Latest developments in causes and treatments



Hypersexuality Can Be Addictive

A new article on sex addiction by Yahoo Life UK editor Katy Regan interviews three women about the problems of hypersexuality:

  • Erica Garza is the author of the 2019 memoir, Getting Off: One Woman’s Journey through Sex and Porn Addiction. She sought out unprotected sex with anonymous strangers – a very dangerous compulsion.
  • Sex therapist Marian O’Connor, points out that, unlike healthy sex, “there is very little pleasure involved. This is because in compulsive sex, the wanting overrides any satisfaction.”
  • Sex addiction counselor Julie Gravell says, “It’s like every addiction: the point where it’s out of control is when you want to stop, but you can’t.”

O’Connor identifies the same patterns in sex addiction that we find in The Unified Theory of Addiction: “Sex becomes a way the addict finds to soothe themselves.” The behavior triggers a dopamine hit, according to Gravell, and the desire leads to addiction. It is likely the displacement mechanism is at work, as stress is a common cause for hypersexuality.

Sex addiction is recognized in the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization, but is not included in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Hypersexuality was dropped from the DSM revision due to the difficulty of defining the syndrome. The Unified Theory of Addiction might help make the case for hypersexuality to be included in DSM-6.

For more information about sex addiction, we refer you to the resources at Psychology Today, especially their registry of sexual addiction therapists.

Written by Steve O’Keefe. First published December 1, 2023.


“Life as a female sex addict,” Yahoo Life UK, November 2023.

“Dispelling Myths About Sex Addiction,” Psychology Today, October 2023.

“Sex addiction recognised as mental health condition by World Health Organisation,” Happiful, January 2023.

Image Source: Book Cover used under Fair Use. 



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *