It’s not just men who struggle with sex and porn addiction, but an estimated 30% of women too. But according to research, women are much less likely to reach out for help with this problem.  In this blog we’ll talk about what female sex addiction is like, the ways it is similar, and the ways it is different. We will also look at what some of the signs of sex addiction may be in women. 

How are Female Sex Addicts Different from Males?

Female sex addiction is often referred to by the acronym FSLA -– Female Sex & Love Addiction. This highlights a key difference between men and women who seek help for sex addiction, namely that men will often say that their prime motivator is sex, whereas women may say that it is love. The term love addiction is used to describe the obsessive and compulsive pursuit of a relationship, and some may frame it more as a romance, fantasy or intensity addiction. For some this will be serial monogamous relationships, for others it will be affairs outside of the primary couple relationship and for some it may be an unhealthy preoccupation with someone unobtainable, be that physically or emotionally. On the surface love addiction presents as a search for intimacy, but in reality it is the pursuit of the high of ‘falling in love’ that the love addict yearns for, rather than true connection with a partner.

Like sex and porn addiction, love addiction is characterised by a pattern of behaviour that feels out of control, behaviour that the addict is unable to stop in spite of significant harmful consequences.  But it is the search for what is perceived as ‘true love’ and romance that they crave, rather than sex itself. Having said that, most people with love addiction will wrongly equate sex with love and hence will be highly sexual and they may also use sex or porn as a way of escaping the emotional pain of failing to find their perfect relationship. Like many sex addicts, part of the dopamine rush is also the thrill of the chase and the sense of power and affirmation they achieve when their prey is caught. But once caught, the sex addict will quickly move to someone else, whereas the love addict will want to maintain at least some kind of relational connection. In today’s internet age, maintaining that connection is easier than it ever has been and many with love addiction will be avid users of social media and online chat forums and dating sites to both catch and keep their romantic conquests.

Female porn addiction

Many people assume that pornography addiction is a uniquely male problem, especially as we’re commonly told that men are more visually stimulated than women. Whilst there may be some truth in the stereotype, women are not blind and at many stages of their lives they have equal sexual desire and curiosity. It is known that more and more women are viewing porn, though there is little published research on the number of women becoming addicted. However, online forums and self-help resources indicate that porn addiction amongst women is on the increase.  

The rise in pornography use amongst women may be due to a number of factors. It could simply be that women are more comfortable talking about their pornography use than they were 20 years ago, or perhaps the growing industry of female-friendly porn, often created by women porn producers, has made porn more appealing.

Signs of female sex addiction

The signs of female sex addiction are the same as those within men, and like men, it is probably only they themselves who know if they have a problem.

Symptoms of sex addiction in women include:

·         Spending more and more time engaging in sexual behaviours

·         Being pre-occupied by their desire to engage in sexual behaviours

·         Continuing to engage in behaviours that are causing problems in their life

·         Discovering they can’t stop

If you’re a woman who thinks you you may be struggling with sex or porn addiction, then you may be reluctant to reach out for help because of the stigma and shame that society so often throws at women who are struggling with their sexual desires. But  you are not alone and once you reach out for help, not only can you begin to overcome your difficulties, but you can also get to the root of the problem and build the kind of life you want to lead.  Get in touch with us today on [email protected].