How to recognize the signs of sexual addiction. Asking the right questions may uncover serious problems

Postgrad Med. 1991 Nov 1;90(6):171-4, 177-82. doi: 10.1080/00325481.1991.11701111.


The sexual addiction model enables physicians to understand the self-destructive behavior of patients whose actions may otherwise appear inexplicable. When a person is preoccupied with sex and continues to engage in compulsive sexual activity despite adverse consequences (eg, loss of marriage, job, health, freedom), he or she is a sex addict. Treatment allows sex addicts to stop their compulsive behavior and improve their relationships. Preferred treatment includes professional counseling and attendance at self-help programs based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model. Partners of sex addicts, whose coaddiction may manifest itself through various physical symptoms, depression, or compulsions, can benefit from the same treatment approach.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Compulsive Behavior / etiology
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Counseling
  • Family
  • Female
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications