss, R. 2012)

Times after time, the hidden fantasies, rituals and acts of the sexually addicted person can lead to a double life of lies to self and others, manipulation, splitting, rationalization and denial (Weiss, R. 2012). In an order to fulfil the unmet emotional needs, sex addicts abused the sexual fantasy and sexual acts by using these defences for the sake of escaping their core feelings of low self-worth, fears of abandonment and depression

Furthermore, usually most of the sex addicts tend to commits sex crime such as rape, sexual harassment, or sexual abuse. It is happened due to the uncontrolled sex drive of a person and their curiosity towards experiencing in by themselves is getting higher. According to the reports and statistics issued by the Royal Malaysian Police, a total 11,493 cases of reported rapes took place over the period of 7 years from 2000 to 2006, In the year 2000, a total of 1,217 rape cases were reported. Two years later, the reported cases increased to a total of 1,431. Then in the year 2005, 1,895 new cases of rapes were reported. In 2006, a whopping 2,435 rape cases have been reported, an increase of about 540 cases in comparison to the previous year (Vigneswaran Veeramuthu, 2008; Royal Malaysian Police (RMP), 2006). The purpose of this research paper have been made is to show that how sexual addictions could transform us into a silent killer to ourselves, community, religion, and country. The research paper discusses the characteristics of sexual addicts, this assignment also shows that the consequences and effects of sexual addiction in terms of health, relationship, and community to a person, individuals and other peoples as well. By the same token, in this paper will discuss more on how to overcome the problems of being sexual addicts before it turns critically that could harm their health, and also endanger other people that closed to them, family and close persons.

The purpose of this study is to gain the knowledge and to increase the awareness of people in our community which is one of the main causes of social problems nowadays. This research paper discusses a study of sexual addicts which involved data analysis that we have collected through various sources. Internets, Books, and Journals are the main sources that we used to collect all the information to combine and gather them to create this research paper. From this paper, it shows the facts about the sexual addicts characteristics and their activities as well as the consequences of being critically sexual addicts.

In like manner, the reasons why we chose this topic because, we as team had seen that this mental problem is getting serious and viral among teenagers nowadays. It is a silent killer in our community and it will affect the future of our country because today’s teenager is our leader in future. Do we need a sexual addict to be our future leader that is going to run our country by their vision? Absolutely the answer is no, then we should start from now to overcome this problems before it is too late to be cure. We are hoping that all the information that we had gathered could help to alert self-awareness to everyone who read it.

Sexual addiction is not a new issue in the society but somehow most people did not notice that sexual addictions could endanger us in so many ways in terms of one selves, health and community. What could it be the causes which lead them to be a sexual addicts? Or what drives them to be sexually addicted instead of living a normal life? Is there any existence of other party which influenced or forced to be addicted to sex?

From this study, we would like to discover of what is the age’s range usually a person being sexually addicted? When the sex addictions were takes place during the childhood, adolescence or adulthood? We also wander to know of how could a sex being so addictive to them? How they able to create their own world of sexual imaginations and fantasies constantly to satisfy their sexual needs? Who is inclined to be a sexual addict? What are their characteristics?

Moreover, didn’t they ever think of any health problems could occur by satisfying their sexual needs of a sex addicts? What are the effects of sexual addiction? How it will affect their health? Where can they refer to emphasize or enhance their sexual fantasies? Is there any medical approach that most likely can cure them or lessen their addictions towards sex?

Does their family or any close relatives knows about their addictions? If the family knows about it, how the situation is being handled? Do they accept it positively, negatively, or just ignore it? If they negatively accept it, what are solutions that take place as a sex addict to still maintain and satisfy their sexual needs from being stop forcedly by their families? Is there any places that they can gather, share or exchange thoughts among the people whom share the same interest like them?

Exclusive of that, didn’t they concern about how public would accept them if they had done a sex crime for the sake of satisfying their sexual needs? What are their routines day-to-day other than fulfil their sexual needs? Do they have friends to hang out with? Or any hobbies that they do during their leisure times beside sexually related activities? Do their friends have the same interest like them?

The most important objectives of this research are to seek out the details of one of the main cause that leads our social problems and sexual crimes among the Malaysia community today. It happened not only in Malaysia but all over the world as well. We would like dig out all the reasons and factors that cause them to be a sexual addicts.

