Why Do People Become Addicted To Sex?

By Caralee Frederic, LCSW | Certified Gottman Therapist | Couples Workshop Presenter

Biological, Psychological, or Spiritual?

This is different for every addict but generally speaking, there are biological, psychological, and spiritual reasons. The following is a brief explanation, again adapted from Dr. Weiss’ work:


The biological addict is someone who has conditioned their body to receive endorphins and enkephalines (brain chemicals) primarily through pairing and reinforcing a fantasy state with the ejaculation or orgasm that sends these chemicals to the brain.


Psychologically, the need to medicate or escape the pain of physical, emotional, or sexual neglect or abuse from one’s family or origin or early experiences can demand a substance or behavior.

The young addict finds the sexual “medicine” usually before alcohol or drugs. Trauma-based sexual addicts have a history of sexual abuse, exploitation or rape.


Spiritual-based sex addicts are those people filling up the “God hole” in them with their sexual addiction. The sexual addiction is their spirituality or God.

It comforts them, celebrates them and is always available and present. Others have an underlying mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety, that they self-medicate with sex.


Then there are those sex addicts who suffer from a combination of these types. This is why a specialist in sex addiction is needed for recovery from sex addiction.

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