Teri and Tamara have described several different types of sex addicts. Just as a reminder, these were adapted from Maureen Canning, a leading expert in the sex addiction treatment field. I am going to continue describing the more types of addicts that society doesn't understand. Voyeuristic Sex: This is obtaining visual arousal by secretly watching someone. It is again, another way to get the arousal without a connection. It is even more cut off in that the person that is being watched does not even know. This is part of what makes it so exciting for the addict. They feel a sense of power in that the person is unaware of the "interaction".
Sadomasochism: This is an exchange of pain between two people that creates arousal. Usually it is a role playing of some sort of danger, intensity, and shame. This can be really difficult to understand why this would create arousal for someone. However, the areas in our brains that enable us to experience pain and pleasure are very close together. Therefore, sometimes something that causes us pain can create vibrations in our brain that hit the pleasure area- thus someone experiencing pleasure. For some people, this can be exciting and addictive.
Cross Dressing: This is someone who gets excited to dress in clothing appropriate for the opposite sex. We want to make sure this is not confused with someone who is a trans-gendered individual. This is different. With cross dressing, the individual gets addicted to the arousal they experience when they wear clothing of the opposite sex. Usually this starts when they are children. They may ache for closeness to the opposite sex caregiver. If they are not receiving that, they may secretly take garments to feel that closeness. When they get away with it, they may continue to take more. This creates a level of arousal because of the closeness they feel with the clothing. This is not always the case, but in many cases, this is how it began.
Tomorrow Joleen will continue talking about sex addiction and also give us some resources for help. Thank you for reading. Have a great day!
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.