Sexual Desire Conditions

Sexual Desire Conditions

In most literature, the heading ‘sexual desire conditions’ refer to conditions that cause a person to have no desire for sexual engagement.  On this web site ‘Sexual Desire Conditions’ will refer to conditions that both reduce or eliminate sexual desire, through to those that result in a person's sexual desire being over-active.

The human sexual response cycle consists of four phases: ‘desire’, ‘arousal’, ‘orgasm’, and ‘resolution’.  The ‘sexual desire conditions’ in this section of the web site are those that interfere with the ‘desire’ and ‘arousal’ phases of the cycle.

Phase 1.  Desire: Consists of three components: sexual drive, sexual motivation, and sexual wish. These reflect the biological, psychological, and social, aspects of desire, respectively.

Phase 2.  Arousal: Is brought on by psychological and/or physiological stimulation. Multiple physiologic changes occur in men and women that prepare them for orgasm. In men, increased blood flow causes erection, penile colour changes, and testicular elevation.  In women; vaginal lubrication, clitoral tumescence, and labial colour changes.

In many cases, sexual desire conditions are created by traumatic experiences that have resulted in influencing our sexual behaviours.  The term: 'behaviour' often gives the impression of having control or even responsibility, however in sexual desire conditions a person is more likely to be out of control of their sexually related behaviours, and personalise responsibility for their actions even knowing that there is an ulterior/underlying driving force behind them. Whether it be, 'sexual compulsion and addiction' where the person is always on the look-out for sexual fulfilment, or a person who is at the other end of the spectrum and experiences; feelings of disgust and fear (just like a phobia) for any type of sexual activity, both conditions can have a negative impact on a person’s sexual engagements and relationships.

Low Sexual Desire

Also known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) or inhibited Sexual desire; In the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) the condition is considered a sexual dysfunction and is characterized as a lack, or absence, of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity. Studies consistently show that HSDD can affect both women and men, however most studies have been on women and the prevalence within the male population is limited. Some researchers believe that women may be at least twice as likely to have HSDD, which is why much of the research has focused on women. Physical factors that can also impact on sexual desire includes:

  • Mental Health conditions (e.g. Depression and anxiety)
  • Arthritis
  • Coronary artery disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, different types of cancers.
  • Decreased hormone levels (estrogen or testosterone). Older men may be at a greater risk of developing male HSDD because hormonal levels of testosterone gradually decrease with age.
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Medications

Information adapted from:

Psychological factors that can also impact on sexual desire includes:

  • Mental Health conditions (e.g. Depression and anxiety, etc.)
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Negative emotions about sex (e.g. guilt).
  • Low self-esteem

People who experience HSDD may be comfortable with their low levels of sexual desire or arousal and only regard it as a condition when it causes distress or impairments in the person’s life or interpersonal relationships.

HSDD is treatable and can be manageable, so the first step if you are concerned about a lack of interest in sex is to talk to a healthcare provider.  The treatment provided by Dave Wells may include sex therapy, counselling, and/or psychotherapy, which can be provided individually, or together with your partner.

Medications may be evaluated as contributing factors, and underlying medical conditions may be addressed through collaboration with your general practitioner.

Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD)

Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD) is one of two Sexual Desire Disorders in the 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)', and is defined as:

" a “persistent or recurrent extreme aversion to, and avoidance of, all or almost all, genital sexual contact with a sexual partner” which causes distress or interpersonal difficulty".

Much has also been written about the overlap between SAD and panic states, and the more obvious similarities between SAD and anxiety as opposed to sexual desire.  SAD is identified as a sexual dysfunction, however there are researchers and health professionals who argue that it might more appropriately be placed within the specific phobia grouping as an 'Anxiety Disorder'.

