Sex & Love Addiction

Although most people consider harmful substances such as alcohol or drugs when they think of addiction, the reality is that it is possible to become addicted to almost anything. Addiction is characterised by the inability to abstain from a particular substance or activity even when doing so has a negative impact on a person’s life. It is possible, therefore, for individuals to be addicted to things such as love or sex; in fact, this is a growing problem for many throughout the UK.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is described as any out-of-control sexual activity. Sex addiction has been the butt of many jokes over the years, with some people believing that it is just something that others use as an excuse for having an affair or for wanting to have a lot of sex. However, for those affected, this is a very real problem and one that can have devastating consequences.

A sex addiction can involve sex with a partner, masturbation, visiting prostitutes, watching pornography, or using sex chat lines. While these activities are harmless when done in moderation, those with a sex addiction will become obsessed to the point where this activity affects everyday life. Sex addictions can have a devastating impact on a person’s relationships, work life, and finances.

Sex addiction is one of the most difficult addictions for partners of those affected to cope with. It is often seen as the ultimate betrayal by spouses who feel hurt by the fact that their partner could have such an addiction without them knowing.

Love Addiction

A love addiction is characterised by a need to feel loved. Those affected may become obsessed with the idea of being in love and will go to extraordinary lengths to please their partners, even if it causes negative consequences in their personal life.

Love addiction is an attachment disorder in which the sufferer becomes dependent on the attention of a romantic partner. Those affected often suffer from low self-esteem and believe that they are worthless if they are not in a relationship.

Characteristics of a Sex Addict

Sex addicts tend to display certain characteristics, which can include:

  • Engaging with multiple sexual partners
  • Needing more sexual activity to feel the same pleasure
  • Searching for more intense sexual activity to achieve the desired level of pleasure
  • Engaging in risky sexual behaviour
  • Trying to stop but being unable to
  • Neglecting other responsibilities in favour of sexual activity
  • Constantly thinking about sex
  • Being unable to be intimate with a partner because it does not produce the desired level of pleasure
  • Continuing to engage in sexual activity despite it causing problems at home or

Characteristics of a Love Addict

A person with a love addiction may display the following characteristics:

  • Feeling a constant need to be in a relationship and becoming depressed when not
  • Feeling of being in love with a partner after a very short period
  • Constantly moving from one partner to another in search of love
  • Never feeling satisfied with a relationship
  • Becoming overly clingy with a partner
  • Staying in an abusive relationship for the sake of being in a relationship
  • Suffering from severe depression after breaking up with a partner
  • Making personal sacrifices in order to please a partner
  • Becoming obsessed with a partner and neglecting other people because of the relationship
  • Being jealous when a partner talks to, or spends time with, other people.

Causes of a Sex or Love Addiction

As with all addictions, sex and love addictions can affect anyone. Nevertheless, some people are more predisposed to developing an addiction than others are. Certain risk factors can mean a person is more likely, but not certain, to develop an addiction. Below are a few examples:

  • Family history – those with a family history of sex or love addiction will be more likely to develop one themselves. Sex and love addictions can be learned behaviours, and if a child is brought up in a home where one partner is a love addict, that child may go on to believe that this behaviour is normal.
  • Hormones – Some people have more hormones than others, which can affect their sex drive. Those with high levels of sex hormones may seek sexual gratification more often than others and they may be compelled to engage in excess sexual activity.
  • Traumatic experiences – those who have had bad experiences in childhood may be more prone to developing a love addiction. Emotional or sexual abuse in early life can contribute to the development of both love and sex addictions.
  • Previous bad relationship – individuals that have experienced a bad relationship in the past may feel unworthy or desperate to be loved. These people may feel rejected and, as such, will become obsessed with the idea of finding someone to love them.

Treating Sex and Love Addiction

At Liberty House Clinic, we understand that the cause of a sex or love addiction can be quite complex. However, we also know that it is necessary to get to the root of the issue and deal with this because that is the most effective way for the patient to move forward.

We have a team of counsellors, therapists and psychiatrists with expertise in sex and love addictions who can help you to overcome your problem so that you can move forward to live a healthy and fulfilling life without being controlled by your compulsive behaviours.

We use a variety of treatments, including cognitive behavioural therapy and holistic approaches designed to ensure that every patient has the tools required to overcome his or her addiction. For more information on how Liberty House Clinic can help you, contact us today.

Don't waste another day
© Liberty House | Part of UKAT
CQC Report
Corona Virus SymbolOur clients’ health remains a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, so our doors remain open throughout lockdown for anyone that needs support. Click here to read our safety guidelines.