Sex is important to all of us and we all have a biological urge to have sex. What becomes a problem is when it starts to interfere with the quality of your life and you have negative consequences around it. Although we don't treat sexual addiction at the Care & Treatment Centers, we do see a lot of families who come in who have experienced incredible destruction at the hand of sexual addiction.
For instance, a husband or a wife will become addicted to internet porn and they will no longer have sex with their partner. Or they will start to watch internet porn at work and that has a negative impact on their performance at work. It violates company policy. People get fired for watching internet porn at work.
They spend an enormous amount of money on internet porn. It impacts the quality of their life, meaning that it has negative consequences attached to it. They're spending money that they don't have. They're spending enormous amounts of time watching the internet porn, and it's interfering with the quality of their life.
Also the central factor in the development of sexual addiction is the fact that there's this sense of tolerance. People need more and more and more of it to get the same baseline level of satisfaction, so they may have started watching it for 15 minutes, but then they find themselves watching it for five hours a day. So there's a tolerance aspect of it.
There's also a sense of withdrawal, so that when they don't have access to it, when their ability to utilize it or watch it or threatened, they experience distress and this distress comes in the form of physical anxiety and psychological distress, in terms of, again, anxiety and just an overall sense of distress that they can't have access to it.