Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Compulsive Sex


I seem to always want to have sex with women be it one night stand or hookers who perform well. Don’t know if there is a maladjustment of my mind. I have a beautiful family but i cant seem to kick this habit. It may be as a result of frustration in not being able to achieve a lot in life with respect to finance, being a good husband/father etc. Please advise whether i am mentally deranged within the context of this problem. I am an engineer by profession earning a 5 figure salary. In theory i should be achieving a lot but due to lack of self confidence etc its not happening and i want to stop the problem i have above.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

The compulsive promiscuous sexuality you are describing is often called ‘sex addiction’ and that is probably a proper enough name. Sex is a powerfully reinforcing activity. It relaxes us, it takes our minds off of worries and stress, it makes us feel good, successful and powerful, etc. If you are plagued by feelings of inadequacy all the time, it is not very odd at all that you should come to use sexuality as a form of escape. Other people in your circumstance might drink, or abuse prescription medicine, or just feel like a bad person. The important thing to realize is that your use of sex as a pain reliever in this manner solves nothing, and actually will come to complicate your life further. You risk contracting a sexually transmitted disease and spreading it to your wife. You risk serious illness. You risk severe marital problems. Far better that you learn to deal with your frustrations and inadequacy feelings more directly, than to endanger yourself and your family through promiscuous behavior.


p> Stopping being promiscuous will be much easier to achieve if you have some professional help to guide you in healthy directions. Find and hire a therapist who has experience in dealing with sexual addictions. If you don’t know anyone who can help, consider calling a local therapist and asking for a recommendation. Therapists tend to specialize, and you want someone who has worked with promiscuity problems before. If you can find someone who has a ‘cognitive-behavioral’ approach to helping patients, that is probably a good thing too. Cognitive-behavioral therapists tend to be more systematic in their approach, and an engineer will appreciate that structure.


p> Stopping your sleeping around is really as simple as deciding to stop. However, that is not all that simple, because if the things that motivate you to sleep around aren’t addressed, you will be very likely to relapse. You and your therapist will hopefully identify these things and find ways to help you address them so that you don’t have to be promiscuous anymore. Safer substitutes are available.


p> One other thing. After you get a therapist, go get yourself checked out medically for sexual diseases. If you have one (or have had one) your situation may be more complicated (as your wife may be at risk). I can appreciate that you might want to let sleeping dogs lie and not say anything to her even if you were positive for disease, but that would be a highly irresponsible thing to do. Your therapist will be in a position to guide you should you find yourself owing your wife a talk about your indiscressions.

More "Ask Dr. Dombeck" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand