Compulsive Sexual Behaviour 

Previously known as “sex addiction”, the more accurate term “compulsive sexual behaviour” is used to describe the behaviour of a person who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex or a particular sexual behaviour. Sex and the thoughts of sex can dominate person’s thinking. This can impact on their work and can make it difficult to engage in healthy relationships.

The clinical term that has been agreed by ICD-11 (International Classification of Disease) is Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder. Its classification is under Impulse Control Disorder, rather than “addiction”. The clinical criteria to meet the diagnosis for the disorder are very specific: it is rare for people to meet the disorder. Therefore, most people who struggle with their sexual behaviours do not suffer from a disorder, but they struggle with a sexual health behaviour problem.

Compulsive sexual behaviour can be associated with risk-taking behaviours for themselves and others which can put both parties at risk of emotional and physical injury.

Other examples of manifestations of compulsive sexual behaviour can include (but are not limited to):-

  • Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)
  • Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
  • Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
  • Problematic use of pornography
  • Unsafe sex

If you feel that any of these traits apply or seem familiar to you or your partner, then sex therapy can help you or your partner to control these compulsive behaviours.

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The following articles, featuring our Director Krystal Woodbridge, may be of help:-

Take a Break Magazine – Is Porn Ruining Your Love Life?

Daily Mail – Women and Porn