This is what it's like to be a woman with a sex addiction — and what everyone gets wrong about it

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By Helen Carroll for the Daily Mail. Kate Wilkinson is a psychologist and a respectable mother of three, who can be found most mornings doing the school run wearing neat capri pants and Birkenstock shoes. What few would ever guess, however, is that this demure, willowy brunette has also been diagnosed with sex addiction. After years of therapy Kate, 39, and her partner John, 40, also a recovering sex addict, feel they have their habit under control and have been in a happy, faithful relationship for three years. Inevitably, the subject of sex addiction will prompt the usual sniggers and bar-room jokes, particularly when it affects women. A woman, who is addicted to sex? Since when is that seen as a problem, or even a medical condition worthy of diagnosis and treatment? She says her addiction — which affects 4 per cent of the population, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a quarter of them female — has left her depressed and anxious, and led her into dangerous situations risking her physical and sexual health. The World Health Organisation now formally recognises sex addiction as a mental health condition.

Having a string of partners and examination hours of porn isn't necessarily the way to achieve sexual liberation. Although many people are empowered by owning their own sexuality in this approach, for some, it can mean the exact opposite. Rather than enjoyment after that affection, sex can be intertwined along with shame and used as a missile on the path to self annihilation. For Erica Garza, life was a propos pursuing romantic partners, watching porn, after that putting herself in potentially dangerous situations, all for the sexual release so as to helped her forget about everything also she was trying to ignore. All the rage her book Getting Off: One Woman's Journey Through Sex and Porn Compulsion , Garza, 35, tells her account of how she would continually abandon plans to stay in a bleak room and masturbate, and have strings of partners who she didn't abuse protection with. Sex and shame were so fused together, she would ask for out situations that she thought were revolting, and other adjectives like it, just to be able to orgasm. Unprotected sex, for example, gave her an extra charge of adrenaline. I knew that something could happen, after that I couldn't believe I was putting myself in those destructive situations — but it felt too good not to.

By the height of my addiction I masturbated about 30 times and had sex at least 10 times a day. I felt empty afterwards, which was what made me want en route for do it again and again. Account from Wellness. Sex and relationships experts are divided over whether or not it's possible to be addicted en route for sex, but for many people the urge to have sex can be severely detrimental, affecting their mental fitness, relationships and even their ability en route for hold down a job. Relationship aid Relate, which defines sex addiction at the same time as sexual activity that feels out of control, recently called for help en route for be made available on the NHS. Opinions of female sex addicts basic to change because sex addiction is as real an addiction as alcohol or heroin.

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