10 types of problematic sexual behaviour

We have previously written about sex addiction and porn addiction, as well as symptoms of these. A sign of addiction is that the need for stimuli goes beyond family, work and free time. The definition of addiction is compulsive thoughts and behaviour , which, despite destructive and in some cases dangerous consequences, often cannot be stopped by the person themselves.

The purpose of this article is for the reader to get a clearer picture of what it is to be a sex addict. It can be important to have knowledge of where the distinction lies between healthy sex and problematic sexual behaviour, in order to better know when it is advisable to get help.

It is important to note that this article is aimed at people with an addiction , and not people with different types of sexual preferences or lifestyles.

Hypersexuality vs sex addiction

According to Store Medisinske lexikon , hypersexuality is defined as highly active sexual behaviour . It is often seen in connection with hormonal disorders, or in manic episodes for people with bipolar disorder. Hypersexual behavior often occurs in situations where the control center in the brain is weakened, either as a result of brain damage, dementia or personality disorders. Hypersexuality is therefore often medical cases where the brain’s ability to control and limit needs is impaired, often as a result of injuries.

Hypersexuality is therefore not the same as sex addiction . Sex addiction can often be related to, or is the result of, a traumatic childhood. There is often talk of physical and/or emotional abuse, and you often see that there is addiction in the environment the child grows up in. This can be in the form of alcohol, drugs, games, food or other substances such as pills.

Sex addiction and problematic sexual behaviour

Addiction often has the same patterns, regardless of whether it is sex, alcohol, pills, gambling or food. The thoughts often revolve around how to meet the needs you have , while at the same time having to face the consequences of the addiction. This can be keeping control of lies, finding time to nurture one’s addiction, defending one’s behaviour, discussions with family or the like.

Addictive behavior can affect, among other things, family, work, quality of life, finances and social life. This can lead to a pain which in turn triggers the need for more of the destructive behaviour. It can quickly become a vicious circle.

In the same way that alcohol can dampen pain for an alcohol addict, sex can have the same dampening and stimulating effect for a sex addict.

But are there signs to look for? What exactly is problematic sexual behavior? By being aware of various signs of problematic behaviour, you can often get help before the ripple effects of the addiction become too great . You don’t have to let it go so far that the problems have taken over large parts of your life before you seek help. Getting help early is never something you want to lose.


10 types of problematic sexual behaviour

Here we explain ten types of problematic sexual behaviour. Some may find that they recognize themselves in several of these types. For others, it may be a single subject that is particularly experienced as triggering and which may be at the root of sex addiction.

  1. Sex based on pain
    A sex addict has often been sexually abused as a child. Sex that includes pain is therefore often a large part of the mental and psychological consequences from growing up. In some cases, therefore, pain is needed for the person to reach climax.
  2. Fantasy sex
    We have previously written about the harmful side effects of porn addiction. The porn industry has exploited taboo fantasies and the shame many people feelaround this. Using porn is therefore often a way for the addict to avoid the world and reality, and a way to escape into a fantasy.

Porn is often used in combination with masturbation, which in many cases becomes a form of compulsion. You also avoid being in contact with other people to stimulate the addiction. This can feel safer for many who experience social anxiety or want to keep other people at a distance. For some, it can also be a way to deal with general anxiety.

  1. Voyeuristic sex
    This means that the person likes to watch others being intimate together, often without them being aware that someone is watching. The sex addict can objectify those who are being looked at, and thus achieve a safe distance from other people. Problems with intimacy are often something that repeats itself, and in this way, especially when the people are not aware that they are being watched, the safe distance is kept in place.
  2. Exhibition sex
    Here it is about the person liking to be seen himself. All the focus is on getting attention from others around you, people who do not themselves participate in the sexual behaviour. The attention and shock that comes from those watching is the key here. Breaking social norms can also contribute to tension.
  3. Seductive role sex
    This can be similar to a role play, where the goal is to seduce and create a crush on the person you want to have sex with. Desire and affection often disappear as soon as you have had sex. It can also be seen in the light of the person entering into relationships where the role of a seducer is played. As a result of the person not being able or wanting to be themselves, several relationships are often sought that can fulfill other needs that are often not fulfilled in just one relationship. This often comes from the fear of abandonment, and again, difficulty with true emotional intimacy.
  4. Buying sex
    Here the tension can often lie in the payment itself. It represents the anonymity that is central to sex that is bought and paid for. The payment emphasizes that one does not need to know each other, does not need to share anything private and also avoids intimacy.
  5. Sex as barter
    Sex can in many cases be used as a source of power. In some cases where there has been abuse in childhood, negotiating with sex can give back some of the control in adulthood. This is therefore one of many examples of abuse of power. It is still a short-term control, and it does not allow for intimacy or real, deep bonds based on love.
  6. Intrusive sex where you break other people’s boundaries
    In some cases, an addict may have delusions about his own personalityor what others think of him/her. The addict may have a conviction that no one wants to participate voluntarily in sexual acts. There is therefore no other option than to “steal” sex to get it. Breaking other people’s boundaries or intimate zones becomes the only way to satisfy the need.
  7. High
    -risk sex This can be compared to when an addict needs a “quick-fix”, meaning that the need must be stimulated immediately. In the case of sex addiction, high-risk sex is carried out with strange partners. It’s nothing but sex, no seduction and no games. The sex itself is the focus, and can therefore also be potentially dangerous. There may be a risk of sexually transmitted diseases or dangerous situations, which is part of the excitement.
  8. Sex to exploit another person
    In some cases, you can see situations where a person uses their position or powerto get sex. In a work hierarchy, you can often see that a person in a vulnerable position can be exploited by someone with more power. Here, trust and romantic feelings are played on to obtain the opportunity to exploit the vulnerable person for sex.