Adapted from:  Archives of Sexual Behavior: Lori A. Brotto; Volume 39, (2010)

To put it simply; Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD) is a phobic aversion to, and avoidance of sexual contact with a sexual partner, which can cause personal distress. This is the most severe form of sexual desire disorder. It involves a fear of sexual intercourse and an intense desire to avoid sexual situations completely. SAD is often related to an aversion to a person’s genitals. The sufferer may be repulsed by the outward looks or the smell of the person’s genitals. A person’s reaction to their partner's body and sexuality can greatly impact the quality of their relationship.

Contributing Factors of Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD):

  • Sexual abuse
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Parental sexual attitudes
  • Anxieties about a person's sexual performance
  • Unresolved sexual identity issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Fear of blood on the penis after penetration
  • Fear of transmission of sexually transmitted infections
  • Fear of pregnancy

Consequences of Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD)

Common experiences of people with Sexual Aversion Disorder, when faced with the possibility of a sexual encounter:

·       Anxiety

·       Fearfulness

·       Physicalsymptoms, such as:

·       rapidheart rate

·       sweating

·       dizziness

·       nausea

·       trembling

·       diarrhea

Treatment of Sexual Eversion Disorder (SAD)

In order to treat Sexual Aversion Disorder sex therapy /counselling is recommended.  Dave Wells combines individual therapy and couple therapy to address SADS.  Where a partner is involved, a co-operative couple will benefit more from treatment.

Sex therapy/counselling for Sexual Aversion Disorder may include some of the following:

  • Anxiety reduction/desensitization
  • Cognitive restructuring techniques
  • Sexual myths/psychosexual education
  • Enhancing communication
  • Promoting sexual intimacy
  • Behavioural assignments/homework exercises

Other sexual desire disorders differ from the SAD as the condition does not only include a lack of interest, it also comprises of the feeling of disgust and fear (just like a phobia) for any type of sexual activity.

Different sufferers have different types of aversions such as:

  • Some might not like to see the genitals of their partner.
  • Some do not like the smell of the ejaculations or genital organs.
  • Some do not like kissing, hugging, cuddling, or mutual masturbation.
  • And for some, the fear grows to a complete hatred for intercourse as a whole.

A person may become so obsessed with the fear/phobia for sexual activity, that they may take every gesture from the partner as demand for sex and may avoid all intimacy or communication between the partners. In the long term, aversion for sex might jeopardize the success of the sufferers' relationships.

What causes the SAD and are there any noticeable symptoms included?

Clearly, the Sexual Aversion Disorder is a psychological disorder with a few physiological causes that might be an underlying reason. But the greatest factor which becomes the reason for a person developing an aversion such as this is due to some traumatic past experiences or perhaps issues with the partner itself. If the cause is interpersonal with the partner, it is likely that the person with the condition is capable of sexual fantasies and imagery. This person's avoidance may be situational.

In the case where an abusive past has been experienced, such as physical violence, rape, molestation, even verbal abuse or bad parenting, the sufferer will need to engage in an extensive therapy, as well as receive the emotional support of the partner. However, it is important to remember that no person can be branded as suffering from SAD unless he/she has been evaluated or any other causes have been ruled by an expert sexologist. Also, SAD can be treated very well with extensive psychotherapy, relationship counselling, using a range of therapy models.

Adapted from:

Sex Addiction / Over-Active Sexual Desire (Hyperactive Sexual Desire Disorder)

Over-active Sexual Desire is also known as ‘Hypersexuality’. It a condition defined as an extremely frequent, or suddenly increased libido. It is currently controversial whether it should be included as a clinical diagnosis used by mental health care professionals. ‘Nymphomania’ and ‘satyriasis’ were terms previously used for the condition, in women and men respectively.

Hypersexuality may be a primary condition, or the symptom of another medical disease or condition, for example, Kluver-Bucy syndrome (bilateral lesions of the medial temporal lobe), or bipolar disorder (previously known as manic depression). Hypersexuality may also present as a side effect of medication such as drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Clinicians have yet to reach a consensus over how best to describe hypersexuality as a primary condition, or to determine the appropriateness of describing such behaviours and impulses as a separate pathology.

