Myths About Sex Addiction

The following are seven myths often associated with sex addiction:

Myth: Someone with good morals wouldnt have this problem.

You are not a sex addict because your morals or ethics differ from the moral beliefs of others. However you may be a sex addict if your sexual behavior often takes you outside of your own system of values and beliefs, leaving you feeling badly about yourself and your relationships. Consistently going outside of your own moral comfort zone in pursuit of a sexual high is one of the warning signs of sexual addiction. Sex addicts dont betray partners and loved ones or violate their own personal belief systems because they are immoral people. Anyone in the compulsive throes of an addiction, whether it is a substance or behavior based problem, can act in ways contrary to their usual character and beliefs.

 Myth: People who have good religious values and truly believe in God dont act out sexually.

No one becomes a sex addict because he or she doesnt have a sufficiently strong religious belief system. You arent a sex addict because you dont have sex according to biblical scripture or because you dont follow one particular religion or another.

 Myth: Only men can be sexually addicted.

About 10-15% of those seeking help with a sexual addiction problem are women. Unfortunately it is more difficult for woman to seek treatment, as it is more shameful for a woman to speak out about having had a lot of sex than it is for a man to do so. Although men pursuing a sexual high are often focused on visual images and erotica, women tend to be looking more for a more relationship-oriented experience. Sexually addicted women in treatment talk about the driving need they felt to find someone to complete them, that their sexual acting out behavior was often driven by paralyzing feelings of loneliness.

 Myth: All gay men are sex addicts.

Sex and love addiction is not just a problem among gay men. These diagnoses are as widespread and problematic among straight men and bi-sexuals as they are among gays. Heterosexual male sex addicts act out in many of the same ways gay men do; they just act out in different settings and chose women rather than men to play with. Gay men go to sex clubs, straight men go to strip clubs; gay men go to bathhouses, straight men hire prostitutes and meet them in motel rooms. There is plenty of acting out among bisexuals and male-identified transsexuals as well. In fact, the similarities between gay and straight sex addicts are much more apparent than their differences.

 Myth: Sex addicts are the same as sex offenders.

Sexual offending is a legal term to describe the actions of someone who sexually forces himself on another person without the other persons knowledge or consent. Rape, child molestation, and sexual battery are forms of violent sexual offending and are treated as felonies. Exhibitionism, voyeurism, and frotteurism (touching others personal body parts without permission) are also considered offenses, though carrying a lesser misdemeanor type of legal charge. While some may cross the line into offending behaviors as a part of the escalation of their addictive problem, the majority of sex addicts do not become sexual offenders.

 Myth: Sex Addiction is a sign of some other mental illness.

Quite often in the recent past, people who demonstrated addictive sexual problems were misdiagnosed and even prescribed medications to treat mental conditions they didnt actually have. Misdiagnosis isnt unreasonable; there are several major mental disorders that do present hyper-sexuality (having a lot of sex) as a possible symptom, Bi-polar disorder being one such example. However sexual addiction often a stand alone problem, with the related problems of depression and anxiety gradually clearing once the sexual acting itself has stopped.

 Myth: Being involved in BDSM, cross-dressing, or a fetish makes you a sex addict.

Healthy human sexual and romantic relationship expression is a naturally diverse. People whose sexual interests and modes of relating are considered to be “atypical” can pursue their form of pleasure and abandon without exhibiting mental health pathology. Although these scenes do attract their share of sex and drug addicts, living an alternative sexual lifestyle does not make you a sex addict.