In distinction to the objectives have been said, this study had been conducted in order to identify the factors or causes that affect these people to be incline towards sex. There must be many causes which leading them or derives them towards sexually addicted and always satisfy their craving needs of sex. But somehow, it is quite difficult for us to identify who is the sex addict in our society. Hence, through this research, it is conducted to identify who is inclined to be a sexual addict and what are their symptoms or characteristics? What could it be the reasons behind all of this that makes them love to do it?

Along with that, this study is conducted to seek out what are the effect of sexual addiction in terms of health and family. By identifying the effects, the sexual addicts will understand more about the risk of it, if he or she still continues the bad sex habit. In the same time, it would give self-awareness to them because it harms their health either in short term or long term period.

Besides that, this study is conducted to identify the ways or solutions to overcome the sexual addiction by using medical or psychotherapy. The unhealthy lifestyles that constantly practice will consequently give the bad effect to their health and body. What could harm them and what kind of diseases that they could expose themselves into.

In addition to the above objectives, based on this study, we would to seek out on how the people’s perceptions and reactions about a person who is sexually addicted. Is it people find it safe to be living together with a sexually addicted person in a community and what are their reactions once they know the person next to their house is a sex addict.

Sexual addiction is one of the social problems in Malaysia today that are needed to draw the attention of it. In order to reduce this social problems from become critical, the peoples or the society itself needs to concern and work it out together regardless of their races, religions or colour skin. It would be totally useless if only depending on one person. Hence, all of us need to be wide awake and aware of how serious the problems it is. If the problems still prolonged and the people neglect to take any action, only nightmares are the promises in the future.

Firstly, this study is significant to the parents, mothers and fathers out there. They should have the value of concern towards their children. Youngsters are the most fragile as they can be influenced easily. As parents, what they should do is being concerns and keeps update of what their children is doing in order to prevent them from doing immorally activities that could harm either in a psychologically or physically way. As their future is based on how the parents nurture starts from age of a baby.

Besides parents, the law enforcer as well as the government needs to stress out these problems as it will affect the nation in the future. Our culture is going to be ruin because of the yellow culture will affect the moral of our youth today that is going to be a leader in future.

Apart from that, this study is significant to the one itself or the individual itself as a self-awareness to ourselves because only ourselves can determine which choice we want to made, so the answer is in you to decide. As we know how the consequences could it be, the higher our self-awareness to fight this problem from becoming critically unsolved. The probability for people to incline to the sexual addictions most likely to be decrease after they knows the bad impacts to our health, body, social life and family. That is why, it is significant to us.

By understand the effects of sexual addiction, people able to influence and advise their friends or relatives to overcome the sex-addicted problem. Because this problem as we know it is a silent killer, it only start from watching pornography in the internet and it will develop by itself without a person notice that the sexual crave had gain control in their mind. Hence, this the right time what friends must to do which to need to help and influence the sex addicts to get back in a right path and living a healthy life.

Definition of Sexual Addiction
According to the DSM-IV, sexual addiction is consider as one of the mental disorder which had been classified under sexual disorder that also known as paraphilia; any abnormal sexual behaviour; sexual anomaly or deviation. (Collins, 2009) Concepts of Paraphillia

The paraphilias are characterized by recurrent, intense sexual urges, fantasies, or behaviours that involve unusual objects, activities, or situations that occur over a period of at least six months and cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. For some individuals, paraphilic fantasies or stimuli are obligatory for erotic arousal and are always included in sexual activity; in other cases, the paraphilic preferences occur only episodically, while at other times the person is able to function sexually without paraphilic fantasies or stimuli. In contrast to the Dysfunctions, which are associated with decreased sexual functioning, the Paraphilias are commonly associated with increased sexual activity, often with compulsive and/or impulsive features. Paraphilic sexual activity revolves around fantasies, urges, or behaviours that are considered unusual or frankly deviant by society and generally involve (1) nonhuman objects or animals; (2) humiliation or suffering of the patient or partner, or (3) non-consenting persons, including children. Even when such urges or fantasies are not acted upon, the level of distress may be sufficient to warrant a diagnosis; far more commonly, paraphiliacs have acted upon their desires many times before a diagnosis is made (Morrison, 1995, p. 360). Addictive Sexual Disorders

The range of fantasies, urges, and behaviours which can be considered addictive sexual disorders may be appreciated by reviewing the ten categories developed by Carnes (1991):

Fantasy Sex| Items focused on sexual fantasy life and consequences due to obsession. Themes include denial, delusion, and problems due to preoccupation.| Seductive Role Sex| Items focused on seductive behaviour for conquest. Multiple relationships, affairs, and unsuccessful serial relationships.| Anonymous Sex| Engaging in sex with anonymous partners, having one-night stands.| Paying for Sex| Paying prostitutes for sex, paying for sexually explicit phone calls.| Trading Sex| Receiving money or drugs for sex or using sex as a business. Highly correlated were swapping partners and using nudist clubs to find sex partners.| Voyeuristic Sex| Items focused on forms of visual sex, including pornography, window peeping, and secret observation. Highly correlated with excessive masturbation, even to the point of injury.| Exhibitionist Sex| Exposing oneself in public places or from the home or car; wearing clothes designed to expose.| Intrusive Sex| Touching others without permission, using position or power (e.g. professional, religious) to sexually exploit another person; rape.| Pain Exchange| Causing or receiving pain to enhance sexual pleasure. Use of dramatic roles, sexual aids, and animals were common themes. Such as, sexual sadism and sexual masochism| Exploitive Sex| Use of force or partner vulnerability to gain sexual access.| Table 1: Patterns and Themes of Sexual Addiction

Five of Carnes’ categories can be readily identified in the DSM-IV as specific paraphilias. These include voyeuristic sex, exhibitionistic sex, pain exchange (sexual sadism, sexual masochism), as well as some types of intrusive sex (frotteurism), and exploitive sex (pedophilia). Four of the remaining categories may be correlated with paraphilias: fantasy sex may be associated with paraphilic urges not acted upon, anonymous sex may be used to permit expression of paraphilic behavior with decreased risk of consequences, and paying for sex or trading sex are means by which a partner who may permit paraphilic activity may be purchased.

Impulse-Control Disorders is another DSM-IV category which may include sexual behaviours. Some authors have considered compulsive sexual behaviour to be essentially an impulse control disorder (e.g., Barth and Kinder (1987)). In our opinion, some cases of sexual excess represent an impulse-control disorder, whereas most cases are attributable to other DSM diagnoses which embrace the predominant compulsive features associated with sexual acting out. The essential feature of Impulse-Control Disorders is the failure to resist an impulse, drive, or temptation to perform an act that is harmful to the person or to others. The individual feels an increasing sense of tension or arousal before committing the act and then experiences pleasure, gratification, or relief associated with the activity. Following the sexual acting out, there may or may not be regret, self-reproach, or guilt.

Previous Research
Firstly, according to the team of psychologists, psychiatrists, and other therapists and led by Prof. Rory Reid of UCLA, they have proposed a new set of criteria to determine if someone is a sex addict. Mainly, the individual is not able to stop or reduce their sexual behaviours even though they cause “personal distress” and interfere with relationship or work. The individual would also have a pattern of using sexual activity in response to depression, stress or other unpleasant moods such as recurring fantasies, urges or behaviours would last for six months or longer but aren’t attributable to some other cause like substance abuse or bipolar disorder. By using the methodology of clinical method, they have tested their criteria on 207 patients around the U.S and found they accurately identified those with hypersexual disorder 88% of the time. Just as importantly, they were able to accurately rule out the disorder 93% of the time. Thus, they indicate their methods as “a good job” of telling the difference between sex addict and patients with other conditions.

Secondly, in the complex of sexual addiction and sexually compulsive behaviours, experts now believe people who suffer from these conditions may have as an underlying cause a fear of intimate relationships and a deep insecurity, compared to others without this disorder. A research conducted by the New Zealand’s Massey University which using the methodology of survey method has focused on the anonymity by using a web-based series of questions to learn about the sexual habits of more than 600 people. Hence, the finding of the study group results at 407 admitted to having a sexual addiction and 214 said they did not have the behaviour. The respondents who said they did have a sexual addiction showed stronger feelings of insecurity toward forming close relationships with others and viewed close personal relationships as a source of anxiety or something to be avoided. However, the other respondents who did not have a sexual addiction said they did not have an aversion to close personal relationships and felt they could trust their partners.

Thirdly, a research carried by Robert Weist, defined sex addiction as a process addiction (as opposed to substance addictions such as drugs and alcohol), similar to gambling or compulsive spending. As such, sexual addicts typically spend a much greater amount of time engaged in the pursuit of sex and romance (the process) than in the sexual act itself. They are addicted to the neurochemical and dissociative high produced by their intense sexual fantasy life and ritualistic behaviour which is their addiction. To identified the findings of this research, they are using the clinical method which carries towards 73 patient at the University of California – Los Angeles, they results at 56% of patients are identified as hypersexual disorder.

Next, Dr. Louise James from the Laboratory of California School said that sexual addiction is parallel. In order for the sexual addict to feel normal he/she will substitute a sick relationship to an event or process for a healthy relationship with others. The addict’s relationship with a mood altering experience becomes central to their life. They will be willing to jeopardize everything that they love. Under the methodology of clinical method, Dr. Louise James has tested few criteria on 64 patients which with the hypersexual disorder at that time. The findings stated that sexual addicts are continually in the search, the hunt, the suspense heightened by the unusual, forbidden, illicit which are intoxicating to the addict. These are the conquest of the hustler, the score of the voyeur or rapist or the temptation of breaking the taboo of sex with one’s child. In essence, it is courtship gone awry.

Other than that, a research carried out by Sir Patrick Carnes identify the three building blocks of sexual addiction that working together in a vicious cycle. For a sex addict, fantasy is created by a need to satisfy deep emotional and spiritual longings. At the same time, the addict perceives sex as a solution to the need for love, touch, nurture and affirmation. Pornography escalates the intensity of the fantasy to higher levels of lust. Masturbation is the physical expression of that lust and perhaps the only touching addict receives. Fantasy, pornography and masturbation constitute a vicious cycle. Fantasy is escalated by pornography. Pornography stimulates lust, lust expresses itself in masturbation. These are also the findings that explained the survey method that being carried out which involved the patient from the medical psychology laboratory. Another research conducted by Dr. Amare Hopkins identify that the compulsive or addictive sexual behaviour may take various forms, including what many regard as “normal” heterosexual behaviour. The research are carried out by using the clinical method which under the participation of her student and the findings indicates that the type of sexual activity and even the frequency or number of partners are not of great significance in diagnosing this problem.

Some individuals have a naturally stronger sex drive than others, and the range of human sexual activity is so broad that it is difficult to define “normal” sexual behaviour. What is significant is a pattern of self-destructive or high risk sexual behaviour that is unfulfilling and that a person is unable to stop. Lastly, a research carried by Prof. Jared Nothleem mentioned that the term “addiction” has become a popular metaphor to describe any form of self-destructive behaviour that one is unable to stop despite known and predictable adverse consequences. For some people, sexual behaviour fits that description.

It involves frequent self-destructive or high risk activity that is not emotionally fulfilling, that one is ashamed of, and that one is unable to stop despite it causing repeated problems in the areas of marriage, social relationships, health, employment, finances, or the law. By using the survey method, it is stated that the majority which 70% of people in different background are heterosexual other than 30% of them are tend to be positive in this matter. The findings of the research are when pleasure enters in the human brain are stimulated; chemicals called endorphins are released into the blood stream. Endorphins are believed to be associated with the mood changes that follow sexual release. Any chemical that causes mood changes can be addictive, with repeated exposure altering brain chemistry to the point that more of the chemical is “required” in order to feel “normal.”

RQ1: What are the causes of Sexual addiction?
RQ2: How sexual addiction affects the health, community and social life?
Sexual addiction and compulsive sexual thoughts and behavior lead to increasingly crucial consequences. It can affect us both in the mind of the addict and in his or her life. These consequences can include profound depression which also may lead to some suicidal or murder cases. Besides that, it also will affect us in terms of chronic low self-esteem, shame, self-hatred, hopelessness, despair, helplessness, intense anxiety, loneliness, moral conflict, contradictions between ethical values and behaviors, fear of abandonment, spiritual bankruptcy, distorted thinking, remorse, and self-deceit. Somehow, there are few cases whereby the sex addicts will engage in multiple behaviors with the risk of addiction. For instance, combining drinking and drug use or gambling with their sexual behaviors to help ease the pain of their emotional struggles. Research shows that 70 to 75 percent of sexual addicts report having had suicidal thoughts related to their sexual behaviour patterns. Usually, sex addicts suffer from broken and distant relationships. Forty percent of sex addicts report severe marital and other relationship problems, and sexual activities outside their primary relationship resulted in severe stress to the relationship and loss of self-esteem for both partners.

The sex addict is frequently absent (physically and/or emotionally), resulting in a lack of parental role modelling. Pressure is placed on the spouse to do which need the spouse to act as partner and primary parent. Spouses of sex addicts can create their own addictions and compulsions toward drugs, and foods as example that may lead to psychosomatic problems, depression, and other emotional difficulties. HIV infection, genital herpes, HPV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are few health risks that will affect the sex addicts to pleasure their sexual lust. Sex addicts have a highly increased risk of contracting an STD and of passing it along to unknowing spouses or loved ones. Apart from that, Genital injury also can result from sexual acting out. Furthermore, addictive sadomasochistic sex can cause physical damage to the body as the partner feels pleasure when having sexual intercourse with physical abuse. In the meantime, automobile accidents may occur due to the driver’s attention strays from the road as he sexual texting, downloading porn, or sexually cruising other drivers.

