Are They Addictive?

As of yet, there is little consensus among sexologists as to whether or not sex addiction is a real disease. Previous versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) included references to sexual addiction, but these were later removed. The DSM IV does not include sexual addiction as a disorder but does provide a blanket diagnosis for Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified. One of the listed symptoms is “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used,” a problem experienced by a number of self-proclaimed sex addicts.

Whether or not it qualifies as a diagnosable mental disorder, sexual addictions and compulsions affect millions of people. The condition may strictly involve sex with other people but also is seen in compulsive use of pornography and other adult materials. In the age of virtual sex, there is a growing concern about the potential for sex cam addiction. This addiction occurs when the use of sex cam websites becomes so central to a person’s life that it negatively impacts his or her health, career and relationships. The sufferer may find him or herself using sex cams for hours on end and depleting the savings account to pay for virtual sex encounters. If you suspect that you or someone you know is struggling with a sex addiction, it is important to seek help from a doctor or psychologist. Although this disease is not officially recognized in the DSM, sufferers can still find relief from symptoms by obtaining treatment from a medical professional.