Did you know there are many reasons a person may develop an addiction to sex?

Among the most shocking sex addiction causes include prior sexual abuse.

While it may seem contradictory, those who have suffered prior abuse are given an altered view as to what sex is all about.

It is this altered view of intercourse which contributes to most of the causes listed here, because a sex addict will not view sex in the same way the average person will.

For the addict, sex is an adrenaline rush or a conquest or a way to express their frustration… not a romantic gesture between two people.

1. An above average enjoyment of intercourse

Some people naturally enjoy sex more than others, and in most cases that is a normal, healthy enjoyment to have.

For some with an above average enjoyment of intercourse, however, this becomes a problem.

At some point, that healthy enjoyment turns to a very unhealthy obsession as they seek that euphoric feeling time and again.

There have been a few psychological studies done which suggest enjoyment turns to obsession because of wiring issues inside the brain itself.

2. Generally poor control of impulses

People who are naturally poor at controlling their impulses are at an increased risk for developing sexual addiction.

It may seem insignificant, but that person who can’t help but eat that whole cake, or the one who binge watches their favorite television series knowing they have work tomorrow, are the ones who have poor control of impulses.

A poor control of impulses leads individuals to consume or practice things they know are not healthy for them, with little to no ability to control themselves.

It is not only sex addiction these people are at risk for, however, but for all addictions in general.

3. Limited or dysfunctional coping skills

No two people will cope with arising problems in the same fashion.

While there are many healthy methods of coping with stress, some people find unsafe ways to ease frustration.

Sex can be a healthy way to ease occasional frustrations, such as after a big fight with your significant other to “make up”.

When sex becomes a person’s primary way of dealing with all of life’s stress, however, it turns into a very unhealthy obsession.

Sex addiction is the result of this poor coping strategy and can lead a person to blindly seek intercourse every time something goes wrong in their lives.

4. A current or previous addiction to pornography

Addictions to sex and pornography often go together, with many individuals suffering from both.

When a person becomes obsessed with pornography it often leads to inappropriate or obsessive thoughts regarding sex.

A person who watches a lot of porn may begin to wonder what a variety of sexual acts would feel like, and in their quest to figure this out may end up addicted to sex.

Porn and intercourse also both affect the same parts of the brain, which is the area known as the “pleasure center”.

The pleasure center in the brain is responsible for feelings such as lust and euphoria.

5. A genetic predisposition to sexual addiction

Psychologists and scientist have found conclusive evidence that a person can have a genetic predisposition to sexual addiction, just like drug addiction or alcoholism.

This means that if a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling suffers from sex addiction, you are at an increased risk of also developing it.

This has to do with some individuals being genetically predisposed to having addictive personalities, poor impulse control, and hormonal imbalances.

6. Sexual abuse occurring in childhood

A person who suffered from sexual abuse during their childhood is at an elevated risk for developing sex addiction.

This includes not only rape where penetration occurred, but also being forced to watch others perform sexual acts on others and being forced to perform oral sex.

When a person suffers sexual trauma in childhood they are given a warped view of what sex is, and as such, they do not think of it in the same light as others.

Sexual abuse victims may also seek to justify what happened to them by showing they now have control over who they have sex with.

Unfortunately, this means they will have sex with many different partners to prove there is not something wrong with them.

7. Non-sexual physical abuse occurring in childhood

What occurs in childhood has a very lasting effect on a person’s mental health and overall psyche.

If physical abuse occurred during childhood, it could lead to a belief that physical abuse is normal, or even a way to show affection.

With this altered view, sex becomes an easy catalyst for escape from abuse, or to unhealthily reflect childhood trauma onto another person.

The sex addict feels that this is a normal way to treat other people, whereas most know it is incredibly unhealthy.

In a spiral effect, this could lead to sexual addictions such as those where a person has a fetish for BDSM.

8. Having an emotionally unavailable mother and/or father

While most people are blessed with affectionate parents, this is unfortunately not always the case.

For a person who has a mother or father who is emotionally unavailable, the ability to properly feel or express emotions themselves is lacking.

Emotionally unavailable parents may simply be cold and distant, or they may be strict disciplinarians who believe emotion is a sign of weakness.

This leads to seeing sex as nothing more than a carnal act, which makes it easy to develop a sex addiction.

9. A lack of faith or spirituality to “anchor” you

People with a strong faith are at a lower risk of developing sex addiction, because they associate such things with strict divine punishments.

Those with a lack of faith or any form of spirituality to anchor them to a set of morals are at higher risk for developing addiction.

This is because there is no set ground work on what is or is not morally right, and in figuring this out for themselves, people can sometimes become lost.

10. Damage to certain areas of the brain from disease

Disease affecting the brain can alter personality, critical thinking skills, and yes, even the neural pathways responsible for pleasure.

