Compulsive sexual behaviour is a condition when a person is unable to handle their sexual behaviour. It is sometimes called hypersexuality disorder or sexual addiction. Constant sexual thoughts impede a person’s ability to work, keep up relationships, and negatively affect their health.

Compulsive sexual behaviour may include a range of typically amusing sexual feelings like masturbation, cybersex, multiple partners, use of pornography or paying sex. When these sexual habits become a crucial part of your life, they are hard to control and are harmful to you or others in society.
Compulsive Sexual Behaviour

The true nature of the behaviour, if left untreated can hinder your self-esteem, relationships, and health. However, with treatment and self-help one can learn to effectively manage this problem.


Some of the indications that may indicate you may be struggling with compulsive sexual behaviour include:

Recurrent and intense sexual desires, urges and behaviours that consume a lot of your time and feel as if they’re out of your control.

Feel forced to do certain things sexual actions, feel a sense of stress afterwards, but also feel guilt or regret.

You have struggled unsuccessfully to decrease or control sexual urges or behaviour.

Use compulsive sexual behaviour to get away from other issues like loneliness, depression, anxiety or stress.

You are constantly involved in sexual behaviour that has severe outcomes such as the risk of getting or transmitting sexually transmitted diseases, loss of crucial relationships, disturbing work, and financial or legal issues.

You have a problem creating and keeping healthy and strong relationships.

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The exact cause of compulsive sexual behaviour is not clear, but they may include:

Imbalance Of Natural Brain Chemicals: Some of the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine support controlling mood and high levels of these chemicals may lead to compulsive sexual behaviour.

Changes In Brain Pathways: Compulsive sexual behaviour may be an addiction that in the long term it may cause alterations in the brain’s neural circuits, mainly in the reinforcement point of the brain.

Conditions That Affect The Brain: Some of the diseases or health problems like epilepsy and dementia may result in damage to some regions of the brain that affect sexual behaviour. In addition, the treatment of Parkinson’s disease with dopamine agonist drugs may cause compulsive sexual behaviour.

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Risk factors

This condition can develop in both men and women; however, it may be more common in men. Also, it can affect anyone irrespective of their sexual orientation. Some of the factors that may elevate the risk of compulsive sexual behaviour include:

  • Easy access to sexual content
  • Privacy
  • Further, an increased risk of compulsive sexual behaviour may develop in people who have:
  • Alcohol or drug abuse issues
  • A mental problem like depression or anxiety
  • Family conflicts
  • A history of sexual or physical abuse


Generally, your doctor will conduct a psychological assessment, which involves answering certain questions about your:

  • Physical, mental, and emotional status
  • Sexual thought and behaviours that are tough to control
  • Any use of recreational drugs or alcohol
  • Family, relationships, and social well-being
  • Any issue caused by your sexual habit
  • With the consent of the patient, the doctor may also ask for input from the family and friends.


Compulsive sexual behaviour may be difficult to treat, as in most cases the patient may rationalize their behaviours and thought processes and deny that there is a problem. Treatment mode for compulsive sexual behaviour usually includes psychotherapy, medications, and self-help associations. The main aim of treatment is to support the patient handle sexual urges and lessen excessive behaviours while nurturing healthy sexual habits and relationships.

Most people with the compulsive sexual disorder often have alcohol or drug abuse issues or other mental health conditions like anxiety, or depression, which need immediate treatment.

A person with other addictions or serious mental issues or who pose a danger to others may need hospitalization to improve their condition initially. In the starting stage treatment may be intense and the patient may also need periodic, ongoing treatment through the years to avert relapses.