Out-of-control or compulsive sexual behavior is often called sex addiction, hypersexuality disorder, or simply hypersexuality. It involves too much preoccupation with sexual fantasies or sexual behavior and urges that are hard to control. Although the causes are unclear, the disorder may stem from an imbalance of natural brain chemicals, brain conditions, or changes in brain pathways. The results are distress and deterioration of health, relationships, job, and other aspects of life. But thankfully, there are healthy ways to address this disorder.
Here is how to manage compulsive sexual behavior in 2023.
Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy)
It is one of the primary ways to manage hypersexuality. Here are some common types of psychotherapy:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): It helps in identifying negative and unhealthy behavior and beliefs and substituting them with adaptive coping methods. You learn ways to prevent yourself from easily accessing sexual content and make your behavior less private.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy: It’s a kind of CBT that focuses on the acceptance of urges and thoughts and committing to value-based actions in a committed way.
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy: It helps you become more aware of unconscious behaviors and thoughts, develop motivation with new insights, and resolve conflicts.
These therapies are offered in an individual, couple, family, or group format.
Support and self-help groups can help hypersexual people deal with some of the problems it can cause. Such a group can help you:
- Learn about the disorder.
- Understand the condition and find support.
- Identify coping resources and behaviors and additional treatment options.
- Help prevent a relapse.
These groups may have local in-person meetings, be internet-based, or both. If you wish to join a support group, opt for a reputed one where you feel comfortable.
Coping and Support
- Stick to your treatment: Try to remain consistent in attending scheduled therapy sessions.
- Educate yourself: Learn about hypersexuality to better understand its causes and your therapy.
- Figure out what drives you: Identify feelings, thoughts, and situations that might trigger sexual compulsions in you. This can help in taking appropriate steps to manage them.
- Avoid risky behaviors: Create boundaries to avoid risky situations. For instance, keep away from bars, strip clubs, or other places where you may be tempted to engage in risky sexual behavior and find a new sexual partner. Consider installing software that blocks pornographic sites.
- Receive treatment for mental health conditions or substance abuse: Your stress, anxiety, depression, and addictions can feed off one another. So, it’s best to get treatment/therapy for them.
- Try stress management and relaxation: Practice stress-reduction techniques like tai chi, yoga, or simply meditation.
- Find healthy outlets: If you cope with negative emotions through sexual behavior, find healthy coping alternatives like exercise and non-sexual recreation.
- Remain focused on your goal: It takes time to recover from out-of-control sexual behavior. So, try to stay motivated by remembering your recovery goals and that you can mend damaged friendships, relationships, and financial conditions.
Hypersexuality can show in various problematic sexual behaviors like excessive masturbation, too much consumption of pornography and engaging in intercourse with multiple partners leading to infidelity. Therefore, once you identify that you have compulsive sexual urges, seek therapy right away to improve your quality of life.