What Causes Sexual Addiction?

Until recently, sexual addiction was a poorly understood problem. Although a lot more is known about it these days, the things that actual cause it still remain largely shrouded in mystery. However, there are several factors that may play roles in causing an addiction to sex. By identifying and understanding these factors, diagnosing and resolving the problem is a lot easier. If you think you or a loved one is suffering from a sex addiction, consider the points below. Do they apply? If so, there’s a very good chance that a sexual addiction exists.
A Link Between Sex Addiction and Substance Abuse
According to the limited amount of research that’s been performed about sex addiction, a significant number of diagnosed sex addicts come from families with histories of substance abuse. In some cases, the sex addict may have a history of substance abuse himself. However, a person appears to be at increased risk of sex addiction when his family of origin has struggled with addictions to drugs and alcohol. As rare as sexual addiction is though, it’s clear that substance abuse does not actually cause the problem.
Distant, Uncaring Parents May Lead to Sex Addiction
People who suffer from sex addiction often report that their parents were distant and uncaring. It could be that because sex addicts receive little or no nurturing as children, they are more susceptible to becoming addicted to the excitement and rush of sex. These characteristics still aren’t understood very well, however, so it is important to note that sex addicts can also come from families that are very caring and involved.
Brain Chemistry could be to Blame
In many cases, issues regarding brain chemistry may be to blame for sexual addiction. With this theory, a sex addict derives the same satisfaction from sex as a drug addict does with drugs or an alcoholic does with alcohol. Sexual activity causes an addict’s brain to release chemicals that make such activity feel rewarding and desirable. Like an addiction to drugs or alcohol, however, an addict often has to get more and more in order to be satisfied. In this way, sexual addiction can be a progressive illness. What begins as a single one-night stand can turn into a situation in which a person is having anonymous sex nearly every night of the week.
A Way to Avoid Unpleasant Feelings
Finally, there’s a lot of evidence that suggests that people develop sex addictions for some of the same reasons that people develop addictions to things like drugs, alcohol and gambling. It’s often used as a way to avoid dealing with unpleasant feelings. In some instances, this type of behavior may also be used to cope with stress in a person’s life. Like drugs and alcohol, sex may be highly pleasurable at first. The compulsive behavior begins when a person desires to experience that pleasure as often as possible.
There continue to be a lot of misconceptions about sexual addiction. As research continues, new ways to cope with the addiction are sure to be developed in the future.

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