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How Do You Get Addicted to Sex or Pornography?

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

In this series on sexual addiction, we have described sexual addiction as a specific type of addiction called an activity addiction. In the following sections, we answer the question, "How do you get addicted to sex or pornography?" Our goal is to help you, the reader, appreciate the complexity of addiction. Like most complex problems, there is a broad range of possible solutions. Our position is that complex problems, like addiction, do not benefit from single, simplistic solutions. People benefit from having a range of possible solutions to their addiction problems. There are at least four possible reasons people can get addicted to sex or pornography: 1) biological reasons, 2) psychological reasons, 3) socio-cultural reasons, and 4) spiritual reasons. These four reasons are reviewed separately in the sections that follow.

So let's begin. How DO people get addicted to sex? Understanding how we get addicted will ultimately lead us to the more important question: "How can we recover from sexual addiction?"