When it comes to out of control sexual behavior, not everyone agrees what qualifies as sex addiction or problematic sexual behavior. Yes, there are the obvious actions that are wrong, namely harming anyone else in a sexual way. But when it comes to consensual sexual acts, the idea of becoming addicted to sex might seem difficult to accept. After all, nearly everyone enjoys sex and we know that it feels good. So, as a society, it’s easy to dismiss the idea of being addicted to something that most of us understand as being one of the great joys of life.

At SATS, we know just how real out- of- control sexual behavior can be. That’s because we’ve treated people who have problematic sexual behavior and know how much they want to turn away from it due to the negative impact it has on their lives. So if the experts agree that people have problems — problems that aren’t under their control — why does society have such a hard time believing those who have worked with the afflicted? Let’s take a look.

Addiction Overload

There seems to be a limit to the number of addictions that society can “come around to” in a short amount of time. While alcoholism (technically known as alcohol use disorder, or AUD) was seen as a vice for millennia, we now understand that some people are simply more likely to become addicted than others. Most of society now understands that the person who drinks heavily has very little control over their behavior, and judgemental notions regarding alcoholics are on the wane. Society’s understanding of drug addiction is catching up as well, especially as parents and grandparents are getting addicted to opioids.

But it seems that, despite the growth in understanding of chemical addiction, most of society isn’t ready to accept out of control sexual behavior as an addiction. The same goes for pornography addiction. In fact, there are many kinds of addictions that many people would argue aren’t addictions at all. In short, we’re just “not there yet” as a society.

We Haven’t Found Genetic Indicators Yet

There are many reasons why someone can develop problematic sexual behaviors. Unfortunately, we haven’t found the genetic indicators suggesting why most people can simply enjoy sex while others become obsessive about it.

Problematic sexual behavior might run in families, but so far there’s no indication that there are genetic indicators associated with it as there is with AUD. This allows most of society to dismiss it as a moral failing, despite the real brain chemistry changes that are considerably more difficult to measure and investigate.

We’ve Cheapened The Word “Addiction”

It doesn’t help that people use the word “addiction” so loosely in their daily lives, such as when they say “these potato chips are addictive” or “I’m addicted to yoga.” When the word loses meaning like that, it’s easy for anyone to say “I’m addicted to sex,” even if they are having sex a normal amount with a single partner.

Society has started to label nearly everything an addiction, which simply makes the true addictions seem less real. True addictions seriously impact lives, so much so that most people want to change their ways.

Do You Need Help?

If problematic sexual behavior is affecting your life and you want to change, Sexual Addiction Treatment Services can help. Contact us today to get the process of healing started.