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How does sex addiction progress in men?

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
Although sex addiction can affect women, it's more common in men. In general, sex becomes a problem when it begins to control a man and interfere with his life. It often begins quietly, with solo activities like looking at porn and masturbating. Of course, most guys indulge in those activities -- and it doesn't make them "addicted".

Others start off with the pursuit of multiple partners and experiences. They may start using illicit drugs to enhance their sexual experience and often have no attachment to those partners. They may seek out sexual partners for hire or frequent Internet or newspaper personals looking for others who want to share similar experiences. When it gets to the level of sex "addiction," they engage in these behaviors despite known risks to their health and safety.

As their tolerance for stimulation increases, they continue to push the envelope, often putting themselves at risk for health, relationship, and even legal consequences. Still, they can't stop. For sex addicts, the drug of choice is that potent neurochemical cocktail of adrenaline, dopamine, and other feel-good substances released by the body during sex. And they'll do whatever they can to keep chasing that rush.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.