This article is meant to analyse the relationship between sexual addiction and metacognitive functioning, considering on one hand the explanation of its pathogenesis and on the other hand the description of the related cognitive processes. In line with the hypotheses of Caretti and coll. (Caretti, Di Cesare, 2005; Caretti et al., 2005; Caretti, 2008), we believe that the specific malfunctions involved in sexual addiction are those of alexithymia, dissociation and emotional disregulation. However, we will discuss that in our view it is not possible to univocally define a priori which of these malfunctions is the most central, or the first to determine the development of this pathology or which other malfunctions would depend on it. The situation would rather vary from patient to patient, producing different expression modalities of sexual addiction.
Keywords: Sexual addiction, metacognition, alexithymia, dissociation, emotion regulation, hypersexuality.