Hypersexual behaviours are viewed variously by clinicians and therapists as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or "OCD-spectrum disorder", an addiction, or disorder of impulsivity. Several authors do not acknowledge such a pathology, and instead assert that the condition merely reflects a cultural dislike of exceptional sexual behaviour.

Consistent with there not being any consensus over what causes hypersexuality, authors have used many different labels to refer to it, sometimes interchangeably, but often depending on which theory they favor or which specific behaviour they were studying. Contemporary names include compulsive masturbation, compulsive sexual behaviour, cybersex addiction, erotomania (delusional disorder),"excessive sexual drive", hyper-philia, hypersexuality, hypersexual disorder, problematic hypersexuality, sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity, sexual dependency, sexual impulsivity, "out of control sexual behaviour", and paraphilia-related disorder.

Hypersexuality is known to present itself as a symptom in connection to a number of mental and neurological disorders.

Adapted from:

Sexual Addiction/Compulsion

Sexual addiction, which is also known as hypersexual disorder, has largely been ignored by psychiatrists, even though the condition causes serious psychosocial problems for many people. A lack of empirical evidence on sexual addiction is the result of the disease's complete absence from versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. However, people who were categorised as having a compulsive, impulsive, addictive sexual disorder, or a hypersexual disorder, reported having obsessive thoughts and behaviours as well as sexual fantasies.

Sexual addiction/ hypersexual disorder is used as an umbrella construct to encompass various types of problematic behaviours, including excessive: masturbation, cybersex, pornography use, sexual behaviour with consenting adults, telephone sex, strip club visitation, Chem-sex, and other sexually related behaviours.

The adverse consequences of sexual addiction are like the consequences of other addictive disorders. Addictive, somatic, and psychiatric disorders coexist with sexual addiction. In recent years, research on sexual addiction has proliferated, and screening instruments have increasingly been developed to diagnose or quantify sexual addiction disorders.

The diagnosis of “sex addiction’ is surrounded by controversy. It’s been excluded from the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5), but it’s still written about and studied in psychology and counselling circles.  It can still be diagnosed using both DSM-5 as “Other specified sexual dysfunction”.

Dave Wells believes that ‘sex addiction and sexual compulsion’ have been neglected as a serious health condition because many address the condition from a values and moral perspective, as well as this, more work and discussion has been invested on what to call the condition, rather than supporting the people who live with it.

The term ‘sex addiction’ has become a term that many have heard largely due to famous people who use it to excuse their infidelities.  This is not to say that all of them do not have the condition, however media often sensationalise the condition by highlighting it as a scandal, and focusing on their marriage breakdowns, and who the person has cheated with, rather than explaining how the condition effects people.  

Unfortunately, 'sex' is often a loaded word that triggers several different reactions and points of view.  It is often received with embarrassment, or viewed as naughty, rude, or inappropriate; however, we are all born and die with a sex-being, including a sexuality.  It is natural, no different than any other part of being human. The only difference between our sexual health and any other human function are the messages that we receive (socialization) which frame our thoughts about sex.  For example, in western culture if a person has been sexual with another, we usually describe it using a negative terminology, e.g. “have you been getting up to no good”, or “mischief”, “did you get lucky” (meaning if you don't have sex you're unlucky).  Often with sexual behaviour comes ‘judgments’, ‘values’, and even ‘persecution’.  Can you think of another natural function of being human that draws as much attention, opinion, or views, on what is right or wrong?

When it comes to a person who has multiple partners, especially when in a committed relationship, many feel that the term ‘Sexual addiction’ is an excuse for poor behaviour. This is not to say that the behaviours should be celebrated, but if the condition was better understood outside of placing judgement, then they would realise that the condition controls the sufferer, and not the other way around.  Because sex addiction also comes under the term ‘paraphilia’ which encompasses abnormal sexual desires, many also mistakenly place sexual addiction with pedophilia which is not that case.  Although, people with sexual addiction will commonly place themselves at risk with the law by; accessing illegal sex workers, having sex in environments that are classed as loitering or public, or being too obvious in their sexual interest towards others, etc.  Most with sexual addiction do not have the intention of harming others and will usually seek some type of privacy when sexually engaging, and only engage with consenting adults.  

