Compulsive Sexual Behavior

Man looking out window

Some people have difficulty controlling their sexual impulses or compulsions, to the point where normally healthy and enjoyable behaviors become recurrent, intense and distressing. These behaviors may interfere with their relationships, their work or other parts of their lives and are often associated with anxiety, embarrassment, and shame.

Compulsive sexual behavior, also known as "sex addiction", can affect people of all gender identities, and people of any sexual orientation. It is marked by sexual impulses and/or compulsions that feel overwhelming and out of control, and often leads individuals to engage in risky activities.

Expand all

Is Compulsive Sexual Behavior a Problem in Your Life?

  • Do you or others who know you find that you are overly preoccupied or obsessed with sexual activity?
  • Do you feel guilty or ashamed about some of your sexual activity?
  • Do you find yourself constantly searching or scanning the environment for a potential sexual partner?
  • Do you obsessively use pornography, phone lines, or the Internet for sexual satisfaction?
  • Have you had numerous love relationships that are short-lived, intense, and unfulfilling?
  • Do you ever find yourself sexually obsessed with someone who is not interested in you or doesn’t even know you?
  • Are you involved in sexually arousing cross-dressing behaviors to an extent that is distressing to you and feels out of control?

Gaining Control

If you feel your sexual behavior is out of control, it is important to realize that you are not alone. Fear and embarrassment often make it difficult for individuals to seek treatment, but with help, you can develop healthier, more positive sexual behavior.

The professional staff at the Center for Sexual and Gender Health has extensive specialized training and experience in the fields of sexuality, psychology, psychiatry, and medicine. We offer effective therapy to help people gain control over their compulsive behavior and develop healthy, satisfying sexuality.

Compulsive Sexual Behavior Therapy

Treatment plans may include individual psychotherapy sessions, group therapy, and family therapy. Group therapy consists of a weekly two-hour group composed of six to eight members, led by a co-therapy team. A monthly aftercare group is available after therapy is completed.

Intervention begins with a thorough evaluation of your problems and needs. This includes assessing for depression, anxiety, and relationship concerns, as well as developing a better understanding of your sexual concerns.

Partner Services

The partner of an individual struggling with sexual compulsions often needs help dealing with issues surrounding these behaviors. We offer short and long term support groups for partners of individuals currently in treatment, as well as individual and family psychotherapy.