Sexual Addiction and Gambling: Is There a Connection?

Quarterback dropping for a pass

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Many individuals who struggle with addictive type of behaviors often have similar underlying causes that are influencing their decisions. While many factors work together to influence the development of an addiction, whether to drugs or sex or gambling, the connections between co-occurring addictions may be from the same root cause.

For these reasons, it is not uncommon to see a person who is dealing with one form of addiction also develop other addictive behaviors. Whatever the substance or behavior of choice may be, there are likely biological and environmental causes at the heart of the issue that are influencing the addiction.

Experiencing A High

For many people who are facing a sexual addiction, explicit and excessive sexual behaviors often serve as a means of finding a temporary emotional escape or as a method of distancing oneself from emotional pain. This is often achieved through the experience of a “high”, which may occur through engaging in stimulating activities.

Because an emotional or physical high is desirable as a form of escape, behaviors will often be repeatedly engaged in as a person becomes addicted to this type of experience. A high can also be achieved in other forms of addiction and addictive behaviors, such as gambling.

Man looking out to seaThe risk-taking that comes with gambling can be exhilarating and may mimic the experience a sex addict has while participating in sexually explicit activities, and for these reasons, these behaviors may be observed together.

A person addicted to sex may also engage in gambling activities, both achieving a similar purpose or need to escape from certain circumstances or realities. The risk of having co-occurring addictions can lead an individual to suffering with unfavorable consequences as a result of engaging in behaviors associated with a sexual addiction a gambling.

If you have found yourself dealing with an addiction to both gambling and sex, seeking out professional help and care is crucial to your recovery and healing.

Many professional treatment centers have the capacity to effectively treat co-occurring addictions and can help you find the freedom you seek from having multiple addictions. Reach out for the help you need today to begin your recovery journey!

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think are some other connecting factors between sex addiction and gambling?

Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 19, 2015
Published on