Sexual Addiction or Compulsion

I have worked with men and women struggling with sexual addiction for over two decades.  As I start writing about this issue, I want to clarify a couple of definitions.  For years there have been arguments in the therapeutic recovery field regarding what exactly to call this issue.  The misuse of sex as a coping mechanism and/or attempting to use sex much like a drug to achieve an altered state of reality or  euphoria.  The question is, do we call it “sexual addiction” or “sexual compulsion”?  Many say that a true “addiction” involves ingesting some foreign substance into your body (ie. drug addiction) and that the term “compulsion” is more accurate because it defines a behavior that you can’t seem to stop doing even when you want to.  While I agree fundamentally with this argument, I tend to use the terms interchangeably with my clients and in my writings because to the lay person it seems to be an irrelevant argument.  Whatever you call it, sexual addiction or sexual compulsion, the fact that it is destroying lives and marriages can’t be ignored.  It is a problem plaguing or world that doesn’t seem to show any signs of lessening any time soon.   We have drifted away from following the plans for sex laid out by the Creator of the Universe and have adopted an anything goes mentality and we are reaping the consequences.  We like to think that we can play with sex much like playing with fire and that we won’t get burned.  But the reality is that our actions have consequences and God allows us to endure those with the hope that it will humble us and bring us back to Him.  If you find yourself or your life being affected by sexual addiction (either yours or a loved one’s) don’t lose hope.  Turn to the one who has the answers, Jesus Christ.

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