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Internet Sexual Addiction Essay

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Internet Sexual Addiction

It seems that the Internet has become an ever-growing part in numerous areas of the everyday lives of people. One area that is worthy of further study involves sexual addiction and how it is related with too much use of the Internet. Some scholars allege that sociopaths are starting to emerge online and it has been dubbed as “technological addictions”. This article looks at Internet addiction with respect to excessive sexual behavior. It includes discussions of the notion of addiction to sex and whether the entire notion is viable. This will be achieved through the assessment of the small quantity of available empirical data. It also concludes that sex on the Internet is a new form of expression that may encourage partaking due to the identified disinhibition factors and anonymity. Also, it was claimed that even though there is only a small amount of empirical data, Internet sexual addiction is existent and that there are several prospects for future research on the subject.

Extreme sexual behavior
It is perhaps a reasonable assumption to make that most scholars—especially those who work on the subject of addiction—do not regard extreme sex to be an addiction. There have been numerous criticisms on the notion of sexual addiction from various points of view. Goodman (1992) summarized these as follows: • Moral. Sexual behavior as an addiction demoralizes the person’s responsibility for the way he or she behaves. • Scientific. Free usage of the term “addiction” has caused it to be meaningless (Coleman, 1986). • Conventional. Addiction must be defined physiologically because it is, to begin with, a physiological condition (Levine & Troiden, 1988; Coleman, 1986). • Sociological. Addiction is just a term used to describe behavior that diverges from the norms of society (Levine & Troiden, 1988; Coleman, 1986). In spite of a rather negative theoretical viewpoint towards the notion of sexual addiction, it has not put a stop to the progress of research in this field. The notion of extreme sexual behavior being pathologised is no longer something new. Across the centuries, extreme sex has been described in various ways and examples of illnesses and conditions caused by it are urethromania, sexual hyperversion, satyriasis, pathologic promiscuity, pathologic multi-partnerism, pansexual promiscuity, oversexuality, nymphomania, the Messalina Complex, libertinism, erotomania, Don Juan Complex, Don Juan Syndrome, Don Juan(ita)ism, compulsive sexuality, compulsive promiscuity, and the Casanova type (Orford, 1985). Until very recently, a whole lot more was written regarding female forms of extreme sexual behaviors (for example, nymphomania) which was viewed more negatively than male forms of extreme sex (for example, satyriasis). This is, in all probability, because of the sexual double standard present in our society. As a matter of fact, an assessment of the pre-80’s literature on sexuality would have people suppose that there are a lot more female “sex addicts” than males. In reality, however, female sexual addiction is somewhat rare, and it is the males who are significantly more likely to be addicted to sex.

Is extreme sex truly an addiction?
Compared with other forms of addictive behaviors, sexual addiction has not originally been regarded as a valid form of addiction. Nonetheless, depending on how addiction has been defined, it is evident that extreme sexual behavior shares similar connection and likenesses with other more recognized form of addiction. Similar to a pathological gambler or an alcoholic, sex addicts cannot stop themselves from committing self-destructive sexual behaviors. As a matter of fact, sex addicts will normally take no notice of grave physical, interpersonal, and emotional repercussions of their behaviors. The repercussions of extreme sexual behavior are extensive and can bring about despair, low self-esteem, loss of interest in things not sexual, financial difficulties, arrests, trouble with work, family break-ups, and lost relationships. Then again, there is still the argument regarding the most apt term to describe the condition of individuals with extreme sexual behavior including sexual addiction (Carnes, 1983), sexual impulsivity (Barth & Kinder, 1987), sexual compulsion (Coleman, 1986), and non-paraphilia related conditions (Kafka, 1993).

Sexual addiction has been defined by Carnes (1999) as any form of compulsive behavior that is sex-related and obstructs a normal life and eventually becomes uncontrollable, although he has also referred to it as a pathological affiliation with an experience that alters the mood (Carnes, 1983). By investigating the psychological motive behind addiction, there seems to be three fundamental classifications: fantasy addictions (sexual activities that break away from mundane reality), satiation addictions (sexual activities that ease discomfort and tension), and arousal addictions (sexual activities that thrill and stimulate).Sexual behavior has the ability to encompass all these three classifications of sexual addiction. It is difficult to determine the level of sexual addiction though approximations vary from three percent to six percent of the population (Carnes, 1999). In addition, studies show that there exists a high association between childhood abuse and addiction to sex in adulthood, and it is very common for a sex addict to have gone through significant levels of sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse. Socio-demographic factors are distorted by individuals who go to self-help groups (such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), Sex Compulsives Anonymous (SCA), and Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)) or expert clinics to acquire treatment.

However, sex addicts seem to come from all nationalities, classes, races, and sexual orientations. Addictions to sex seem to have identifiable patterns of behavior (Carnes, 1999). This includes acting out patterns of wild and unrestrained sexual behaviors such as having constant affairs, relentless indulging in pornography, and compulsive masturbation, in which extreme changes in mood relate to sexual activities. The sex addict goes through serious repercussions resulting from sexual behavior and an incapability to stop in spite of these grave repercussions. These repercussions can include legal risks from nuisance offenses to rape complaints, risks of contracting sexually-transmitte...

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