Dave Wells only works with people who have a sexual addiction that does not include paedophilia.  Referral can be made for those people who are sexually attracted to people who are under the legal age.

Addiction is more commonly related to substances such as drugs, including alcohol and cigarettes: AOD, or problematic behaviours, food, gambling, etc.  In the case of sexual addiction, the strong and often overwhelming urge to have sex is rarely about the sexual engagement itself, and more about the search to find the sex. When we focus on the benefits that we receive from sex it is not just about reproduction and orgasm.  It also includes ego stimulation by feeling attracted by another, the chase and challenge –conquering, curiosity.  All the other benefits of a sexual engagement combine and release sexual endorphins in the body.  For many with addiction, the substance is the result and often it is the journeys to attain the substance that releases the stimuli and endorphins that lead to their addiction.  In fact, when the sex addict completes the sexual engagement, they quite often start of process of looking for the next partner.  This doesn’t mean that they do not enjoy the sex, but rather they enjoy the challenge of finding it again and the endorphins that this process releases in their bodies.  This can be similar for many with AOD addiction who find the journey of purchasing the substance and its preparation can be just as, if not more addictive than physical reactions to the substance.

Because much of the focus of sexual addiction sufferers is placed the sexual activity, many people will take initiatives that avoid sexual engagement, however they will still explore the usual avenues that they utilise to find sex.  Over time the sex addict will seek a broader range of sexual experiences and activities and take risks such as unsafe sex, because they become desensitised to their regular sexual activities and are looking to enhance and satisfy their sexual urges.  If viewed in correlation to substance abuse, the more you use, the more you need to have the same effect.

The question often arises; how much sex is too much sex?  Of course, you cannot put a number on how many times you have sex for it to be unhealthy. Too much sex is when the sexual engagement is problematic, such as taking the person away from their responsibilities, or when the sex that they have is detrimental to their lives, either socially, hurting others, or placing their physical and mental health at risk of harm.

What are the symptoms of sex addiction?

Since sex addiction isn’t outlined in the DSM-5, and the condition is loaded with value-based judgements, there’s considerable controversy about what criteria constitutes an addiction.

One characteristic may be secrecy of behaviours, in which the person with the disorder becomes skilled at hiding their behaviour and can even keep the condition secret from spouses, partners, and family members. They may lie about their activities or engage in them at times and places where they won’t be found out, but sometimes symptoms are present and noticeable. A person may have a sex addiction if they show some, or all the following signs:

·     Chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies

·     Compulsive relations with multiple partners, including strangers.

·     Lying to cover behaviours.

·     Preoccupation with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, and so on.

·     Inability to stop or control the behaviours.

·     Regularly putting in place initiatives to attempt to stop of behaviours of seeking sex (such as masturbation)

·     Putting oneself or others in danger due to sexual behaviour

·     Feeling remorse or guilt after sex

·     Experiencing other negative personal or professional consequences

Compulsive behaviours can strain relationships, for example, with the stress of infidelity — although some people may claim to have a sex addiction to explain infidelity in a relationship.

Sexual compulsion: is another term that can be used for sex addiction; however, it also can be seen as part of the process of sex addiction.  For example, a person with sex addiction may see a person that they find attractive and from there they become aroused and will start seeking sexual gratification. It is not unusual for the person who has the condition to masturbate many times a day to curb their arousal. Masturbation may satisfy their arousal in the short term; however, it will not be long until they are on the hunt again as masturbation may dampen their arousal, but it does not sooth their need for the chase and challenge.

