Sexual Addiction, Hypersexuality or Compulsive Sexual Behavior (CSB) is described as a dysfunctional preoccupation with sexual fantasy, often in combination with the obsessive pursuit of casual or non-intimate sex, pornography, compulsive masturbation, romantic intensity and objectified partner sex.
Typically, this obsessive pattern of thoughts and behaviors will continue despite attempts made to self-correct problematic sexual behavior that may have negative consequences in life, work and relationships. It is believed that sexual addiction is a dysfunctional adult response to innate personality, character or emotional regulatory deficits, and/or a reaction to early attachment disorders, abuse and trauma.
The diagnosis of sexual addiction is not necessarily made if one engages in fetishistic sexual arousal patterns, even if these behaviors lead to keeping sexual secrets or feel shame or distress.
Sexual addiction is not defined by what or who one finds arousing, but rather by repetitive, obsessive patterns of sexual behavior utilized to stabilize distress and to manage emotional triggers.
Whatever the exact nature of the behavior, untreated compulsive sexual behavior can damage one’s self-esteem, relationships, career, health and other people. With treatment and self-help one can learn to manage compulsive sexual behavior.
Many sex addicts seek treatment for sexual addiction only after suffering significant consequences to their health, career, finances and relationships.