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A 17-year-old female asked:

what are signs of sex addiction in women? how might a woman's sex addiction be noticed by others?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Sex addiction: Sex addiction is characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts which increase over time. It may be limited to compulsive masturbation/watching porn, but may also include escalating sexual activity with multiple partners. Like with other addictions, family relationships ; other roles suffer. Women are more likely than men to call it "love addiction." http://tinyurl.Com/n5ay2j8 much shame.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Provided original answer
From Brene Brown PhD: "Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging." Such intense experience can drive addictive behavior, yet it's a mutually reinforcing loop. Shame does not survive authentic empathy, though -- which is at least partially why 12 step groups can help.
Dec 1, 2013
Dr. Brian Lynch
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Addiction: Sex addiction , any addiction , can be seen as a manifestation of a shame response. It can cause shame but it's also a response to shame. I understand shame to be a physical feeling that results from not getting what we want. When that happens we can try to run away , blame ourselves for the hurt , blame others for the hurt or we can act out indulging in activities that can become addictive.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
From Brene Brown PhD: "Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Women often experience shame when they are entangled in a web of layered, conflicting and competing social-community expectations. Shame leaves women feeling trapped, powerless and isolated." Can be a breeding ground for addictions, of course.
Dec 1, 2013

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Last updated May 15, 2016

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