The media and many health professionals give the impression that sex (and porn) addiction is one disorder that looks the same across people, and a clinically/scientifically valid diagnosis. Neither is the case. Having said that, many people do struggle with sexual behaviours that are out of their control. This can very much feel like an addiction.
There are diverse pathways to what we call out of control sexual behaviour (OCSB), or hypersexuality (what's known as sex/porn addiction). That's to say, there is no such thing a prototypical sex or porn addict.
OCSB is most often the symptom of some other underlying problem. If treatment addresses that issue (often in conjunction with behaviour management), OCSB typically decreases.
This piece emanates from one of the best labs and clinics working with OCSB patients. It does a great job outlining the diverse nature and presentation of OCSB.
From the Independent:
Sex Addiction: What it Means to be Hypersexual
by Deborah Soh
It is not much about sex itself, but that sex is distracting, and offers an enjoyable outlet for frustrations in life, a sort of escapism. If you think you might be hypersexual, ask yourself if your sexual behaviours cause you harm or distress, or impairment in your day-to-day functioning
Whenever we hear about hypersexuality, it is usually in the context of celebrities who have gotten themselves into trouble and are seeking therapy to remedy their ways. However, most people would be surprised to learn that the root cause of hypersexuality, or so-called “sex addiction,” is hardly ever related to sex.
“Why am I like this?” is the most common question I encounter, as a sex researcher working with hypersexual men. Problems with pornography and cheating have had severely detrimental effects on their lives and they are desperate for a solution. After ruling out bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder as the underlying condition (as high-frequency sexual behaviour is a common symptom of these disorders), this is what I have found.
Read the rest here.