So what exactly is the difference between sexual addiction and just plain cheating.
First of all sexual addiction is just that an addiction. Any behavior engaged in to escape internal discomfort can become compulsive. Thereby making it an addictive disorder, such as compulsive gambling, eating, and spending.
There are symptoms that an addict will display. What follows are the symptom criteria for identifying sexual addiction.
Sexual addiction, like any other addiction, is a true mental health issue. There is a symptom criteria of the behavior and 3 out of the 10 symptoms need to be present to be considered sexual addiction. Most sexual addicts have 7 or more of these symptoms. The symptoms are listed below
(1) Recurrent failure to resist sexual impulses. There is a failure for the person to stop, a failure to be able to resist the impulse to engage in the activity.
(2) More extensive/longer sexual acting out than intended. The person tells themselves I will only do this for an hour, just like an alcoholic will tell themselves only one drink. But its more than what they intended; overboard.
(3)Inordinate time spent obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences.
Sexual addicts will sexualize others, situations, finding sexual connotations in ordinary events or remarks.
(4) Acting out takes significant time away from obligations: occupational, academic, domestic, or social.
al experiences. Sexual addicts will usually be compulsive in more than one sexual behavior, such as masturbating excessively to viewing pornography.
(5) Continuation of behavior despite consequences: such as
Risk of VD
Lost partner or had marital problems
Lost rights to be with children
Abortions/ unwanted pregnancies
The behavior becomes destructive
(6)Tolerance - More frequency or intensity of behavior is needed over time to obtain the desired result. Most sex addicts will report an increase in their behavior and in risk taking to try new sexual behaviors.
(7)Deliberately limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities to keep time open for acting out.
(8)Distress, restlessness, or irritability if unable to do behavior (withdrawal)
Sex addicts who have affairs, the thrill may come from the chase and the conquest more than from the sexual encounter itself.
Just as in alcoholism, and drug addiction, sex addicts usually come from dysfunctional families in which one or more parent had an addiction problem or were abusive or emotionally unavailable.