Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Q. I'm in my late twenties and have had no serious relationships. I'll often meet a guy and sleep with him almost immediately - the drama and passion of a one-night stand gives me a high. I'm starting to worry I'm addicted to meaningless sex. How can I stop?

A. It sounds like you have a sexual addiction, which experts define as any sexual activity that feels out of control. In most cases, a sex addict feels compelled to have sex regardless of any problems it may cause in their lives. There are many theories as to how sex becomes addictive - it may be to do with the high of sexual power and control, or the chemicals that our bodies release during sex. As with any addiction, between the highs of sexual contact are the lows, which often relate to feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety. These laws can lead to a negative cycle where the addict feels alone and depressed, so they seek out sex to escape their negative feelings. If you feel your sexual behaviour is out of control, acknowledge that its affecting other parts of your life - and more importantly, that it won't go away by itself. Overcoming an addiction on your own is difficult, but a specialist psychologist can help you understand and guide you through the recovery process (try www.bacp.co.uk to find one in your area).

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