What is Sexual Addiction?

Patrick Carnes defines addiction as having a pathological relationship with a mood altering chemical or behavior. Simply stated, sexual addiction is the lack of control of some sexual behavior or relationship. Perhaps the most helpful definition is a practical one: sexual behavior that has a negative effect on one’s life.

  1. Compulsivity – The loss of control over a behavior. An addict continues in the behavior or relationship despite repeated attempts to stop.
  2. Continuation despite negative consequences.
  3. Preoccupation or obsession.
  4. Tolerance – More of the same behavior or an escalation of progressive behaviors is required to get the same “high”.

The History of Sexual Addiction

In recent years, largely through the pioneering work of Dr. Patrick Carnes within the secular community, and Dr. Mark Laaser within the Christian community, more attention has been drawn to the problem of sexual addiction. Dr. Carnes wrote the first book about sexual addiction in 1981, which is now called Out of the Shadows. Dr. Laaser wrote the first Christian book about sexual addiction in 1992, now titled Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction.

The reality of an addiction to sex is gaining acceptance, much as alcoholism came to be understood as an addiction forty years ago.

In the mid-to-late 1970’s programs of recovery based on the Twelve Steps originally used by Alcoholics Anonymous rapidly expanded across the country. The main programs of these groups are Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) and Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA).

There have been few programs that combine sound clinical treatment with Christian principles. This gap leaves men alone to struggle with the spiritual aspects of their sexual shame.

Dr. Laaser’s vision has been to address this need. His books, workbooks, seminars and workshops are all based on sound clinical principles combined with Christian truth. Our  Men of Valor 3-Day Intensive Workshop is an example of this commitment. If you want to get well and are willing to go to any lengths, our Men of Valor 3-Day Intensive Workshop can provide the understanding and tools you need.

Sex Addiction Self-Test

Click this link to take a Confidential Questionnaire created by Dr. Mark Laaser, The Sexual Integrity Inventory. This questionnaire will help you to identify the severity of your sexual behavior history. If you answer “yes” to half or more of the questions, we encourage you to contact us at 952-746-3880 for help.