Compulsive Sex & HIV

V4, N1, Jan 1994

Test Yourself

  1. True or False: A person will best manage sexual compulsion by dealing with the issue individually, without the support of others. [answer]
  2. True or False: Most research on sexually compulsive behavior has focused on gay and bisexual men because other groups of people are not sexually compulsive. [answer]
  3. True or False: A correlation exists between unsafe sex and substance abuse. [answer]
  4. True or False: Over 80% of people recovering from sexual compulsion report having had other addictions. [answer]
  5. True or False: In order to deal with his or her sexual compulsion, a person must stop all sexual expression. [answer]
  6. The origins of a person's sexually compulsive behavior may be linked to a) substance abuse, b) incest during childhood, c) dysfunctional family attitudes about sex, d) all of the above. [answer]
  7. True or False: Sexually compulsive people feel a loss of control over their lives. [answer]
  8. True or False: Many sexually compulsive people don't seek help because they don't believe that their actions are compulsive or because they are too ashamed to acknowledge their own despair and need for help. [answer]

    Discussion Questions

    • What can counselors offer to clients who do not identify as sexually compulsive, even though their patterns of behavior clearly seem to be compulsive? How can counselors recognize and accept their limitations in working with these clients?
    • How can counselors respond to clients who acknowledge that their sexual behaviors have been compulsive in the past, but believe they now have them under control?
    • When making referrals to 12-step programs designed for "sex addicts," how can counselors present this information without labeling clients as addicts?
    • For their own purposes in determining appropriate prevention techniques, how can counselors distinguish between compulsive sex and non-compulsive sex?
    • How can counselors cope with their own discomfort of discussing compulsive sex, especially if they have no expertise on the subject?
    • How can counselors respond to their fears of alienating clients when they raise the subject of sexual compulsion?

    Answers to "Test Yourself"

    1. False. Group support is of great importance in dealing with sexual compulsion.
    2. False. People may be sexually compulsive regardless of gender or sexual orientation. GAy and bisexual men have been the focus of study because they have been considered a "high-risk group" for HIV infection and have been willing to be studied.
    3. True.
    4. True. People who are sexually compulsive generally report having other compulsive and addictive patterns.
    5. False. The key in responding to sexual compulsion is interrupting the compulsive behavior pattern, not necessarily stopping all sexual activity.
    6. D.
    7. True.
    8. True.
      HIV Counselor PERSPECTIVES V4, N1 (Mon Nov 28 00:03:38 1994)