Fundamentally, all addictions are intimacy disorders. The primary relationship for the sex addict is the relationship with sex. The rest of life is organized around protecting and fostering the relationship. As a result, the addict is not available for relationships with their partner, friends, family or co-workers. They do not know how to be in relationships in a healthy, connected interdependent way.
A common pattern for sex addicts is to be love avoidant in their primary relationship using sex addiction as a way to create distance from their partner. Some sex addicts have never been involved with a partner or long-term relationship. They settle for anonymous sex or fantasy and addiction to porn and masturbation.
There are four common forms that intimacy disorders can take. Each form can occur alone or in combination with the others: