Sexual addiction which is also known as "sexual compulsion" can represent a serious problem. Although there is no special medical description of this problem it is usually referred to as addiction to sexual intercourse. Symptoms of sexual addiction are pretty similar to other kinds of addictions and mental disorders. In most cases it is believed that sexual addiction is a male problem but it is only a misconception. Modern studies in the area of sexual addiction show that it is prevalent in women as well, although forms of sexual addicts activities can be different for women.
Although sexual addiction is a psychological problem sexual addicts activities can take many different forms. But in all cases these kinds of sexual addicts activities are always very obsessive. Even masturbation with sexual addicts can be in forms that can cause an injury. Great part of the sexual addicts activities is of course pornography. Addicts can spend a lot of time and money for that sort of literature and movies. And with the development of the world wide web that problem became even bigger.
As with many other dependencies sexual addiction usually appears in cycles. There are four major steps of this cycle that can be singled out - preoccupation, ritualization, compulsive sexual behavior and despair. At the first step, the addict becomes obsessive with sexual fantasies. At the second step a certain routine in behavior (that leads to a stronger sexual stimulation and actually causes the addiction to sexual behavior) appears. Then comes different sorts of sexual addicts activities and then despair follows. This last stage usually involves a feeling of hopelessness and depression. To escape these feelings addict returns to the first step of the cycle.
At the first level of sexual addiction sexual addicts activities can be pretty simple like episodic binges resulting in sexual intercourse.
In some cases sexual addicts activities include such things as voyeurism and exhibitionism. And that is a more serious level of sexual addiction. And the next level is even more dangerous and has more destructive consequences. In all these cases special treatment is needed otherwise this addiction can destroy the person's life.
There are different methods and techniques that are used for the treatment of sexual addiction. But in most cases they are pretty similar to those used in the treatment of other dependencies like alcohol addiction. Spiritual methods are widely spread these days - there are such organizations as Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous that offer so-called 12-step system for treatment of the problem. The effectiveness of this program is different for different people. In some rare cases even the use of special medications is needed for treatment of sexual addiction. In that case doctors need to differ "sexual addiction" and "sexual anorexia". The symptoms of these two problems are pretty similar but they need different treatment approaches.