It’s all in the Definition: How I Define a Sex Addict

Sex Is Not Equal To Love

I admittedly suffered for nearly 12 years with sex addiction. While I am grateful God’s grace was able to bring me out of my addiction; I realize that me being able to recognize I was an addict was crucial. In order for an addict to admit he or she has an addiction, that person must first be able to identify what the addiction is and how it is playing itself out in their lives.

Our current American Society idolizes and praises most men, and a few women, who are known for their sexual conquests. If a person is able to mimic the behavior of a “celebrity,” why would that person feel he/she has a problem; much less an addiction. Therefore, sex addicts are already at a disadvantage of diagnosing their addiction. When people realize that the images being portrayed in the media have substantial consequences which are typically overlooked, ignored and strategically hidden; they will be able to make the connection that their behavior might be a problem. Several don’t realize it until they have their fall from grace.

Tiger Woods, Patrick Dempsey, Kobe Bryant, George Michael, Ted Haggard, Eric Benet, and Jesse James. What do they all allegedly have in common? An addiction that almost ruined their lives and the lives of the people around them.

It seems lately that every time we turn around a new sex addict is being busted by the media. Professional athletes, actors, entertainers, even religious leaders—no one seems to be able to escape the scrutiny. Luckily, I haven’t had to truly endure the public humiliation these men have. Still, my story mirrors theirs. In fact, mine may be worse.

from Sex and Surrender: An Addict’s Journey

So how do I define a sex addict? Let me first start by saying, I am not a licensed professional counselor, nor do I hold any certification in the fields of psychology or psychiatry. However, as a former sex addict, who was diagnosed by a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), I believe my definition can be understood by most lay persons. My definition centers around one of the two main themes in my memoir Sex and Surrender; which is ADDICTION = PAIN.

Sex Addict: a person who uses sex (in whatever form) to handle, manage or escape pain

I placed “in whatever form” in parenthesis because, sex has multiple forms besides the act of sexual intercourse. Someone who just watches porn can be a sex addict. At the root of any addiction is pain. When pain reaches the point where an individual’s number one priority, consciously or unconsciously, becomes acting out sexually (in whatever form) with little or no regard to the consequences the thought or act(s) has on his/her or others’ lives; that person is a sex addict in my opinion.

To get a more technical or clinically accepted definition of sex addiction, I would suggest researching Dr. Patrick Carnes work. He is considered by most the leader on sex addiction recovery. His books Out of the Shadows and Facing the Shadow were helpful in my recovery.

The purpose of this blog posting is to help sex addicts, and/or anyone being affected by sex addiction, gain a clearer definition of a sex addict. For more insight on the habits, characteristics and traits associated with sex addiction please go to The Sex Test. In addition to The Sex Test, which was based on my personal experiences and observations of other sex addicts, the website lists several Helpful Tools.

Helping others in the Journey,

A.D. Burks

Sex Is Not Equal To Love

SEX ADDICTION!!!  Is it real? Is it fake?  Is it an excuse?  Is it a copout?  Is it an overactive libido?  Or could it actually be an addiction?

As someone who suffered for nearly 12 years with sex addiction, I can confirm that it is definitely real.  From the addictive cycle highs of finding a person you think is the most attractive and making them ejaculate to the point they beg you to stop; but in the very next breath they ask you to do it again.  To the addictive cycle lows where you feel so despondent and regretful that you promise yourself never to engage in that type of behavior again; only to find yourself in less than a week or at most a month right back in the saddle pressing repeat.

Sex addiction, unlike other addictions such as alcohol and drugs, doesn’t typically leave a visual indication.  There aren’t the obvious signs like track marks on a person’s arm, breathe that reeks with whiskey or vodka proliferating through one’s pores.   Unless an addict has contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) which is incurable and life threatening, most people would never know the person was an addict.  Unfortunately, when indicators of sex addiction are finally visible it is usually too late.  Thus, most sex addicts are forced to suffer in silence which makes this addiction one if not the worse.  What a person can’t address, they can’t heal!

What is similar amongst sex addiction and any other addiction is pain.  Whether a person chooses to use alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, shopping, sex, work or any other vice; at the root of the addiction is pain.  Until the true source or sources of pain are identified and addressed, the addiction will continue.  However, addicts are masterminds at putting up walls both externally and internally to prevent others and themselves from getting to the source(s) of pain.

In Sex and Surrender:  An Addict’s Journey, I candidly describe how sex addiction played itself out in my life.  While I’m definitely not proud of the behavior I engaged in as a sex addict, I left nothing to the imagination in the book.  I wanted other sex addicts to be able to see themselves and those being affected by the addict’s behavior to know some of the signs.  What I am both grateful and proud of are the 4-Steps which allowed me to break my addictive cycle and get the help I needed to get to the root of my pain.

The purpose of this blog is to help sex addicts and any other addict use the 4-Steps to help break the addictive cycle.  Please go to and hit the Helpful Tools tab to get more information.

Helping others in the Journey,

A.D. Burks