One theory behind sexual addiction/compulsion is that it begins as a coping mechanism for trauma. For example, when the individual who has the condition was young and they were exposed to significant trauma, they may have engaged in masturbation or fantasy-type of thoughts to escape the effects of the trauma in an unconscious attempt to make them feel better.  Many with sexual addiction report that when something bad happens in their life, it is an automatic response that they begin the process of seeking out sexual partners.  Often at this stage the person will not be aroused, however the search for sexual engagement will turn to arousal.  In their adult life, this bad news could be simply financial hardship (getting a bill and not being able to afford to pay it) or having an argument.

Many who Dave Wells has worked with in this area, experienced developmental delays in their sexual maturity and have expressed that they are making up for lost time. This is especially true for people who experience abuse, bullying, questioning regarding their sexuality and gender, and body dysmorphia.  Other theories find a correlation between neurological conditions and sexual addiction.  

Research indicates that there is a possible correlation between men suffering from sexual addiction and ADHD. This research is preliminary and requires further work, however it raises the question of whether the presence of early life traumas could be a factor in both sexual addiction and ADHD. Sex addicts who suffer with ADHD will need effective medical assessment and treatment of it. Sex addicts with ADHD will also need effective treatment of early life trauma. Without medical and trauma treatment, sex addicts will be unlikely to achieve or maintain sobriety (Richard Blankenship & Mark Laaser: 2004).

Compulsive sexual behaviour is also often associated with other psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder and substance abuse, as well in people who have experienced trauma to the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain.

In the modern day, there are chat line phone apps, internet, and varied sexual services that all can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.  This ease of access fuels the person with sexual addiction, and enables them to fulfill and normalise their addiction, and they do not realise that they have the condition until it has taken over their lives.

Often porn addiction is mistakenly placed under the same category as sex addiction and although its content is sexual in nature, there are big differences between the conditions.  The obvious differences between the two conditions are that sex addiction is about thinking about, seeking, and undertaking sexual activity, either with a partner or solo, whilst pornography addiction is about the viewing of erotic images and sexual activities to achieve sexual fulfilment, be that online, watching a video, or looking at a magazine.  This difference is reflected in the behaviour of sufferers where a sex addict is constantly on the hunt for new sexual partners through the particular societal avenues that they utilise to find them, whilst the person addicted to porn is more likely to become reclusive and avoid interacting with others face to face.

Arising from the chronic sexual over-stimulation caused by the constant viewing of pornography, research continues to identify that many porn addicts find it difficult to become aroused by real-life partners, even when they believe that their partner is sexually attractive (Ekern, 2016). Sex addicts on the other hand, aren’t known to suffer from this same problem, and it is more common that they will achieve arousal from partners who they are not attracted to.

Assisting the sufferer to identify and understand their condition can be as simple as the explanation. ‘A porn addict might have little interest in physical sex, and a sex addict may never watch pornography.’

An overarching similarity is that both conditions are equally as problematic, and many who live with porn addiction and sexual addiction, do so in silence.  The barriers for suffers are further burdened by finding it difficult to give up something that they enjoy and brings them temporary fulfilment.  Most people do not have someone that they respect as being knowledgeable about the condition, especially a person who they can trust to be non-judgmental and confidential.

As previously discussed, Sex addiction has been extremely difficult to achieve agreement on how to characterize this condition.   Arguments center on whether this condition should be classified as an obsessive-compulsive disorder, an impulse-control disorder, or as an addictive disorder.   In the meantime, suffers often find themselves alone with the condition and this is where accessing a sexual therapist (sexologist) can be of benefit.

Dave Wells specialises in sexual addiction and can be a person who you can share your experiences with, without the fears of judgement or breaches of confidentiality. Dave Wells can explore your past experiences with you and support you to find a way out of the control of unwanted sexual arousal.  The experiences of sexual addiction are not as uncommon as you may think, as many have the condition and incorporate it into their lives in a way that it appears not to be problematic.  This is not a healthy way to address the condition as it will continue to manipulate your thoughts and actions and increase your sexual risk taking. Opening up and having a professional who can help you make sense and understand the condition is the first step towards recovery.

