Internet Sex Addiction


Intimacy Disorders

Intimacy Disorders

The increasing prevalence of the internet in our daily lives has led to an increase in sexually-compulsive behaviors through the internet; this is also commonly referred to as cybersex addiction. This disorder is characterized by sexual activity conducted over the internet or through text or instant messaging that causes serious negative consequences to one's physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being.

Signs of Internet Sex Addiction Disorder

Internet sexual disorders can be identified by three criteria:

  • Failure of making a decision about engagement in the behavior
  • Obsession with the behavior
  • The inability to stop the behavior despite negative consequences

Women who engage in compulsive internet sex spend an increasingly inordinate amount of time online engaged in sexual activity. The internet has introduced additional issues for women who struggle with love and sexual issues due to its easy access, affordability, and the option to remain anonymous behind a screen.

Quite often, women dealing with internet sexual compulsivity will get caught looking at pornography at work or by their families because of their inability to exhibit self-control. This results in negative consequences and feelings of deep shame.

Overcome Internet Sex Addiction

The internet can cause women to become disconnected from the world around them, as well as other people. When this behavior develops and progresses into something more extreme, this detachment can introduce problems related to developing relationships with other people, difficulties in relationships, and intimacy issues.

Stefanie Carnes, PhD, LMFT, CSAT

Dr. Stefanie Carnes discusses the controversy of defining sex addiction as a disorder, why it’s important to seek treatment, and how it can be related to trauma and underlying issues.

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