Can A Woman Be A Sex Addict?

A woman cant be a sex addict, right? Wrong.

Women are sex addicted. In fact approximately 20% of those seeking help for sex addiction are females. Perhaps more women would seek treatment if they understood sex addiction and that there is treatment available for the problem.

Sometimes we think of a sex addict as a man sitting in front of a computer addicted to pornography or a male out seeking prostitutes and lying to his partner. We might think of a sex addict as a popular figure in the entertainment industry or a sports figure having compulsive rounds of infidelity and lying about it. Usually these people are men.

But sex addiction in women can show up in those ways as well. Or it can manifest in compulsive behaviors that are disturbing to the womans life, and hard to stop. Addiction is best defined by a behavior that one tries to stop and cant, and that is continued despite negative consequences.

Sex addiction in women can show up in multiple relationships, affairs, compulsive masturbation, excessive flirting, stripping, dancing inappropriately in clubs, being an exhibitionist in public in the way she moves or dresses or flirts or coming on to authority figures or people at work or school. Some female sex addicts will have plastic surgery to appear more sexual, will engage in flashing, compulsive visits to sex clubs and S&m clubs, going into high-risk places and engaging in quick sexual acts with strangers, prostitution, one night stands, cyber sex, or exchanging sex for drugs or other favors.

Many women who are true sex addicts and suffer from these behaviors were sexually abused as children; some say as high as 78% of all female sex addicts. This trauma can lead to a compulsive repetition of the trauma from their childhood in an effort to repair the damage or to reenact the trauma to try to have control over the outcome this time.Female sex addicts may try to cut themselves off completely from sexuality and become sexually anorexic which means to experience no sexual feeling or desire. They convince themselves that this will keep them out of trouble and for many it may work, for a time. But most sex addicts will revert back to addictive patterns eventually, unless they get help.Getting help for sexual compulsions that are out of control is the number one priority. Risks are great that sex addicts will acquire sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, physical violence, loss of marriages, relationships, jobs and important family members. The damage to self esteem is a huge risk unless they identify that they are powerless over those behaviors and no longer blame their partner, or their job, or their past for their addiction, and get the help they need.Female sex addiction can show up as relationship or love addiction - going from one unrealistic or inappropriate relationship to another - hoping for a glimpse of attention or satisfaction - but always feeling unfulfilled.
Sex addiction is not really about sex or love, however. It is a desperate attempt to achieve some type of control over anxiety, fear or an inner drive to repeat a behavior over and over, expecting that this time the results will be different.If you are a woman and think you have a problem, find a therapist who understands sex addiction. Twelve step groups like Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex & Love Anonymous can be found online and should be a priority for women seeking treatment as well.Recovery from sex addiction is a process and takes time. But with a supportive twelve step group and a good therapist, recovery can lead to a full and satisfying life, with rich relationships and a healthy lifestyle.Tammy Nelson PhD is a Sex and Relationship expert and the author of Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together available on her website or on Amazon.com
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