Often there is a fine line that separates acceptable sexual behavior and what is sexually addictive or compulsive. This is especially true for women in a society where sex is too often treated as a commodity. Our culture discourages women from being assertive and direct in the expression of their sexual needs, and that fosters a less direct and potentially seductive or manipulative approach.
The idea of being “love addicted” may be preferred by sexually addicted women because it fits the romantic, nurturer model of woman. The “love” they experience is a yearning or euphoria of romance, but has little to do with love.
The elements of sex addiction in women are similiar to other addicitions:
1. Compulsion, or unsuccessful attempts to control a sexual behavior
2. Continued behavior despire negative time spent on sex-related activities
3. Obsessive thoughts in planning or obtaining sex
Some sexually addictive behavior patterns in women may include: excessive flirting; wearing provocative clothing whenever possible; changing one’s appearance with excessive dieting, excessive exercise, and/or reconstructive surgery; making sexual advances to others in subordinate power positions; seeking sexual partners in high-risk locations; multiple extramarital affairs; disregard of appropriate sexual boundaries,
Many women addicted to sex were sexually abused in childhood — one research study showed 78%.
Sexually addicted women have sought professional help for psychological problems, but their sexual compulsivity was never addressed. 12 step programs such as SLAA, Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), Sexual Recovery Anonymous (SRA) and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA) can teach women how to integrate healthy sexual behavior into their lives.
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