Sex addictions are commonly considered to be habitual or even compulsive sexual activities that allow people to exit from connected, authentic and healthy life activities.
- Sex addiction usually involves unwise, impulsive risk-taking (e.g. sex with random strangers, illegal activities, and the like), and as with other compulsions, takes its toll on all aspects of sufferers’ lives.
- Often genuine intimacy with another human being can cause deep feelings of fear and anxiety. This usually happens in the minds of people who have been traumatized in some way (childhood abuse or neglect, victims of crime, combat vets, etc.). To escape the fear and anxiety, individuals may actually avoid sex with their partners, and instead “numb out” (i.e. refuse to experience authentic feelings) with sex clubs, internet porn, prostitutes, strip clubs, chat lines, web cam sex, and so forth.
- Over time, these behaviors become “habits” and then, after longer periods, they evolve into "compulsions" where addicts can no longer become stimulated by their partners or engage in any form of healthy sexual activity.
These types of compulsive, "addictive" behaviors are often successfully treated using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT).