Sexual addiction is characterized by three overriding criteria.
- Loss of control – The sexual addict experiences a feeling of complete loss of control over sexual activities that have spiraled out-of-control.
- Consequences – The sexual addict continues to engage in obsessive and compulsive sexual acts and thoughts despite serious and continuing negative consequences.
- Preoccupation – The sexual addict constantly thinks about sexual acts, devising ways to engage in sexual acts, dreaming about sexual acts. This occurs even when the individual doesn’t want to nor has any intention to do so.