Let's talk about sex baby...famous song by Salt-n-Pepa back in the 90's was probably the first time I heard that word like something normal that people just talk about. I didn't really knew then what it was, much less the implications it had on every day life as an adult in areas of relationships and for some work.
In an era of OnlyFans and this crazy COVID pandemic, people have turned to the oldest profession in the world and have turned their bedrooms into their modern day office and let others come in and watch. I thought it would be really appropriate and good timing to talk about sexual addiction seen in the LGBTQ community and that is sexual addiction. It has been characterized by compulsive participation or engaging in sexual activity. Although some other conditions we treat in mental health have a pathological hypersexuality component; the term sexual dependence is also used to refer to people who say they are unable to control their sexual urges, behaviors and thoughts. At times, these urges prevent them from establishing and maintaining healthy romantic and non-romantic relationships. I think these inabilities are what prevents a lot of LGBTQ people from focusing on making genuine and true friendships and potentially romantic real connections. Now is this the sexual addiction or just the hypersexual mind that propels them to only focus on the sexual connection?
Now, to make the diagnosis of "sexual addiction" is a bit difficult plainly because it has not been made clear by the American Psychiatric Association. There is a new condition classification, that can help us mental health providers, termed compulsive sexual behavior as a "persistent pattern of failure to control intense receptive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior". In the classification manual of mental health disorders the DSM-5 Darrel Regier said that "[A]lthough 'hypersexuality' is a proposed new addition...[the phenomenon] was not at the point where we were ready to call it an addiction."
But has this lack of classification still keep people from having serious social and physical health problems and issues with their relationships? Lots of the people I work with today carry this huge stressor on them and their doctors fail to talk to them about it, which has led to poor adherence to treatment and terminal issues with their relationships. Is there help for those suffering with sexual addiction and what is the stigma surrounding this? All questions lots of people ask themselves before they seek help and at times might be difficult for them to actually seek it. Another behavior is the use of illicit substances that surround the impulsive sexual acts since both substances strongly activate the reward system in the brain and induce a part of the nucleus accumbens; since sexual activity is a positive reinforcer in this region of the brain just like substances do.
If you are struggling with these behaviors and want to discuss more reach out or contact one of these groups: