Sex Addiction Is Real, Says Scientific Community


Sex Addiction Is Real, Says Scientific Community [EXPERT]
Do you doubt the legitimacy of sex addiction? Here's why you shouldn't.

Based on the results of a new study about sex addiction, Rachael Rettner of MyHealthNewsDaily, said that "sex addiction is a real thing."

Since I am a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, also certified as a Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT), I am very grateful for this new research. I provide services for people who have been gripped by the despair of living a secret sex life for ten, twenty, even thirty years or more. If you would like to stay up to date on the latest research sign up for my newsletter.


The devastation in their families is real; the pain and betrayal are not made up. I see it every day as families strive to mend from their loved ones' sexual addiction. Healing from the pain and loss can take years of hard work.

The criteria for the proposed hypersexual disorder in the DSM-5 is as follows:

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges and sexual behavior in association with four or more of the following five criteria:

  1. Excessive time is consumed by sexual fantasies and urges, and by planning for and engaging in sexual behavior
  2. Repetitively engaging in these sexual fantasies, urges and behavior in response to dysphoric mood states (e.g., anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability)
  3. Repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies, urges and behavior in response to stressful life events
  4. Repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control or significantly reduce these sexual fantasies, urges and behaviors
  5. Repetitively engaging in sexual behavior while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others

B. There is clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning associated with the frequency and intensity of these sexual fantasies, urges and behavior.

C. These sexual fantasies, urges and behavior are not due to direct physiological effects of exogenous substances (e.g., drugs of abuse or medications), a co-occurring general medical condition or to manic episodes. 

D. The individual is at least 18 years of age.

The proposed hypersexual disorder also asks if any of these targeted behaviors are being used excessively:

The controversy surrounding whether or not a person suffers from a sexual addiction will continue for a long time. The inclusion of hypersexual disorder in the DSM-5 will not diagnose everyone with a sexual problem, as many fear, but it will give legitimacy to the problem and allow people to get help.

For example, currently the DSM-4 has a diagnosis of alcohol abuse with similar behavioral criteria for diagnosis. Just because someone drinks alcohol once in a while doesn't mean they fit the diagnosis. For the diagnosis, the person would need to meet the criteria set in the DSM-4. It would be the same for any sexual acting out behavior; if it doesn't cause a pervasive problem in your life, it would not be diagnosed.

More sex advice from YourTango Experts:

Article contributed by

Teresa Maples


Teresa Maples MS, LMHC, CSAT, CMAT

Wanting something more from your relationship?, Join my newsletter. and you will recieve free practical relationship tools helping you develop a closer more connected relationship.


Location: Tacoma, WA
Credentials: CMAT, CSAT, LMHC
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sex Addiction
Other Articles/News by Teresa Maples:

5 Signs You're Bored Of Your Sex Life...And How To Fix It


Affairs are rampant, you may have considered having one yourself. In a recent research article, Ashley Madison surveyed their clients and found that "Women Seek Affairs, Not Divorce". When it comes to long term relationships and marriage it’s easy to turn on the auto pilot switch and neglect each other. You have your life with your friends and ... Read more

Is He Addicted To Porn? 8 Ways To Help Him


One of the ways that relationships go sideways is when one or both partners have an addiction. That addiction may be to alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, shopping or even to the Internet, particularly pornography. Recent studies have shown that Internet addictions can actually change brain activity in humans. In a 2014 study porn users had a smaller reward ... Read more

Want A Better Marriage? Look At Each Other


Have you ever wondered what it is that attracts us to one person over another? It’s what we see in their eyes. Some call this love at first sight. We recognize something familiar in that person’s gaze, which draws us to them. In long-term relationships, many couples are so focused on raising kids, going to work and dealing with a thousand other ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Most Popular