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Sex and Love Addiction

The making and breaking of intimate relationships is central to the human condition and integral to our humanity, while love and sexuality are displayed across all corners of the media in the form of television, movies, adult films and pop culture magazines. The rise of dating apps and increasingly accessible sexual material through digital channels means the culture of sex and the treatment of associated addictions is constantly evolving.

At Aarambh Sewa Sansthan, we provide a number of treatment options to help with sex and love addiction. This allows us to create a bespoke treatment programme which may include form of behavioural therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) alongside group therapy, with the aim of helping you have a healthier outlook on romantic connections. Treatment for sex and love addiction can take place as part of our 90 Days Addiction Treatment Programme, with the length and type of treatment that you receive, dependent on your unique condition and the severity of your addiction.

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Aarambh has helped hundreds of people seeking sex addiction treatment.

What is the difference between sex addiction and love addiction?

Sex and love addiction is characterised by sexual behavioural problems which involve a fixation with sexual urges, behaviours and fantasies, or preoccupation with a particular partner which interferes with your everyday life to the extent that your relationships and work life may be adversely affected

If you are suffering from sex addiction, conventional feelings of intimacy malfunction, and you get trapped in patterns of relating which are damaging and destructive for yourself and others, including repeated sexual relations with other partners outside of a marriage or relationship, as well as feelings of intense guilt and sadness after having a sexual experience.

Love addiction, also known as co-dependency, or relationship/romance addiction, differs from sex addiction in that it is characterised by symptoms and patterns of behaviour similar to that of a substance addiction. This may involve intense cravings for a person and feelings of euphoria when you are spending time with them, which make way for withdrawal symptoms when you are not in their presence.

Common themes pervading through both sex and love addiction include obsessive or intrusive thoughts similar to those experienced if you have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), only in this instance, it would involve preoccupation with sexual activity or a particular person respectively.

Treatment for Sex and Love Addiction

The ultimate goal for any sex and love addiction treatment isn’t to deprive you of any form of intimate relationship; much like someone with an eating disorder cannot be expected to stop eating. Moreover, our evidence-based treatment strategies combine to give you the best chance of learning to develop and maintain healthy romantic connections and relationships which may not have been possible in the past.

Treatment at Aarambh Sewa Sansthan for sex addiction and co-dependency shares much the same approach as with treatment methods for other forms of addiction such as compulsive gambling and substance abuse problems. This means focusing on a change in your thoughts and behaviours in order to achieve a desired level of abstinence, which can be defined differently from person-to-person.

While addiction to alcohol or drugs often requires medically assisted detoxification and ongoing sobriety free from using the substance in question at all, recovery from sex and love addiction doesn’t mean avoiding romantic relationships altogether. Effective treatment means reaching a stage where sexual and romantic activity is engaged only in moderation and does not interfere with your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Additional Information

What is sex and love addiction?

Sex and love addiction are intimacy disorders and sexual behavioural problems, with sex addiction involving a preoccupation with sexual urges, sexual behaviours and sexual fantasies which lead to negative consequences, while love addiction (also known as co-dependency) refers to obsessional patterns of behaviour relating to a partner, which can include withdrawal symptoms when you are not with them.

Whether you consistently desire physical connections with people or a repeated emotional ‘high’ with others, there are common issues between both sex and love addiction, which includes intrusive thoughts leading to unhealthy behaviours around intimacy and relationships.


This repeated cycle of behaviour often requires professional treatment such as that available at Priory, in order to address the condition in a similar way a substance abuse addiction would be managed through behavioural therapy.

While people addicted to drugs and alcohol require complete removal of the drug from their bodies through a medically assisted detoxification programme, treatment for sex and love addiction is focused primarily on how your thoughts, emotions and behaviours are interlinked.

This involves managing sexual urges, romantic fantasies and co-dependent behaviours, through evidence-based therapy methods in order to help you attain a more positive relationship with intimacy, which is likely to involve a period of abstinence, whether that be reducing time spent on dating apps or internet pornography, or another set or problem triggers altogether.

What causes sex and love addiction?

As with other forms of addiction such as drugs or alcohol, one of the reasons that you may become addicted to sex is that it offers a form of escape or 'high.' These are some of the most common sex and love addiction causes:

Genetics and family dysfunction - there is a belief that a number of inherited genes can give you a predisposition towards sex and love addiction, as can a family history of substance abuse and addiction and/or dysfunctional family dynamics.

Sexual abuse during childhood - according to some research, a high percentage of sex addicts have reported being sexually abused as a child or adolescent.

Substance abuse or other addictions - including drugs, alcohol and gambling.

Existing mental health problems - such as depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, or difficulties with impulse control.

Biochemical and/or hormonal imbalances - addictions and compulsive behaviours have been linked to imbalances of chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters and the sex hormones known as androgens.

Medical conditions - there are several health conditions that can damage certain areas of the brain (e.g. multiples sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, dementia), and can play a role in exacerbating compulsive sexual activity.