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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    The Link Between Boredom Proneness and Compulsive Sexual Behavior Strengthened by Attachment Anxiety

    It's a common saying that 'the devil finds work for idle hands'. For some of us though, our hands don't have to be idle for the devil to find work for them. We are far too proactive in seeking out actions or behaviors we find exciting, interesting, or just distracting. All of these behaviors come with potential pitfalls, and compulsive sexual behavior is no exception. What if, it turns out, part of the explanation behind compulsive sexual behavior lies hidden in feelings of boredom? What if, even more alarmingly, attachment anxiety is the link between boredom proneness and compulsive sexual behavior?

    One might draw the conclusion that, when it comes to attaining one's personal aims and objectives, boredom is the opposite side of the coin to ambition. While one's ambition and dedication can result in great successes, the simultaneous ability to become easily bored can lead to disastrous consequences. When the individual experiences feelings of restlessness, they may be drawn to activities that result in short-term pleasure and excitement, despite the potential long-term implications. A study investigating the connection between boredom proneness and compulsive sexual behavior looking at 308 people revealed a significantly positive correlation between the two.

    Attachment Anxiety commonly refers to what is termed as separation anxiety which experts categorize into three groups: (1) insecure attachment, (2) anxious attachment, and (3) disorganized attachment. Studies have pointed out that individuals who experience any of the above three forms of attachment anxiety are more prone to developing unhealthy non-sexual habits such as over eating or substance abuse. This same kind of attachment anxiety appears to be even more strongly linked to dangerous sexual practices, such as those that fail to respect normal social boundaries or conventions.

    Researchers say that the key process linking attachment anxiety and compulsive sexual behavior is the seeking of arousal. Just like an individual with a substance addiction problems uses drugs to escape feelings of boredom and depression, an individual in whom attachment anxiety is present could attempt to fight off these feelings by engaging in reckless and dangerous sexual behavior. This danger-seeking behavior can manifest itself as risky sexual behavior, often stemming from early childhood trauma. An individual's nervous system pings with the pleasurable effect of adrenaline release and dopamine manipulation in response to external stimuli, resulting in an excitement and satisfaction that elevates them above the fears and anxieties.

    These findings are extremely concerning, especially when taken in aggregate with the growing number of people being labeled as suffering from attachment anxiety. The increase in diagnoses, coupled with events and circumstances in our culture, make it important for us to pay attention to the impacts of our environment and make sure that these are not leading us to subconsciously engage in behaviors that can have lifelong repercussions. We need to make sure that members of our society - particularly those vulnerable to anxiety and boredom - are educated so that they can recognize the risks of such dangerous behaviors, act with foresight, and work towards healthier outlets for their energies.

    Only a detailed exploration into the root causes of such behaviors can begin to uncover the solutions required to ensure a healthier and safer life for those living or struggling with this issue.

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