Sex Addiction Treatment Blog

Women and Sex Addiction

*Excerpts from Women and Sex Addiction by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. in COUNSELOR June 2006

For years people have regarded sex addiction as primarily a male problem. Yet the numbers have remained steadily parallel to those found in alcoholism and gambling:


for every three men there was one woman. In recent years that has changed. Recent studies of Internet sex in which problematic cybersex behavior by women was over 40 percent.Some have suggested that it represents shifts in culture and sexual mores.Women are exercising greater freedom which can manifest in compulsive behavior. We are far from knowing the extent or etiology of all these changes.

Larger patterns become clear by contrasting women with and men, both gay and straight. One of the key issues to be aware of is that sexual aversion or "anorexia" is a frequent companion to sexual addiction. Like eating disorders, the binge purge phenomenon is common, as is restriction in the form of compulsive sex avoidance.When contrasting presenting problems by gender, it becomes clear that women are much more likely to experience the anorexic side of the continuum.Another critical factor for women sex addicts is the presence of other addictions. The biggest discrepancy is around eating disorders where women are higher in both bulimic/anorexic and compulsive eating categories.

When you can no longer tolerate relationship disconnection, or have tried to fix the problem without much success, and now want to find a guide to change your painful patterns, Ready to Heal can help.When the valid human need for love and connection is distorted by fear, any attempt you make to find a healthy relationship seems to fail. Your patterns may include:

  • Excessive flirtation and promiscuity
  • Participation in many relationships, one right after another
  • Times of avoiding intimacy or sexuality in an effort to stay safe
  • Extreme, reoccurring anger with intimate partners
  • Patterns of choosing partners who are addicted to sex, substances, or work, and are not available for a relationship.
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