Sex Addiction Health Center

Current estimates indicate that there are approximately 8 million men and 3 million women in the United States who meet the criteria for suffering from sexual addiction.

Sexual addiction is defined by the National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others”.

Similarly, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders IV describes the condition as ‘distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used”, as well as “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation ona an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship”. The DSM-IV-TR does not specifically define the condition as an “addiction” but rather a “Sexual Not Otherwise Specified”

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 13, 2012
Last Updated:
June 28, 2013