In the background of sex addicts, there is frequently a history of abuse: sexual, emotional, or physical.For every three men who are sex addicts, there is one woman who is a sex addict. Children who have their needs met inconsistently or not at all will generally make two decisions about what to do about their needs. One is, "I'll take care of them myself, and I don't need anyone but myself." This decision leads to the solo activities like masturbation and cybersex.
The other decision is, "If I'm going to relate to other people, it's only going to be in terms of their body parts—their genitals, their breasts, their legs, etc., but I will not relate to them as persons. I'll relate to parts of clothing, or videos, where people aren't real, because every time people get into the drama they mess it up, and I want this to be perfect. I want to stay in the trance exactly as I want it, and when I want it." (Dr. Jennifer Schneider, 2005)
But childhood trauma doesn't adequately explain the origin of sex addiction for every addict. There are some sex addicts that have not experienced any childhood abuse or abandonment. Also there is also a belief by researchers that some people who are sex addicts would never have gotten addicted if it were not for the powerful draw of the Internet.
Regardless of the cause, sex addiction can threaten relationships, occupation, and health. It can be a life-threatening condition.