Porn Addiction (Picto-philia)

Although porn addiction is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth addition text revision (DSM-5-TR), many people self-report pornography viewing as an issue in their lives.

While watching porn isn’t always an issue, it can lead to addiction-like behaviors for some people. If you find that you cannot manage your pornography viewing, and this behavior is hindering your ability to lead a fulfilling life, you may want to seek support from Dave Wells Therapies.


Causes of porn “addiction”

One of the reasons porn “addiction” is so common is because it is easy to access. It’s free, it can be always at hands-reach via our mobile phones, or in the privacy of your home on the computer. As well as this accessing pornography requires less effort and can get you through your arousal period without many of the pitfalls of socialiing and finding a partner. Some people eventually prefer watching porn to the real thing.

The cause of porn “addiction” can include:

  • other mental health conditions
  • needing to escape psychological distress
  • relationship problems
  • looking for an outlet for sexual dissatisfaction
  • unrealistic views of sex
  • brain chemistry imbalance
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • history of physical or sexual abuse

Excessive viewing of pornography can absorb the life of a single person, and lead to a person preferring porn over intimacy in their relationship. A person addicted to pornography can become isolated from, and desensitised to, real life experiences and by the time that viewing porn becomes an addiction, a persons social and sexual confidence has usually suffered, making it even more difficult to resist what porn provides.

This is not to say that pornography doesn't have its place in our lives. Porn addiction is not unlike any other addiction, it can have many benefits, but it can also be used too much that it has a negative impact on our daily loves and functioning.

Pornography is successful at appealing to our fantasies, however watching others perform them takes us away from living our lives to the fullest, and achieving our goals and growing from them.

Through an exploration for any hidden influences that have led to pornography being used as an avenue of avoidance or distraction from daily activities, it is possible to gain an improved control and balance of your life priorities and responsibilities. These influences can be varied, however some of the more common factors are:


Escaping psychological distress

You might use porn to escape distress or other mental health conditions. With many mental health conditions comes isolation, social anxiety, and a dis-connect from people. Experiencing negative thoughts and low self-esteem can make you want to find satisfaction and comfort, which porn can provide.

Watching porn can allow you to dissociate and experience pleasure, which can be healthy unless your usage of pornography is taking you away from areas that should be priority and addressing responsibilities. Sometimes relationship problems or other life issues can cause psychological distress. Porn may help ease negativity and make you feel better about your life for a little while.

Where psychological stress includes living with a mental health condition/s, the sexual difficulties that can result, as well as the medications used to treat, often result in escalating an already low self-confidence and self-esteem, especially in relation to sexual engagement with another.

Porn used as an outlet

Asan outlet for sexual dissatisfaction, you can become dependent on porn. You’ll use it to ease the discontent rather than find real-life ways to fix the issue.


Unrealistic views

Watching porn can cause unrealistic views of sex and the physical form. Like all actors, they are selected for their role, they can film and edit or stop at any time. Pornography is based on the many sexual fantasies that we have, especially those that we do not talk about. The varied sexual activities performed in pornography can be educational as well as cure our curiosities, however the aim of pornography should be to assist the viewer in their own sexual exploration, and provide them with a little more knowledge for when they find a willing, consenting person to explore them with.

Unfortunately, one of the common effects caused by excessive viewing pornography, over engaging in real-life personal experiences, is that our sexual education comes porn alone. How sexual activities are best performed comes down to the connection that you have with you partner or partners. You might perform your sexual fantasy with 3 different people and they would all be individual experiences. Through pornography, you only get a 'one size its all' perspective, minus important sexual sensory components such as: touch, smell, texture, temperature and taste.

