The reasons people become sex addicts

Sex addiction expert Kenneth M. Adams, PhD discusses the reasons people may become addicted to sex
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The reasons people become sex addicts

There are generally two sets of reasons why someone can become addicted to sex. One is the typical profile of what we see with alot of addicts, whether they're drug addicts, gambling addicts is they come from backgrounds in their childhood where the relationships with their primary caretakers were not good. They didn't get enough love, the parents or the caretakers were not very attune, they had their own problems. So they were either neglected, abused, or abandoned in some fashion and then drugs, alcohol, and sex in this case became ways to regulate these feelings or they couldn't make sense of them. And they also became a way to have an attachment with something that felt good where I don't have to depend on anybody. So that's a critical element and what we see with people who are addicted to sex the pornography, the prostitute, those kind of behaviors become substitutes for attachments that never worked where this time though I stay in control. The other reason that we see for people getting addicted to sex is that which they may not come from a realy terribly bad childhood, they may have come from a decent childhood. They may have minor anxiety or low social skills but sometimes the exposure to new technology in which they're flooded with sexual images or sexual text stories, or the opportunity to be sexual in ways that they never could have imagined, sometimes the opportunity by itself can be addictive like we saw with crack cocaine many years ago, so people got addicted to crack cocaine who did not have a typical profile, just the exposure to the drug was enough to flood the brain and get people hooked in a very short period of time. And we're seeing that now with people who are exposed to a wide set of opportunities to be sexual through technology.

Sex addiction expert Kenneth M. Adams, PhD discusses the reasons people may become addicted to sex


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Kenneth M. Adams, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Kenneth M. Adams, Ph.D., CSAT, is a Licensed Psychologist, the Clinical Director and Founder of Kenneth M. Adams and Associates in suburban Detroit, Michigan, as well as a faculty member at the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. As previous Clinical Director for the Life Healing Center in Sante Fe, New Mexico, a residential treatment center for trauma and addiction, Dr Adams created the first inpatient program exclusively for partners of sex addicts. In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice, Dr. Adams is a national lecturer, workshop leader, and consultant in the areas of child abuse, dysfunctional family systems, and sex addiction. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications, the books Silently Seduced and When He’s Married to Mom, as well as co-editor of Clinical Management of Sex Addiction. In 2011, Dr Adams received the “Carnes Award” for “outstanding work in the field of sexual addiction and compulsivity”. He is a certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), a CSAT supervisor, and CSAT training facilitator as well as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner. Dr. Adams is a member of the American Psychological Association, Michigan Psychological Association, Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), and International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) as well as an advisory board member to SASH and IITAP, and an editorial board member of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. For more on Dr Adams visit


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