When these things are altered, the chances of sex addiction rise as the brain cannot properly process information any longer.

Diseases of the brain include Alzheimer’s, dementia, tumors, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral edema.

Alterations can also be made to thought patterns through accidents or injuries to the brain.

11. A biochemical imbalance in the brain

Like diseases, an imbalance in chemicals can drastically alter a person’s critical thinking abilities.

When critical thinking abilities become severely altered or allowed to stay altered for extended periods of time, a person is more prone to developing an addiction.

Biochemical imbalances can be something a person is born with, or something a person develops at any point in their life.

Exact symptoms of a biochemical imbalance vary based on which chemicals are at non-optimal levels, as well as severity.

12. Excessively high hormone levels – particularly androgen and testosterone

Hormones are responsible for many things and controlling our sex drives is one of them.

When your hormones are disturbed many weird things can happen to your body.

If you have excessively high hormone levels, your desire to have intercourse can be kicked into overdrive.

The two hormones most responsible for an increase in sexual desire are androgen and testosterone, although estrogen can also increase sex drive to a certain degree.

13. The brain has experienced neural pathway alterations

Neural pathways are nerves responsible for communication between the brain and other parts of the body.

When these pathways became altered in any way they can send the wrong signals back and forth between the brain and different organs, such as sexual organs.

These mixed messages could include giving a person a high than average sex drive or creating a too-intense feeling during intercourse.

These alterations can lead to the development of sexual addiction.

Alterations to neural pathways can happen when an individual does something repeatedly for an extensive amount of time, takes mind-altering medications (like antidepressants), utilizes street drugs or alcohol, and more.

14. There is a family history of drug or alcohol abuse

If a parent, grandparent, or sibling suffers from drug or alcohol abuse, there is a higher risk of developing sexual addiction.

This increases your risk in two distinct ways.

First, it shows a genetic predisposition for having an addictive personality which is ingrained in a person’s DNA.

It also results in firsthand experiences that may be traumatic, resulting in an altered view of reality where such things are considered normal.

15. If you were born a man your chances of developing sex addiction are higher

Men are at a higher risk for developing both sex addiction, and the co-occurring sexual rage disorder.

The male hormones, like testosterone and androgen, are those primarily responsible for high sex drives.

The way society views males versus females is also partially to blame.

An example is how men are praised by their friends for each sexual conquest during youth, whereas women tend to be reprimanded for them.

16. Having another psychiatric disorder puts you at higher risk for comorbidity

Sex addiction has a high comorbidity rate with other psychiatric disorders.

In those with anxiety disorders, it appears to cope with panic attacks and generalized anxiety.

In depression, sex addiction presents to ease feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and sadness.

Sex addiction also appears highly in individuals with schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, bipolar disorder (with and without mania), and those with intense phobias.

17. Having any other addiction like gambling, drugs, alcohol, etc.

People suffering from any other addiction are at a risk for becoming a sex addict.

The act itself is not what people are addicted to, but the feelings of euphoria experienced via adrenaline rushes.

As this is the same in all other forms of addiction, a person may seek to fill the void of addiction with other unhealthy habits.

This can include gambling, extreme risk taking (“adrenaline junkies”), street drugs, prescription medications, alcohol, and more.

18. You were taught to be ashamed of your sexuality

Everyone reaches an age, typically during their teenage or pre-teen years, where they realize humans are sexual beings and become curious about the other gender.

If, during this time, a person was taught their feelings were innately wrong, they may receive an altered view of sex.

This altered view of sex can make a person feel wrong, evil, or dirty after intercourse or even thinking about intercourse.

Perhaps a bit ironically, this may then lead to sex addiction because the person already feels that what they are doing is wrong and has no view of what a healthy sexual relationship is.

19. You have an overwhelming desire to intimately connect with others but lack the ability

Some people use sex to seek intimacy with others, which can sometimes be normal.

When someone is unable to feel a strong connection with others through intercourse, they may continue to the next person… and then the next.

This leads to sexual addiction, because this is not the only aspect in forming an intimate relationship.

When unable to initiate this appropriately, a person will not only engage in coitus with numerous partners but will also end up only feeling emptier than prior to their search.

20. Overuse of sexually stimulating medications

Sexually stimulating medications can allow those with low libidos or an inability to become erect with the ability to perform sexual acts.

Viagra is the most commonly known sexually stimulating medicine, but others include Levitra, Staxyn, Cialis, and Stendra.

Some stress drugs, like molly and ecstasy, also amplify the feelings or intercourse.

If these are used over a prolonged period, or taken in very high doses, the results are that a person’s sex drive becomes permanently increased due to hormonal fluctuations, pathway alterations, and psychological factors.