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What are some possible causes of sexual addiction?

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The powerful sexual desires, impulses and behaviors associated with sexual addiction are manifestations of deeply rooted mental and emotional issues. The sex is used to compensate for, distract against, cope with or fend off inner turmoil and conflict. Unresolved conflicts, lack of trust in others, fear of closeness, and irrational negative self-perceptions originate earlier in the developmental years of childhood. People suffering from sexual compulsivity experience difficulty attaching to others because of the vulnerability required of true intimacy. Since they do not trust others, they have a real problem being simultaneously close with and vulnerable to significant others. Thus, it is much safer to “connect” with someone anonymously on a sexual level than to become sexually intimate with someone on a much deeper level. Some of these internal issues include:

  • Lack of trust in significant others
  • Fear of closeness and/or intimacy
  • Negative self-perception
  • Unending need for attention
  • Low self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect
  • Feeling unloved, unattractive, and unwanted
  • Self-destructive tendencies
  • Feelings of depression, sadness, loneliness
  • Views of sex as the only “viable” means of connecting with others

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