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Cybersex, Courtship, and Escalating Arousal: Factors in Addictive Sexual Desire

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Three clinical constructs are proposed: (1) Human beings have an arousal template that is sexually dynamic and critical for understanding sexually addictive behavior; (2) Courtship disorders are a framework for making explicit arousal dynamics in compulsive behavior; and (3) Cybersex, by escalating behavior rapidly, can help us to understand the arousal template, the role of courtship distortions, and the nature of compulsive sex. This paper approaches escalating arousal from the perspective of affective content, especially rage, courtship distortions, and our increasing knowledge of neurochemistry. Each of the above constructs provides essential understandings necessary for both client and therapist. The arousal template emerges as a functional framework to understand and teach about key roles arousal plays in sexually compulsive behavior. Clinical interventions and implications are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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