The term “sex addiction” is used to describe a pattern of frequent, progressive, and often secret sexual behavior, even when the behavior jeopardizes a person’s time, employment, financial stability, relationships, and reputation. While often conflated with adultery, sex addiction does not necessarily mean cheating—or even intercourse. Rather, it can manifest as a dependency on pornography, masturbation, phone or Internet sex, and other related behavior.
Sex addiction is a popular topic on talk-shows and in mainstream media (where the goal isn’t accuracy, but ratings), but it isn’t something many sexologists consider credible. I’m not on board with the idea myself.