The Six Types of Sex Addicts.

There are six types of sex addicts. By learning how to identify each of the six types of sex addiction,
you will find the path to recovery that is right for you.

Sex Addiction

The definition of sex addiction. What is it?

Sex addiction is the active use of a sexual behavior, whether it is masturbation, an internet porn addiction, fetishes and/or behavior with self or others in a compulsive life-destroying pattern. When you are addicted to sex it is called a sex addiction.

This is a real issue impacting millions of individuals, marriages, and families around the globe.The impact is felt in the life of the addict and his or her surrounding family members and friends. You and the one you love can recover from the damaging effects this can have on your relationship. Whether you are an addict or the partner of an addict: you are not alone and there is hope!

Six Types of Sex Addicts


Biological Sex Addicts

A biological sex addict is someone whose excessive masturbation and pornography viewing has hijacked the sexual response to attaching to images and fantasy. This person may have challenges with relational sex. Although most people have the biological type as one component of their addiction, only about 15 percent (in Dr. Weiss’s experience) are solely biologically based.

warning signs

  • This addiction is a masturbation and pornography based sexual addiction.
  • Your brain is condition to seek neurological highs from the addictive behavior.
  • Increased endorphin releases lead to repeat patterns of behavior.


Biological sex addiction is treatable through changing your behavior and by retraining your brain to accept a new “normal” by remapping your brain’s neural networks. They are self-treatable if you understand your biological triggers and how to manage and control them. However, professional help is needed in severe cases or if addicts continually relapse into their old behavior patterns.


Psychological Sex Addicts

Research shows that most sexual addicts have suffered some form of past abuse or neglect. This person finds the combination of the messages in the fantasy world and the sexual chemical cocktail to the brain to be a salve for their hurting soul. Simply put, they medicate the past pain in their souls with sexual acting out, which is their form of medicine. In our clinical experience, 80 percent or more of those who struggle with sex addiction have abandonment, abuse or neglect issues of some type in their past. These painful events will ultimately need to be addressed for them to fully heal.

Warning Signs

  • This addiction is associated with fantasy and relies on building your self-image and value through the sexual behavior.
  • You use it to self-medicate past issues of abandonment, abuse or neglect.
  • Your brain elevates your self-image, personal value and perceived worth because of the endorphin highs.


Psychological sex addiction is treated through first realizing that you are dependent on the sexual behavior to treat your past issues. Once you are aware of this, you must address the abandonment, abuse or neglect at the source and not continue to self-medicate your emotional pain. You can then rebuild your self-image and value through other healthy ways. This treatment is best accomplished with the help of a professional such as a licensed counselor or psychologist.


Spiritual Sex Addicts

The person with this type is looking for a spiritual connection in all the wrong places. In recovery, we talk about our spiritual hole. This person tries sex for this spiritual void and finds it doesn’t scratch the itch over time.

Warning Signs

  • This addiction is associated with fantasy and relies on building your self-image and value through the sexual behavior.
  • You use it to self-medicate past issues of abandonment, abuse or neglect.
  • Your brain elevates your self-image, personal value and perceived worth because of the endorphin highs.


Spiritual sex addiction is treated through understanding that you are a spiritual being and that your spirituality must be nurtured in the right way. You must understand that the love, acceptance and enlightening experience is not found in the sexual behavior, but in accepting that you are a human being with an inner spirit that is tied to the spiritual world with a power greater than yourself. You will have the best chance of recovery by working with professionals like spiritual leaders who understand this sex addiction and licensed counselors.

Treatment Intensives For Sex Addiction

Learn About Sex Addiction Treatment Options

If you or someone you know has one of these six signs of sex addiction, treatment intensives are a great option which can help. They include 3 or 5 days of counseling, group therapy, and specialized resources to enhance recovery.


Trauma Based Sex Addicts

The person with the trauma-based type has experienced sexual trauma(s) as a child or adolescent. This trauma becomes the major repetitive behavior in their addiction.

For the trauma-based, the trauma determines the flavor of the sexual addiction. Here trauma work will need to be addressed for the addict to heal.

