Sexual behavior that mirrors patterns of other addictive behaviors has similar symptoms to all addictions, such as:
- recurrent failure to resist the impulse to engage in sexual behaviors, despite wanting to or being unable to stop
- inordinate amounts of time and effort spent in obtaining sex or engaging in sexual behaviors
- engaging in sexual behavior instead of fulfilling work, family or social obligations, as well as continuing these behaviors as these areas suffer.
- increasing tolerance to the behavior requiring increases in the intensity, frequency and risk of the behavior.
When one becomes preoccupied by sexual thoughts and/or engages in risky sexual behaviors which lead to conflict in relationships or avoidance of relationships (and other negative consequences), we could say that an individual has a sexual addiction. This is because it meets the general criteria for "addiction." Another term used to describe sexual addiction is Compulsive Sexual Behavior.