Defining Sexual Health vs Sex Addiciton

Do you have a concern about your sexual behavior?  Do you have a concern about someone else’s sexual behavior that you love and care? These are usually the main motivators that creates the need  to call me to make an appointment.

There has been a great deal of conversation and exploration about sexual health and if sex addiction actually is a real addiction or is it more a compulsive behavior. Depending on who you talk to it can be viewed and discussed on different levels and dare I say more than 50 shades of grey. Because each person brings many levels of understanding to sex, the term sexual health is multifaceted.

The definition of addiction isn’t as straight forward as most people would like it to be.

I recently attended a training lead by Douglas Braun-Harvey titled Treating Out of Control Sexual Behavior (OCSB): Rethinking Sex Addiction.  His book along with his co-author Michael Vigorito was released sometime in late 2015 and I believe it will change how we view what he calls out of control sexual behavior. 

Many times society has a different opinion about sexual behavior than an individual and the disparity is not enough to distinguish between addiction and out of control sexual behavior or even not condoned.  It does usually help a person understand and clarify that if they have a concern about their behavior more exploration and attention needs to be given to understand the motivators behind such behavior. 

Sexual health

According to the current working definition, sexual health is:

“…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006a)

Sex Addiction

The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity has defined sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.”

I work with men to help treat out of control sexual behavior in my practice.

Do you have discomfort about aspects of your sexual health behavior you’d like to explore?

Contact me at 816-885-2526 or