For a person living with seduction addiction, much like sex addiction, the pursuit of intimacy is out. Instead, the endorphins and excitement from getting someone to fall for them, and knowing someone is attracted to them, is definitely in. Once that high passes, the person is on to the next new attraction, and likely never stopping to consider the factors involved or the destructive nature of having seduction addiction.
The similarities between seduction addiction and sexual addiction are numerous, and addiction experts and mental health professionals are examining these complex conditions more closely. People living with the addiction may not know the name for their condition, but they can describe similar symptoms:
- A compulsive draw toward coaxing someone to build an attraction for them or to love them. (In the case of sex addicts, this would involve sexual encounters; for a person living with seduction addiction, it may or may not lead to sex.)
- A desire to remain emotionally withdrawn in order to combat negative feelings like poor self-esteem or to attempt to self-medicate past emotional pain or sometimes past abuse.
- A waning interest in a partner after love has been expressed or after sexual activity. (For many people with sexual addiction, a similar loss of sexual desire or performance can set in because sex becomes more about avoiding negative emotions, rather than pleasure or intimacy).
- A desire to pursue multiple relationships or multiple partners for fear of seeing that resource to relieve negative emotions dwindles.
People with seduction addiction may become highly skilled at using certain phrases or approaches to attract a new partner, and can carry out a high level of desire – without ever building a true personal connection. They may avoid allowing the relationship to progress, but instead allow the other partner to guide the next steps. Experts believe these strategies continue to support the person’s deep need to be wanted and to feel desirable.
Like people with sexual addiction can find themselves immersed in an online, artificial world of sex partners a person with seduction addiction may avoid being seen out in public with an established partner. Being considered an actual couple might lessen the ongoing high the person feels as they try to maintain the relationship around feelings of high desire. Ultimately, the person with seduction addiction will feel stifled or locked-in and want to pursue a new attraction. Similarly, people with sexual addiction may move from partner to partner to avoid genuine emotional or intimate connections.
Seduction addiction and sexual addiction share another key similarity: both are often described by people as bringing feelings of shame, guilt, anger and hopelessness. Both require professional help to reach a path of recovery and to learn which triggers and factors are involved in order to manage the condition effectively.