2. Frequently engaging in paraphilias
Sex addicts often engage in paraphilias, which are sexual behaviors that are considered unusual or unacceptable. These include exhibitionism, voyeurism, sadism, masochism, and pedophilia. Exhibitionism “involves exposing one’s genitals or sexual organs to a stranger,” according to Psychology Today. Voyeurism involves having sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors regarding the act of observing a person who is naked, getting undressed, or engaging in sexual activity. Voyeurism became formally known as Voyeuristic Disorder in the DSM-IV. Sadomasochism is sexual activity in which one person enjoys inflicting pain on another person, who derives pleasure from experiencing pain. Lastly, pedophilia is when one experiences sexual feelings towards children.