Being addicted to sex is the dream of many men and women, or at least the dream they have for their partners. Sex addiction used to be the topic of jokes and bar room laughs, but for people who suffer from the addiction, laughing is the last thing on the mind. Sex addiction can lead to lost connection with family and friends, failed marriages, loss of children, sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancy and death.

Many people who suffer from sex addiction start out believing they simply love sex. These people believe random one night stands are acceptable as long as precautions are taken, and that having relationships are left for people who want to be tied down and not those who embrace their sexual freedom. It's not until love finds a way into life or the addiction reaches a new, all time intensity that the reality of sexual addiction is felt.

For lucky sex addicts, love is the trigger that opens their eyes and forces them into treatment. Even though falling in love should stop the need for multiple sexual partners, the sex addict does not feel that sexual relief. Despite feeling an intimate connection with a person, there is a constant need for new sexual partners or new love. Seeking treatment at this stage is the best solution for addicts and those who find treatment tend to recover and live their lives as normal, functioning relationship partners.

Addicts who leave relationships behind or move into extreme sexual addiction may not be so lucky. Sexual addiction is the same as any other addiction in that over time the drug loses its strength and more is needed. When it comes to sex, more could be defined by additional partners, extreme situations or even prostitution. There is even a fine line between sex addiction and addiction to porn.

Sexual addiction is not limited to people who are hidden behind closed doors in small towns. Tiger Woods, famous golfer, has admitted to suffering from sexual addiction. David Duchovny, star of the hit series Californication where the lead character is addicted to sex, was also treated for sexual addiction.

There is still some skepticism and misunderstanding surrounding the addiction to sex. What many people do not understand is the growing need for sex can lead the addit into situations that are dangerous to their health and their life. In the heat of foreplay, if no protection is available, the sex addict will be less likely to stop in favor of protection. This could lead to contracting diseases that could eventually cause death. Seeking out extreme sexual pleasure through prostitution and other dangerous situations can also lead to death.

Sex addicts can seek help from therapists across the country. Sexaholics Anonymous is just one group that bases treatment on the same 12-step program used in Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. Other treatments or self help groups are Sex Compulsives Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.

The key symptoms of sex addiction include keeping sexual exploits a secret, feeling obsessed by one person who may be unavailable either physically or personally, and using sex as a drug to attain a high feeling. Feelings of emptiness and loneliness are common for sex addicts after sex which is why they often repeat the behavior.