Sexual addiction is the compulsive use of an object or activity for the purpose of sexual objectification. At this stage within the continuum of problematic sexuality, sex or sexual behaviour(s) can be likened to a drug of choice for the user, who is losing or has lost control over its use. The user’s life is becoming or has become severely dysfunctional as a consequence.
Beginning with Passive Sexual Addiction, the user can be characterized as losing control. There is a greater frequency and longer periods of acting out. The Protective Cycle is having a greater influence over the life of the user and several elements of the Sexual Addiction Cycle are emerging. Anxiety, depressive moods and isolation are becoming more common.
Moving into Compliant Sexual Addiction the user now has only limited control. The Protective Cycle provides greater freedom for acting out and the Addiction Cycle has developed, assuring continued dependency. This leads to greater risk taking, compounding health issues and/or relationship breakdown.
The final stage of Sexual Addiction is Clinical Addiction. This stage is characterized by a complete lost of control. The Pinball Effect within the Addiction Cycle has become common place. Unnatural has become the norm and can be intensified by other addictions and disorders. Multiple health and personal issues arise, including the potential for self-harm and suicidal ideation.