Heterosexual male attitudes
Although people of any sexual orientation or identity can experience and recover from sexual addiction, we will explore the attitudes of heterosexual males towards women in this brief review. And although compulsive sexual behavior can occur in both men and women, it’s most common in men. But first, it is important to understand the characteristics of sex addiction. Then we can explore the particular triggers that set off male sex addicts to act out risky or abusive sexual behaviors.
Characteristics of sex addiction
The main characteristics of sex addiction are the same as in any addiction. It is important to note here that sex addicts often experience pain and remorse after engaging in sexual behavior…and that acting out sexually may ot may NOT be accompanied by pleasure. The three main characteristics of sex addiction are:
1. Preoccupation or obsession with sex
3. Continued behavior despite negative consequences
What drives heterosexual male sex addicts?
Regardless of gender or sexual orientation, a sex addict is driven by self-gratification, a need to escape negative thoughts or emotions (anger, low self-esteem, loneliness, fear). These motivations can translate into a desire for power or control, but are mainly motivated by anger or fear.
Ways men can act out toward women
Sex addicts can act out in ways that go against their underlying values and beliefs. In many ways, a sex addict suffers for these actions and cannot resolve the compulsion to act with a desire to stop. Types of acting out sexual behaviors can include:
- avoidance of emotional connection with sex partners
- fixating on a sex partner that you cannot have
- frequent anonymous or casual sex
- frequent sex outside of primary relationships
- having sex without consent (sexual assault)
- having sex with prostitutes
- masochistic or sadistic sex
- multiple affairs
How sex addicts can get treatment
If you suspect that you or a loved one is a sex addict, you can first assess yourself by asking yourself a few questions about sex addiction. Then, you should seek a professional evaluation from a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist who can help provide a medical diagnosis of a compulsive disorder. Treatment for compulsive sexual behavior exhibited by sex addicts usually includes psychotherapy, medications, self-help groups or a combination of all three.
Have you experienced emotional, physical or mental pain from a partner you suspect is a sex addict? What did you do about it? Or have you acted out towards women as a misogynist at some time? How did you resolve issues of sexuality and emotional need? Please share your experiences, feedback and comments below.