Some sex addicts go to jail, lose their jobs, get sued, or have other financial and legal consequences because of their compulsive sexual behavior. Financial difficulties from the purchase of porn, use of prostitutes, and travel for the purpose of sexual hook-ups and related activities can tax the addict’s financial resources and those of his or her family, as do the expenses of legal representation in divorce cases. Sixty percent of sex addicts report that they have faced financial difficulties, 58% report having engaged in some form of illegal activity, and 83% of sex addicts also had concurrent addictions such as alcoholism, marijuana or other drug abuses, eating disorders, and compulsive gambling. Many sex addicts are also addicted to alcohol and other drugs. When multiple addictions coexist, untreated sex addiction complicates recovery from chemical dependency and makes relapse to drug use more likely. Serious legal consequences of sexual addiction can result if the sex addict’s behaviour escalates into sexual offenses such as voyeurism, exhibitionism, or inappropriate touching and/or the use of child porn which also can be categorized as paedophiles. In addition, Sexual harassment in the workplace can be part of a sex addict’s repertoire, and may result in legal difficulties. RQ3: What are the solutions to overcome the Sexual addiction in the society?

Most sex addicts live in denial of their addiction, and treating an addiction is dependent on the person accepting and admitting that he or she has a problem. It is very difficult to make them admit that they are having problems with their addition. However, there are some few cases which take a significant event to force the addict to admit his or her problem. For example of the events is the loss of a job, the break-up of a marriage, an arrestment by the authority, or health crisis. So, to curb these problems became viral and worst, we need to come out with a few solutions or treatments. Treatment of sexual addiction focuses on controlling the addictive behaviour and helping the person develop a healthy sexuality. Treatment includes education about healthy sexuality, individual counselling, and marital and/or family therapy. The addicts need look for recovery groups.

It is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous is a recovery program designed to bring together people suffering through similar situations and find comfort at the meetings. You can find the number to support groups in your local phone book or online by typing “Sex Addict Anonymous meeting” followed by your city and state in the search bar of your browser or at a search engine such as Google. Then, the addicts need to discipline their selves to attend the meeting weekly. Part of recovery depends on continuously going to meetings and sharing with others your thoughts and situation. From there, the sex addicts could slightly ease their addiction because they have to busy with some sort of activities and not only think about how pleasure their addiction. As example, Sexual Addicts Anonymous (SAA) meetings can usually be found in different parts of a city, making it easier for the addicts to attend regardless of where you are. SAA meetings are nonthreatening environments and a great way to meet people who understand what had the sex addicts experiencing. Moreover, another great way of treatment is we need to be sincere with our friends and family by Inform to them.

It might looks quite difficult at first but the result your loved ones can be very supportive if they are aware you are suffering from sexual addiction. The sex addicts may share some basic knowledge and gives them a chance to learn how to be as supportive as possible. Through this way, their loved ones could understand what the addiction is suffered by him and how it affects the person. If you find out, sharing your dark secret with unknown person is safer; the addict could find a therapist or psychologist. Individual counselling is a beneficial way to get the help you need and receive undivided attention. A therapist will give you options for best controlling your addiction while continuing to lead a healthy life. If necessary, he or she may prescribe an antidepressant such as Prozac or Anafranil, which are used to help those with obsessive-compulsive disorders.


[ 1 ]. Laaser, Dr. Mark R. (January 2009) “Healing the Wound of Sexual Addiction” [ 2 ]. Prof. Rory Reid, “Sex Addiction Should Be Classified as Mental Health Disorder” (2000) [ 3 ]. Hazel Trego, “Sexual Addiction May Be Rooted In Fear of Intimacy” (1998) [ 4 ]. Robert Weiss, LCSW “Hypersexuality Today” (2007)

[ 5 ]. Dr. Louise James, “Sex Addiction: The Brief Documentary” (2000) [ 6 ]. Sir Patrick Carnes, “Recovery From The Sexual Addiction” (2004) [ 7 ]. Dr. Amare Hopkins, “Out Of The Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction” (2001) [ 8 ]. Prof. Jared Northleem, “Journal: Sexual Addiction Matters” (2000)

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