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Different forms of Sex Addiction


Sex addiction can take many different forms. The addict may be addicted primarily to one behavior, such as sex with a prostitute, but generally uses a variety of sexual behaviors. For example, consider the salesman who might watch the dancers at a topless bar over a business lunch, have sex with a prostitute from an escort service in his hotel room, return home and have sex with his wife while fantasizing about the sexual massage he got last month, and masturbate while viewing pornographic images on the Internet at one a.m. two days later. The list of the forms of sexual addiction would be exhaustive and increases with the addict's need to find new ways of having sexual thrills.

Here are some of the more usual forms of sexual addiction.

While at some time in their lives some people who are not sex addicts may engage in one or more of the behaviors listed below, it becomes sexual addiction when there is an irresistible need to repeat the behaviors, and habits are developed around them.

  1. Compulsive masturbation—accompanied by mental images or thoughts about sex, or while viewing sexual images on the TV or computer screen or while looking at pornographic publications (or even while looking at non-sexual material, such as underwear or swim wear ads).
  2. Compulsive sex with prostitutes—this can be with female or male prostitutes or transvestites (transvestites are usually men dressed as sexy women) at thier place of business or dispatched to your location or picked up on the street.
  3. Repeated anonymous sex—"one night stands" with people picked up at bars, or sex with strangers in parks or restrooms, or sex in any number of anonymous situations, where sex is the object and no relationship is established with the person.
  4. Frequent phone sex—using the phone to exchange live erotic conversations with another willing participant, while physically stimulating oneself along the lines of what is being discussed, to create the illusion of experiencing these sex acts with the other person (without the effort or risk involved in an actual encounter).
  5. Multiple affairs outside a committed relationship, or serial relationships (one after the other).
  6. Frequent patronizing of topless bars, modeling studios, sexually-oriented tanning salons, adult bookstores or sexual massage establishments.
  7. Habitual exhibitionism—exposing one's private body parts to unsuspecting onlookers, either directly (by removing or opening clothing) or indirectly through skimpy or revealing clothing. An example is the man who sits in his car with his fly unzipped and begins masturbating when someone appealing to him walks by.
  8. Habitual voyeurism--the so-called "peeping Tom," who finds sexual excitement by taking forbidden secret looks into other people's privacy. Examples are: looking into a neighbor's bathroom or bedroom window in hopes of seeing someone disrobed, peering up shorts or skirts on the sly, or looking through "glory holes" in restroom walls (strategically located holes in walls separating urinal or toilet stalls).
    1. Inappropriate sexual touching--touching someone for sexual excitement in a manner that appears accidental, such as "accidentally" brushing up against another person's breast or genitals in a crowd, or manuevering one's leg to rest "innocently" against someone else's leg under a table or in a theatre.
  9. Repeated sexual abuse of children--an adult who engages children in sexual activity, or an older child who engages much younger children sexually.
  10. Episodes of rape--forcing another person to be sexual against his or her will, like the obvious asssaultive rape by a stranger who violently forces sex on a protesting victim. A more subtle form of rape can be perpetrated by someone known to the victim, illustrated by a romantic partner who refuses to accept "no" and continues to insist and manipulate until the other person is coerced into an unwilling compliance (sometimes referred to as "date rape").

Again, people who have engaged in one or more of these sexual behaviors are not automatically sex addicts. To determine if sexual addition is present, a professional evaluation that examines frequency, dependency and other factors would be needed.

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