Sexual addiction is real. It is a behavioral addiction rooted in brain chemistry. This does not mean that sex addicts are not responsible for their behavior. Like substance addictions (drugs and alcohol) or other behavioral addictions (gambling and gaming), recovery is possible. Lasting change is possible.
The Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) is a tool developed to help professionals assist clients in determining the presence of addiction. Is this behavior a problem or an addiction? An important question.
Here’s a sample of the sort of things the SAST tests for. The presence of any of the following criteria may indicate sexual addiction:
- Recurrent failure to resist sexual impulses despite negative consequences (emotional, financial, relational).
- Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop or alter sexual behaviors.
- Preoccupation with sexual behavior or preparatory activities.
- Need to increase intensity, frequency, or riskiness of sexual behaviors.
- Other facets of life (recreational, family, social, career) are diminished due to sexual behaviors or the pursuit of sexual behaviors.
- Feelings that sexual behaviors are compulsions rather than choices.