Abnormal sexual behaviors or alternatively called ‘Paraphilias’. According to DSM paraphilias all have in common distressing and repetitive sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors. These fantasies, urges, or behaviors must occur for a significant period of time and must interfere with either satisfactory sexual relations or everyday functioning if the diagnosis is to be made. There is also a sense of distress within these individuals. In other words, they typically recognize the symptoms as negatively impacting their life but feel as if they are unable to control them. There are plenty of behaviors when undertaken excessively they become abnormal, though there are therapy and rehabilitation solutions available to these issues, but it can only be done if a person seeks help which seldom happens.
Serial infidelity or the urge to have multiple extra marital affairs is one of the earliest signs of presenting paraphilias. During this, a person is driven by the desire of having sex with a number of people without considering the emotional harm they do to themselves or others. These behaviors could escalate to having multiple one-night stands. While its considered normal for people to have one night stand once in a while or mistakenly getting caught in a moment and having sex. Generally speaking there is no FDA approved drug that can treat these kinds of addictions but related symptoms such as anxiety, depression and frustration are completely treatable which reduce the severity of disorder.
Sex is considered a private act for majority of people, but having a repetitive uncanny desire of having sex with multiple partners at the same time is a form of sexual abnormality. Sex normally occurs between people who have developed some kind of attraction and affection towards each other or somehow they know each other through some source but people having abnormal sexual behaviors crave for sex with anonymous partners or simply strangers. These individuals also spend a significant amount of time in planning these activities, at time the mere imagination of involving in sexual activities with a stranger or multiple partners become sources of satisfaction and gratification for these individuals.
Escort/prostitution addiction is another major abnormal sexual behavior that progresses as the disorder gains severity. Individuals addicted to escorts could not help control the urge of going to prostitutes for sexual gratification. On the other hand, they can practice those sexual acts like sadistic and masochistic acts with prostitutes easily but it is very unlikely that their permanent partner (spouse/girlfriend) would be willing to get involved in these risky acts. Their urge for this sadistic sexual gratification keeps them bounded to escort addiction. People addicted to escorts generally practice unsafe sex and thus falls prey to sexually transmitted diseases as they lack a sense of self harm.
Persistent use of pornography and addiction to masturbation is one of the most common sexual addictions, a person suffering this addiction lack a sense of control over their sexual needs that are fulfilled by pornography. Sexual Boundary Problems occur when a person fails to recognize that who should be seen in a sexual way and who should not. They have no respect for social barriers and norms’ regarding sexual behaviors and what is considered appropriate and what’s not. Addiction to port can progress towards Cybersex, cybersex Addiction or Abuse where an individual gets involved in sexual practices with people over internet. This kind of addiction involves phone sex, sex through text messages (sexting), and sex over video calls with people sitting miles apart.
People addicted to sex often get involved with exhibitionism and voyeurism. Exhibitionism is the act of exposing those parts of one’s body that are not normally exposed – for example, the breasts, genitals or buttocks in a public or a semi private gathering. The practice may arise from a yearning or obligation to expose themselves in such a manner to groups of friends or acquaintances, or to strangers for their amusement or gain sexual attention or satisfaction. Voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions usually considered being of a private nature. In voyeurism, observer mostly do not interact with the subject being observed and it merely involves only seeing them but many times it involves filming or photographs to be used afterwards for abnormal sexual gains.
Sexual harassment, molestation and rape are the extreme form of abnormal sexual behavior. All of these are considered sexual offences as well. Not every sex addict comes as far as committing these offences but a great majority of sex offenders are sex addicts. All of these acts involve a non-consenting child, adult or even an aged individual, who is forced to have intercourse or other related sexual activities with the offender in a totally inhumane manner.
When a person is seen with all of the above or few of these abnormal behaviors, it is mandatory that these addictions should be treated for their own good and for the safety of those around them. Unfortunately there is no drug that can treat these forms of addiction due to a lack of generalization of symptoms, but there are a number of psycho-therapy options available for such individuals. Some options include:
- Individual therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Group therapy
- Couple’s counseling or Marriage counseling.
- 12-step recovery.
- Inpatient therapy
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