Compulsive Sex & HIV
HIV Counselor PERSPECTIVES
V4, N1, Jan 1994
- True or False: A person will best manage sexual compulsion by
dealing with the issue individually, without the support of others.
- 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.
- True or False: A correlation exists between unsafe sex and
- True or False: Over 80% of people recovering from sexual
compulsion report having had other addictions.
- True or False: In order to deal with his or her sexual
compulsion, a person must stop all sexual expression.
- 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.
- True or False: Sexually compulsive people feel a loss of
control over their lives.
- 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.
- 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
- How can counselors respond to their fears of alienating clients
when they raise the subject of sexual compulsion?
Answers to "Test Yourself"
- False. Group support is of great importance in dealing with
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.
- True. People who are sexually compulsive generally report
having other compulsive and addictive patterns.
- False. The key in responding to sexual compulsion is
interrupting the compulsive behavior pattern, not necessarily
stopping all sexual activity.
PERSPECTIVES V4, N1
(Mon Nov 28 00:03:38 1994)