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sexual addiction checklist
Some common characteristics of sexual addiction include:
  • We use sexual thoughts and behaviors as our primary coping methods.
  • We use sexual arousal as our drug of choice.
  • We have a pattern of compulsive, out of control sexual behaviors; Behavior that is either illegal, illicit, or believed to be “bad”
  • We experience harmful consequences to ourselves and others due to our sexual behaviors.
  • We lack emotional intimacy.
  • We are preoccupied with sex and sexual fantasies.
  • We progress to more out-of-control behaviors as our tolerance increases.
  • We may have periods of control or strict abstinence.
  • We may control our behaviors while continuing our sexual obsessions.
  • We experience mood shifts around our sexual acting out: such as anger, fear, guilt, remorse.
  • We often experience depression and suicidal ideations.
  • We have a hierarchy of acting out behaviors such as affairs, masturbation, seduction/cruising.
  • We have a family history of sexual shame and/or addiction.
  • We are often victims of childhood sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse.
  • We ritualize our sexual behaviors.
  • We feel extreme shame about sex.
  • We lack a healthy sexual identity.
  • We associate excitement and risk with sex.
  • We have sexualized needs for affection


  • Feels shameful, is illicit, stolen or exploitative.
  • Compromises values.
  • Draws on fear for excitement.
  • Re-enacts childhood abuses.
  • Creates a world of delusion.
  • Is self-destructive and dangerous.
  • Uses conquest and power.
  • Serves to medicate and kill pain.
  • Is dishonest.
  • Has secretive, double life.
  • Is driven, compulsive.
  • Has no boundaries.

The information provided in this web site or via links, is for informational purposes only. It does not take the place of, nor is it intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a professional.

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Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes
Contrary to Love by Patrick Carnes
Addicted to Love by Steve Arterburn
The Pornography Trap by Dr. Mark Lasser
False Intimacy by Dr. Harry Schaumburg