“There are various false notions connected with Female Sex Addiction – including that females just can’t be sex addicts – that they will probably be “relationship” or “adoration” addicts…
The truth, on the other hand, is that female sex addicts exist – and may exist in far more noteworthy numbers than we’re mindful of.” – Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT, creator and Founding Director of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles
Since the get-go, sex has given ladies a whole new kind of power. They may use it in negotiating, both secretly and out in the open, with men who in many cases (though we aren’t generalising) admit to being quite happy to do just about anything for a woman who’ll provide them a sexual release.
So what happens when it’s the woman who’s more randy than the man? Well, ladies are not typically depicted in this way. The stereotype is of a forbearing, grudgingly-submitting-to-sex wife. However that stereotype is far from the truth.
Yet although women are no longer the sexually anonymous housewives of old there is a concrete double standard when it comes to sexuality. Men are assumed, and generally expected, to be sexual dynamic and raring to go, while women are considered meek, more understated and less likely to initiate. There’s an open market for men to seek out and use erotic entertainment, and an understanding that wide sexual experimentation is the norm. But for women? Well, it’s exactly the opposite.
With that in mind it’s no surprise that the idea of female sex addicts were hard to believe, even when sex addiction was parading publicly in mainstream media, such as the case of Tiger Woods not so long ago. In fact it was long accepted by many, including those in the world of psychology, that women are more likely to be affection addicts instead of sex addicts. But they’re wrong.
Sex Addiction Basics
Sex addiction is characterized in Wikipedia as “a mental condition in which an individual has an extreme battle in dealing with his or her sexual conduct.” Other terms in current use are “sexual reliance” or “sexual compulsivity.” Of course we can’t say for sure what causes any one individual to develop a sex addiction, and each person is different, but studies suggest that one or more of the following are usually present.
• A genetic pre-disposition that makes it more difficult to regulate emotions
• Higher than normal levels of certain hormones
• Existing issues with depression, anxiety and other manic inducing mental health problems
• A history of abuse, particularly sexual abuse that began at a young age
• Unusually early exposure to sexual content
• Social isolation and past romance-related rejection
As reported by SexHelp.com, various studies have shown that numerous sex addicts felt their issues stemmed from something in their childhood. In many cases they were around a relative with another kind of addiction (87%). They also reported that there was a connection between an adult sex addiction and various kinds of abuse including psychological, sexual and physical.
Sex Addiction And Women
Our society assumes that the addictions women are most likely to fall prey to are usually related to excessive shopping or body image. However, just as men can be shopaholics and suffer from body dysmorphia, so too can women be sex addicts.
Although there remains little information on this intriguing area of sex addiction, early studies suggest that women make up about 10% of all the people seeking treatment and help with sex addiction. Of course, that could just be the tip of the iceberg.
In the western world, although it might not always hold true, etiquette suggests that it isn’t appropriate for women to be sexual aggressive or forceful.
This is one of the reasons that experts believe many women do not confess to their sex addiction. It is believed their concern in coming forward lies in being mislabelled, as a slut, prostitute or nymphomaniac, when actually they are simply an addict working through the process. On top of that there remains little space in society norms for women to openly discuss a ‘need’ for sex beyond the confines of appropriate relationships.
These are all obstacles to the women suffering from sex addiction, but it’s not the end. A twelve-step program called Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous runs meetings for addicts in Australia, regardless of gender. This organisation even offers women’s meetings where solely female sex addicts can come forward anonymously, share their story, and work on moving forward in a healthy manner.
Dealing With Sex Addiction
Female sex addicts might be rare, but there’s no indication that treatments for them should be different in any way from male sex addicts. It can be hopeless from the inside, but in many cases, just like with other addictions, people with a sex addiction are able to manage it and continue to live a happy and fulfilled life. As well as the the various structured treatment programs available to sex addicts there are some things that recovered addicts have found to be beneficial to their wellbeing.
Work On A Positive Attitude
In many cases sex addiction is the result of consistent negative attitudes and thinking, which in turns sparks a compulsivity towards sexual behaviours. So keeping a positive attitude and spending time with people who also cultivate a positive attitude, is a healthy way to distract the mind from the unhealthy thought patterns that lead people into addiction.
Restlessness is a common feeling in addicts as they recover, causing them to never feel as though they can be at rest as they constantly battle with their demons. One way to target this specifically is to follow an active lifestyle as much as possible. Exercising regularly, playing sports and generally tiring the body out are all perfectly healthy ways of conquering a raging libido.
Talk It Out
Of course, sex addicts will usually tell their story in groups if they choose to undergo sex addiction therapy, but individualised attention with a trained therapist is also something that many opt for in their treatment. The opinion of an expert can be vital, especially in cases like female sex addicts where the amount of literature on the subject remains small.
So can women really be sex addicts? The question is one story but conquering the addiction is far more important. Sex addiction knows no gender. One of the biggest barriers to them, especially for female sufferers, is the lack of understanding about the condition.
This ignorance makes it harder for them to come forward, acknowledge their problem, and work to fix it. That’s why spreading the message about female sex addiction doesn’t just help you, it helps those around you.