March 01, 2000 10:00am
Are You Sexually Compulsive?
A new study finds hundreds of thousands of Internet users with a compulsion for porn sites or other sexual materials online.
Internet users who wonder whether they are compulsive could take a 15-question ``sexual compulsivity quiz'' developed by Al Cooper, the study's lead researcher.
It is similar to a 10-point questionnaire used in the study. Both were designed for online and offline compulsivity.
Cooper said honesty is essential. Take it privately, or ask a trusted friend or partner to evaluate.
The questions are:
1. Is there secrecy, shame, or guilt around your preferred sexual activity?
2. Do you feel different, alienated, and/or angry with other people as a result of your sexual behaviors?
3. Have you had recurrent thoughts or attempts to stop or reduce your preferred sexual activity (e.g., repeatedly broken promises to yourself or others, used alcohol or drugs to attempt to cover the feelings)?
4. Do you find sexual thoughts about other people makes it difficult to fully relate to them?
5. Are there times when you fear your sexual urges or sexual images are controlling you?
6. Has your pursuit of sex interfered with, or become a substitute for, an intimate sexual relationship with your primary partner?
7. Do you spend an excessive amount of time in this sexual activity (or thinking about it)?
8. Has your need for sex driven you to associate with person or to spend time in places you would not normally choose?
9. Do you find that the sexual satisfaction is short-lived and thus you are to have sex again and again within a short period of time?
10. Do you find that you use sex as a way of dealing with feelings (i.e., stress, loneliness, sadness, fear, anger)?
11. Has your job or schoolwork been negatively impacted by your sexual activities?
12. Has your primary, personal, or social relations been negatively impacted your sexual activities?
13. Has your personal leisure, time, activities or hobbies been negatively impacted your sexual activities?
14. Do you persist in sexual activities despite averse consequences or serious risks, e.g., have you been arrested or nearly so, (or lost a job or nearly so); engaged in sexual activities where there is risk of contracting disease, or being physically injured?
15. Have you ever felt hopeless or suicidal as a result of your sexual behavior?
Cooper suggests that that those with a high number of ``yes'' responses or those unsure about the results do the following:
-Talk with someone you trust.
-Enlist help and honest feedback from your primary support group.
-Find a comprehensive treatment program that specializes in these issues and obtain an evaluation from a mental health professional.