Too much pornography can dampen your sexual capacity and fulfillment which in turn can lead the person back to viewing more pornography and further their unrealistic views of: sex roles, sexual activities and sexual behaviours..


Brain chemistry imbalance

Brain chemistry imbalance can occur because porn often raises serotonin and norepinephrine levels. These hormones control your moods, and high levels can lead to compulsive sexual behaviour.

When addiction occurs, it can change your brain pathway (neuro-plasticity). The circuits in your brain interfere with your ability to resist the urge to watch porn. You’ll start needing to view more porn to receive the same levels of enjoyment as before.


Drug or alcohol abuse

Porn“ addiction” often occurs with a substance use disorder (SUD). When you misuse drugs or alcohol, you may turn to other similar coping mechanisms, like porn. This can lead to watching porn excessively and prioritising it over other things in your life, or not being able to take a substance without engaging in porn, or the other way around, not being able to watch porn without taking a substance. This is know as an 'addiction comorbidity'.


History of abuse

Trauma is linked to addiction because abuse causes feelings of unworthiness. You might use porn to block or numb your feelings when you feel bad about yourself.


Signs of porn “addiction”  

Problematic pornography usage often entails not being able to limit your pornography viewing. You might want to stop, knowing it interferes with your life. But you still do it even when you don’t want to.

There are some symptoms of problematic porn usage that you can watch for. These indications include:

·       compulsive porn watching (being triggered by something that results in watching porn).

·       watching porn at work or in other risk situations.

·       ignoring responsibilities.

·       viewing more extreme porn for the same level of satisfaction as you once experienced.

·       continuing to watch porn after experiencing feelings of frustration or shame over it.

·       wanting to stop watching porn but not being able to.

·       spending money on porn, specifically, if it affects your daily life or family necessities.

·       using porn to cope.

·       making porn a central part of your day.

·       neglecting personal care.

·       losing interest in other activities.

·       becoming less interested in social interaction.

·       decreased satisfaction during sex.

·       relationship issues.

·       feeling less satisfied with your partner.


Addressing underlying issues with porn

Porn“ addiction” usually stems from underlying issues. Identifying and addressing these issues can make all the difference in your life. In many case porn addiction is a safe outlet to avoid addressing personal insecurities and many of these personal insecurities are common factors in people who live with a pornographic addiction.



Psychotherapy can help you understand your issues with pornography. It helps you identify unmet sexual needs and can help you deal with psychological distress. The 'frontline' of therapy to address conditions that are sexual in nature is a clinical sexologist as other forms of therapy are beneficial to discover the underpinning issues, but lack the qualifications required to address the sexual health-related components of the condition.

Dave Wells utilises a range of different counselling methods. Some of the most common methods include:

·       Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

·       Exposure therapy

·       Psychodynamic therapy

·       Behavioural modification


Choosing the right Therapist

Because discussing sexual matters can be difficult, and confronting for some people, it is essential that you chose a therapist who you feel comfortable with. Clinical Sexologist's specialise in supporting people with sexual difficulties where people are experiencing difficulty in controlling.  


Pornography “addiction” treatment  

Since so many questions remain regarding the reasons behind hypersexual behaviour and pornography use, there are very few studies looking at potential treatment options. In general, treatment for pornography“ addiction” generally involves psychotherapy and potentially medication if other mental illnesses seem to be involved.

Psychotherapy can be very beneficial in helping the person addicted to porn to understand and change their behaviour. In particular, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a type of therapy that focuses on rewiring unhelpful thinking patterns, may be helpful for managing pornography consumption.

Where psychotherapy can help create understanding regarding any past influences and reasons that are behind a persons porn addiction, when combined with clinical sexology, a recovery of gaining control over the porn use can be complemented with achieving a greater sexual confidence and fulfilment.

Dave Wells provides a confidential, respectful, and non-judgmental service, where participants can speak freely and openly to explore their experiences with porn addiction, explore its potential origins, address any difficulties resulting from the condition, and navigate a process for recovery.