Let’s talk about sexual encounters and our emotional templates. Binge on sex. Use sex the same way an alcoholic uses alcohol. Acting out in a sexual way that is against your values. How can sex be an addiction? How do you know if you have sex addiction? Is a sex addict a pedophile? Is a pedophile a sex addict? Can a sex addict ever have a healthy sex life after recovering from sex addiction?
Hypersexual disorder is a proposed diagnosis for people who have an “excessive” amount of sex and feel distress as a result. There is debate, however, over whether sex addiction exists in the same way as other addictions. In Western psychiatry, “excessive” sexual behaviors have been documented since the 1700s and have been referred to as Don Juanism, satyriasis, nymphomania, excessive sexual drive, sexual addiction, and hypersexuality, among other things. These terms all refer to sexual behavior that includes limited control of excessive and problematic sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors.
Ava Profota, a licensed clinical social worker, certified sex addiction therapist, certified multiple addictions therapist and supervisor for all three credentials. She worked six years in residential substance use treatment managing clients with multi-addictions and co-occurring diagnoses and initiated a number of co-occurring addiction programs while there. In addition to CSAT training, she has trained with Pia Mellody from the Meadows in Arizona, in childhood relational trauma resolution. She founded Inner Loop Counseling in 2010, an outpatient treatment center with multi levels of care for sex and love addiction, attachment disorder, childhood relational trauma and financial disorders. In 2014, Ms. Profota was voted Addiction Counselor of the Year by the Houston regional Texas Association of Addiction Professionals and is writing a workbook for Love Addiction therapy.