Compulsive Sexual Behavior

Compulsive Sexual Behavior/ Hypersexuality:
By: Cassie Sieradzky

Compulsive sexual behavior, also known as hypersexuality or sexual addiction, is characterized by frequent sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors. These intense and repetitive preoccupations are uncontrollable and distressing to the individual, which can result in impaired daily functioning. Compulsive sexual behavior is more common in men and usually develops during late adolescence or early adulthood. This disorder is often undiagnosed because the individual may feel embarrassed about their behavior and unwilling to disclose information that could lead to a diagnosis and they may be unaware that this disorder can be successfully treated.

Compulsive sexual behavior can be diagnosed if a person experiences 3 or more symptoms for over 6 months. The symptoms include time consumed by sexual urges/fantasies/behaviors repetitively interferes with other important facets of life, repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies/urges/behaviors in response to negative mood states, repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies/urges/behaviors in response to stressful life events, repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control these symptoms, and repetitively engaging in sexual behaviors while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others. Compulsive sexual behavior is highly comorbid and research suggests that about 50% of adults diagnosed with this disorder also meet criteria for at least 1 other psychiatric disorder, such as mood, anxiety, substance use, impulse control, or personality disorders. This disorder also comes with increased risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Psychotherapy and some medications are successful in treating compulsive sexual disorder.

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from compulsive sexual behavior, licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit

Grant, J. E. (2018, February). Compulsive sexual behavior: A nonjudgmental approach. Current Psychiatry, 17(2), 34-45.

One thought on “Compulsive Sexual Behavior

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