Criteria for Sex Addiction
- Recurrent failure to resist sexual impulses.
- More extensive/longer sexual acting out than intended.
- Ongoing, but unsuccessful, efforts to stop, reduce, or control behavior.
- Inordinate time spent obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences.
- Feeling preoccupied with sexual behavior and/or preparatory activities.
- Acting out takes significant time away from obligations: occupational, academic, domestic, or social.
- Continuation of behavior despite consequences:
- Risk of STD or HIV
- Lost partner or had marital problems
- Lost rights to be with children
- Abortions/ unwanted pregnancies
- Career problems
- Risk arrest
- Tolerance - More frequency or intensity of behavior is needed over time to obtain the desired result.
- Deliberately limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities to keep time open for acting out.
- Distress, restlessness, or irritability if unable to do behavior (withdrawal)
- Body aches
- Mood swings
A minumum of 3 of the above 10 needed are needed for sex addiction to be considered present. Most sex addicts have 5 signs, while over 50% have 7.
Material taken from research by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.