Warning Signs

  • This addiction comes from past sexual trauma that you experienced as a child or adolescent.
  • Your predominant fantasy comes from and is very similar to the trauma.
  • This trauma becomes the major repetitive behavior in the addiction.


Trauma-based sex addiction is treated through a several step plan. First, you need to realize your addiction is coming from trauma and stop acting out. Second, you need to identify what the trauma was and how it affected you. There is a good chance your feelings and emotions surrounding the trauma are “frozen” or suppressed, so you may need to work with licensed counselors for the best chance of recovery. Finally, you can start the recovery and healing process.


Intimacy Anorexia Sex Addicts

In earlier research we determined 29% of addicts fit into the category of intimacy anorexia in addition to other areas. This subject is covered in great detail in the Intimacy Anorexia DVD and book. There is a list of the characteristics of intimacy anorexia below. Answer these the way your spouse or partner would answer them about you.

Many addicts who have been trying to get sober but keep having what I call “flat tire” recovery (relapsing regularly) often are identified as intimacy anorexics. If you have been sober from acting out behaviors for a year but your wife wants to leave you now because “nothing’s changed” you might also be a sexual/emotional anorexic.

Warning Signs

  • This addiction is related to withholding intimacy causing the spouse or partner to often feel like a roommate.
  • If five or more of the below criteria apply to you, then you are probably dealing with intimacy anorexia.
    1. Withhold love
    2. Withhold praise or appreciation
    3. Control by silence/anger
    4. Criticism causing isolation
    5. Withholding sex
    6. Blaming partner for everything
    7. Staying very busy to avoid partner time
    8. Control/Shame with money issues
    9. Unable to share feelings
    10. Withholding spiritual connection
    11. Feel more like a roommate


Intimacy anorexia is treated by developing your emotional capacity which allows you to open up to deeper emotions and be able to share your heart. Your partner or spouse most likely wants intimacy, but you have to be able to realize that and share the deepest parts of yourself with them. Lies you tell yourself also tend to be part this addiction when you tell yourself that, “if you knew me, you wouldn’t love me.” Once you overcome these false truths, you can practice intimacy and get better at it over time. It is best to get professional help from licensed counselors when dealing with intimacy anorexia because it is very hard to successfully breakout of the realization and relapse cycle by yourself.


Mood Disorder Sex Addicts

In a journal article Dr. Weiss wrote called The Prevalence of Depression in Male Sex Addicts Residing in the United States, Weiss discovered that 28% of male sex addicts suffered from depression. People with depression have chemical imbalances in adolescence or young adulthood. This young person finds the sexual release as a way to medicate or alter their present chemical imbalance. They then use this sexual response regularly and over time unexpectedly create an addiction.

Warning Signs

  • This addiction deals with chemical imbalances and using the sexual addiction to medicate that imbalance.
  • You experience mood shifts and changes daily or weekly.
  • You use the sexual addiction as a “release” to balance the mood disorder.


Mood disorder sex addiction is treated through professional help with licensed counselors and psychologists and possibly prescribed medications. The chances of successful recovery are low if you try fighting through your depression and addiction on your own. This is because your rapidly changing mood swings and depression create a potent mix when combined with the sexual addiction.

Take the Sex Addiction Type Test

Take our online test to see which factors match your addiction type and discover the treatment needed.

Not sure if you're an addict?

Think there might be a problem but your behaviors aren’t severe?  Answering these few questions will help you think about your situation more in-depth.
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The Final Freedom book gives you a tried and true path to freedom from sexual addiction. It informs sex addicts and their partners about sex addiction, gives you hope for the future and has helped many people find freedom.

This book contains more information about sex addiction than many professional counselors have today. It contains detailed steps you can take to experience recovery and a roadmap toward freedom. The information provided in this book would cost hundreds of dollars in counseling hours to receive. Many have attested to successful recovery from this information alone.

Schedule a 3 to 5 day sex addiction intensive with our certified sex addiction counselors.
Call: 719.278.3708

Sex Addiction Help
720 Elkton Dr Ste. 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

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