Blog | Addiction Recovery

How Sexual Objectification Is Linked With Sex Addiction

Sex addicts tend to walk through the world with a purely sexual filter. While the average person recognizes when someone is attractive and feels a certain spark with some more than others, they also have the ability to relate to people on a number of non-sexual levels. For sex addicts, the next sexual conquest is always at the forefront of their mind; every person in their path is valued solely on their sex appeal. This is a process known in psychology as “sexual objectification.” The American Psychological Association (AMA) defines this as, “A person’s value coming only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics.” 

When an individual puts sexual attractiveness above all other traits with everyone they meet, their life quickly becomes shallow and isolating because there is no way to make deep connections when one’s only concern is the physical.

Signs of Sex Addiction

Sex addicts may engage in all of the following behaviors that sexually objectify those around them:

  • Other people are only viewed as a tool for sexual pleasure or future fantasies.
  • Frequent comments are made about the sexual potential of both strangers and acquaintances.
  • Tactless jokes of a sexual nature are made at inappropriate times.
  • Experiences that others have just for the fun of it, such as vacations, are only worthwhile if sex is somehow involved.

Sexual Objectification Causes Emotional Harm

Sex addictionSex addicts objectify others and many may also see themselves merely as a sex object because the same was done to them at an impressionable period in their life. Sexual objectification may cause a whole host of other psychological problems in both the sex addict and the people they objectify. Feeling as if your whole worth is completely dependent upon your sexual prowess has a number of potentially damaging effects such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Body image issues
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating habits
  • Decreased attention and therefore stunted ability to learn
  • Often engage in sexually risky behavior in an attempt to seem sexier
  • Tolerance of gender stereotypes despite true feelings

Letting Go of the Habit of Sexual Objectification Is Huge Part of Recovery

In order to recover from sex addiction, an individual must be taught how to become aware of their objectifying thoughts and actions. Sex addicts are taught to ask themselves how they are looking at other people by utilizing the “three second rule.” When sexual thoughts pop into their head, they learn how to redirect their thoughts towards anything of a non-sexual nature, hope for the best for that person, and then let them go on their way.

Sex addiction and substance abuse often go hand in hand. In fact, in recovery, many patients attempt to replace their drug use with sexual exploits. Is this an issue for you or someone you love? Contact us today at Michael’s House to learn more about our comprehensive drug addiction treatment program that provides care for all co-occurring disorders.