Sex and Love Addiction (Symptoms)

For love addicts, love:

  • Is all consuming and obsessive
  • Is inhibited
  • Avoids risk or change
  • Lacks true intimacy
  • Is manipulative, strikes deals
  • Is dependent and parasitic
  • Demands the loved one's devotion

Sexual addictions usually are revealed in stages:

  • Preoccupation: continual fantasies about sexual prospects or situations, which can trigger episodes of sexual "acting-out"
  • Ritualization: a preferred sexual activity or situation is often stereotyped and repetitive
  • Compulsion: continual engagement in sexual activity despite negative consequences and desire to stop
  • Despair: guilt or shame over inability to control behavior or feel remorse
  • Other behavioral problems, particularly chemical dependency and eating disorders
Sex and Love Addiction. Last reviewed 12/31/1969
  • North City Psychological Group, San Diego, CA
  • Addicted to Love: Sex, Love and Compulsion