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Signs & symptoms of sex addiction

Worried about sex addiction?

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of sex addiction from the experts at Delamere wellness retreat

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What is sex addiction?

Compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB), or sex addiction, is described as repetitive, intrusive and distressing sexual thoughts, urges and behaviours that negatively affect many aspects of an individual’s life (1). A person who is addicted to sex will have an uncontrollable desire to achieve sexual stimulation whether that’s through having intercourse, watching pornography, masturbation, visiting prostitutes or calling sex chat lines.

Most people can engage in these activities without having any major issues but, when sexual pleasure becomes a compulsive pursuit, it can have devastating and far-reaching consequences. Sex addiction is no different than alcohol, drug or other addictions. Compulsive behaviour of any kind can have negative effects on relationships, work or education, physical and mental health.

At Delamere, we treat all kinds of addiction with compassion and empathy. We help our guests to find out what’s driving their sex addiction and how to overcome obsessive thoughts and behaviours. Our holistic therapists treat the whole person, emotionally, physically and psychologically, providing a caring, supportive environment to grow beyond addiction.

If you need help with sex addiction, contact our team today and learn more about the different programmes we offer here at Delamere.

If you think you’re suffering from sex addiction or know someone who is, contact our team today and learn more about the different programmes we offer here at Delamere. Book a consultation

Signs and symptoms of sex addiction

Sex is a perfectly normal and natural part of human nature. There is a big difference between getting pleasure from sexual activity and being addicted to it. If someone suffers with sex addiction, they may place an unhealthy importance on achieving sexual stimulation and feel agitated or distressed if they can’t have it. In the extreme, a person suffering from sex addiction might engage in illicit sex acts or reckless behaviour. There are different emotional and physical signs that indicate someone may be addicted to sex. If you notice any of these traits in yourself or a partner, it’s time to seek help.

Symptoms of sex addiction

Uncontrollable and constant sexual fantasies, urges and behaviours
Feeling guilt, shame or regret after engaging in sexual acts
Using sex to process emotions or escape other problems
Having multiple sexual partners or being unfaithful
Engaging in risky behaviours such as visiting prostitutes
Habitually masturbating or watching pornography
Neglecting responsibilities in favour of sex
Being unable to stop or reduce time spent on sexual activities

The effects of sex addiction

As with any other addictions, a person who is dealing with sex addiction is likely to prioritise sex over other commitments. Their work may suffer, they may start to neglect their partner and show disregard for dangerous sexual activities, such as sleeping with multiple partners. This can lead to job loss, unwanted pregnancies, house evictions and relationship breakdowns that affect everyone in their lives.

Sex addiction is especially hard on the person’s partner who can be left feeling isolated, inadequate and emotionally scarred. It’s important that you don’t try to tackle addiction alone. Seek help from specialist sex addiction therapists who can help you to overcome difficulties together.

Treatment for sex addiction

Sex addiction was formally classified as an impulse disorder by the World Health Organisation in 2019. This means, thankfully, people can now access the treatment and support they need. Some neurological disorders can make a person more susceptible to suffering with sex addiction, as can certain medications or illicit drugs. These factors need to be considered before an accurate diagnosis can be made (1).

Psychotherapy is often the first line treatment for those dealing with sex addiction. At Delamere, we offer one-to-one counselling, group therapy sessions and other talking therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), at our purpose-built retreat in Cheshire. We will look at all aspects of your life to understand the reasons behind your addiction and help you develop effective strategies to overcome compulsive thoughts.

The Delamere approach to sex addiction

Sex addiction is a complex condition that requires expert treatment from a dedicated psychotherapist. At Delamere, we have a team of qualified holistic therapists that are here to listen without judgement. We can help you to address the underlying factors for your sex addiction and formulate a plan for successful recovery.

Our residential rehab programmes encompass a wide range of evidence-based therapies for sex addiction which will help to pinpoint what is driving your compulsive behaviour and any other problems that may be causing it. We use a combination of talking therapies and somatic healing experiences, such as breathwork, grounding techniques, art and equine therapy, to help you develop coping mechanisms to use when you leave our care.

Sex addiction frequently occurs with other conditions, including anxiety and depression, or alongside other addictions, such as alcohol or substance abuse. We can help you to address all of these issues in comfortable surroundings using our unique, three-step approach.


Settle into your new environment
and remove yourself from
any distractions

A day at Delamere A day at Delamere


Spend time with our therapists to discover what led you to this behaviour in the first place

Delamere Treatment Model Delamere Treatment Model


Set healthy boundaries,
exciting new goals and prepare for
life after Delamere

Outcomes Outcomes


Practice using the tools
while staying anchored to support.
Bring Recovery Home.

Read More Read More

Our core elements of treatment

We believe that whatever the reason for sex addiction – whether to deal with past trauma or escape negative emotions – it has to start somewhere. Rather than adhering to the conventional step-based programmes, we look at underlying factors that drive your behaviour. Only by recognising how you arrived at this point can you begin to positively shape your future.


Stopping the cycle of addiction safely and comfortably


Healing whatever pain is causing the behaviour


Instilling tools to help facilitate change and encourage continued growth

Why choose Delamere?

Holistic approach to recovery

Discreet location

Luxury ensuite accommodation

Personalised programmes

Flexible stays

24-hour care & support

On-site gym & health studio

Business & family lounges

Free collection service


Outcomes focused

Everything we do here is about outcomes. Focusing on getting you back to yourself again in the short term, but then growing beyond that when you leave Delamere. Helping you create the foundations for long-term recovery and growth.

Individual care

There’s no one-size-fits-all here. We listen, learn and tailor our programmes to meet your personal needs, whatever they may be. Your journey to recovery is yours, so we design our programmes with you in mind.


Creative therapies

Nature and creativity often bring out the best in people, especially after a difficult period in their life. We offer equine and art therapy, fire ceremonies, nature walks and more to help you relax, reflect and see the world in a new way.

“We all need to get away from time to time from problems we have. Whether that’s addiction problems, work-life balance issues or excessive pressure on you. This is the perfect facility for that purpose.”

Sir Cary Cooper

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Know someone who needs help with a sex addiction?

If a friend, family member or work colleague is addicted to sex, it’s important they get help.

Our admissions team is on hand 24/7 to help answer any questions about our therapeutic programmes and make sure your loved one gets the support they need.

Call the team today on 0330 111 2015 to discuss the different options available.