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Are Dating Apps Fuelling Sex Addiction?

With an influx of online dating technology, sex addiction is also on the rise. These alluring and addictive apps like Tinder, Grindr and OKCupid make hook-ups more accessible than ever before—but is this cause for concern? Here we discuss the effects of technology on sex addiction.

sex addiction

Dating technology has boomed in recent years.  With Tinder boasting 50 million users, the impact of dating apps on modern-day sex and romance is nothing to shake a stick at. These apps make claims about finding your perfect match, do they do more harm than good?  With sex being literally at our fingertips, the question must be asked – has ‘sexnology’ fuelled sex addiction? Here we discuss the reality of sex addiction and the effect that technology has on it.

“Tinder was like gold to me.”

Nick downloaded Tinder to find women to hook up with. He never thought that, down the line, he would be sitting in a room full of people uttering the words “Hi, I’m Nick and I’m a sex and love addict.”

Nick chronicles how using Tinder for casual hook-ups took his view of sex, intimacy and women in general into a downward spiral. Although Nick shares that he always exhibited behaviour likened to sex addiction, it was Tinder that took his addiction to a whole new level.

Nick states, “Tinder was like gold to me…I could say and do as I pleased without consequence… I was feeding my appetite for sex with little effort.”

After one particularly shame-filled experience, Nick completed an online sex addiction assessment. It was upon seeing the results of that test, mixed with the shame he felt about the way he had been treating women his entire life, which caused Nick to seek treatment for his sex addiction.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is a process addiction classified by compulsive sexual acts and/or thoughts. There are 10 distinct types of sex addiction.

Just like any drug or alcohol addiction, sex addiction is caused by a malfunction in the brain’s reward circuitry. Sex addiction is challenging to combat, however, because unlike substance addiction, sex is not something that can realistically be abstained from in most cases.

It can be difficult for people to identify sex addiction in them as everyone has their own drives and preferences for sex. However, the defining feature of sex addiction is the negative consequences associated with the behaviour. For love or sex addicts, the consequences of their addiction can disrupt their family, work life and even sense of personal identity. It often causes extreme feelings of shame and guilt, causing depression and isolation from others.

Sex addiction is a progressive disorder that, over time, gets worse. It is important to seek outside help to avoid more serious consequences.

How Sexnology Plays a Role in Sex Addiction

The age of technology, and in this case sexnology, centers on providing instant gratification to the user. This is why we see sex addiction being fuelled by technology as it provides easy, and often instant, access to sexual encounters. In recent years, the rise of technology has been accompanied by an increase in sex addiction.

Sex addiction would be prevalent with or without these dating apps, but people who are struggling to control their sexual cravings are now faced with a seemingly impossible task—not to take advantage of ubiquitous dating apps that make hook-ups ever increasingly user-friendly.

Dating apps allow people to have more sexual partners and instant sexual gratification, while feeling less consequence. For someone with or bordering on a sex addiction, this is almost too good to be true. Dating apps have an exceptional ability to intensify an existing sex addiction and propel an individual further and further into their addiction.

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Treatment for Sex Addiction

Effective addiction treatment is available for those who suffer from compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviours. However, when choosing an addiction treatment centre it is important to remember that treatment for sex addiction differs from most widely accepted addiction treatment methods for drugs and alcohol, which is why it is important to seek out a rehab facility that has experience treating this particular type of addiction.

Most addiction treatment methods revolve around abstinence. However, complete abstinence is not realistic when it comes to sex, which is why it is important to seek treatment specifically designed to treat addictions in which complete abstinence is not possible.

Especially when treated early, recovery from sex addiction through this type of treatment method is highly probable, and can help addicts avoid many of the negative effects associated with the addiction.

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