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The list of behaviors associated with a sexual addict is so mundane, practically anyone can tick off at least a couple. "If you’re married, your acceptable sexual behavior may be defined differently than if you’re single,” says Mike Weiss, a certified addiction therapist and founder of The Sexual Recovery Institute.
“Sexual addiction follows a certain repetitive pattern; if you’d rather ask forgiveness than permission, that’s abusive." Compulsive sexual behavior, the clinical phrase for sex addiction, is what experts call a "progressive intimacy disorder," meaning that it worsens the longer it's left untreated.
As we've reported in the the Fix, sex addiction is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a diagnosable disorder.
It made an appearance in the 1987 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), but has subsequently been removed.
“Addiction is a biological phenomenon,” First says. “The last reliable study was done in the ‘80s,” says Weiss.