Sex addiction is a term that’s becoming more and more prevalent in all aspects of the addiction community.  A spirited debate as to whether there’s even such a thing as sexual addiction has been developing for some time now. “People can’t be addicted to sex – it’s just what people do” is often heard, while on the other hand, there are people that apply the same definition of addiction to alcohol and/or drugs to that of sex.  There’s no way to deny that someone who has difficulty controlling their sexual urges, behaviors and/or thoughts will see a progression of their symptoms leading to negative consequences in their lives.  For sex addicts, there are levels to the severity of the addiction and these are a good indication of the type of treatment that is needed. There are three levels of sex addiction.

Level One:  Some of the behaviors listed may exist in someone without a sex addiction, but when acted upon compulsively, is considered level one of sex addiction. There’s no doubt that these can be devastating when done compulsively.

Chronic Masturbation

Affairs, chronic infidelity, love and romance addiction

Sexual relationships with multiple partners

Pornography use and collection (with or without masturbation)

Phone sex, cybersex

Anonymous sex

Going to strip clubs


Level Two:  A common theme among these behaviors listed are that of someone being victimized.  There are also legal consequences to these actions which is a primary difference between Level One and Level Two behaviors.


Public sex – bathrooms, parks, etc.

Voyeurism – online or live



Stalking behaviors

Sexual harassment


Level Three:  These are behaviors in which there are significant boundary violations culturally and legally.


Child molestation

Obtaining/viewing child pornography

Obtaining/viewing rape/snuff pornography

Sexual abuse of older or dependent persons


Professional boundary violations (clergy, therapists, teachers, doctors)

Want more information about sex or love addiction? Check out our Journal for related articles or see below: 

Sex, Love and Relationship Addiction  Love and relationship addiction are part of the behavioral or process addictions.  Like its cousins, food addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, shopping and spending addiction, love addiction describes a set of behaviors and emotions that slowly progress and become unmanageable, often leaving an affected person depressed and suicidal.  In a society that glorifies love and romance, it is often difficult to know when one has crossed the line and is trapped in the undertow of this subtle but damaging process addiction.

Warning Signs of Sex Addiction Are you wondering if you or a loved one is addicted to sex?  It is not always easy to determine what are healthy sexual behaviors and what constitutes sexual addiction or obsession.  The following are warning signs that could suggest sexual addiction.  Any one of these is not necessarily indicative of an addiction, however the more that apply show a greater possibility of sex addiction.
Stay tuned to learn about the 10 types of sex addiction. Sex addiction can be difficult to understand for some, but there are people who can help. If you or someone you know is engaging in these behaviors and would like to discuss treatment options, please call New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 and we will help in finding the proper treatment.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center