Sex addiction is no joke.

The disorder is often dismissed as an excuse used by badly behaving partners who can't keep it in their pants, but recent research on the disorder suggests it is more common than you think.

And as understanding of the disorder develops, more and more celebrities are opening up about their experiences with the disorder.

WHAT'S THE SCIENCE BEHIND SEX ADDICTION?

As it turns out, sex and orgasms are incredibly addictive, just like drugs. When you engage in sexual activity, your brain is washed with huge levels of dopamine.

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Obviously some sex addicts cheat on their partners, and their inability to control their sexual urges can destroy their relationships.

But recent research suggests a lot of sex addiction is complex and exists on a spectrum, with many sufferers acting out their desires solely with their partners, while some feel the need to cheat, and others are plagued by intrusive sexual thoughts.

And just like drug use, the more sex you have, the more slavishly addled you are likely to become by your need for sexual activity. A Cambridge University study found that the compulsions and needs of sex addicts were actually pretty darn similar to drug addicts.

Here is a list of celebrity sex addicts:

ROBBIE WILLIAMS

Williams spoke about dealing with his addiction as a process of breaking down taboo. "Sex addiction does exist β€” it does. It totally does," he said in 2016. "Depression was a taboo subject, but it's not demeaned anymore. Slowly it is happening."

He added that normalising conversation around the illness was important to him.

"People talking about sex addiction will become commonplace and normalised because it should be."

TIGER WOODS

Pro golfer Tiger Woods' marriage fell apart after reports of his philandering surfaced in 2010. Woods had a car accident a few days after reports surfaced that he had been involved in an affair with Rachel Uchitel and other women.

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Months later, Woods addressed the incident, and said, "I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame," and that he planned to return to rehab to receive treatment for sex addiction.

Over 10 women came forward to say they'd been involved in relationships with Woods who was married at the time. Woods attributed his buckling in self control to drifting away from his Buddhist faith.

"Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security," he said.

KANYE WEST

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In August this year, Kanye explained that from childhood he was a high functioning sex addict, programming hyper sexualised computer games (literally) where the characters were (metaphorically) genitalia.

"My game was very sexual. The main character was, like, a giant penis. It was like Mario Brothers, but the ghosts were, like, vaginas," he said.

"Mind you, I'm 12 years old, and this is stuff 30-year-olds are programming. You'd have to draw in and program every little step β€” it literally took me all night to do a step, 'cause the penis, y'know, had little feet and eyes."

He also linked his indefatigable energy for fashion design (this is Kanye, guys) with his dyed in the wool exuberance for sex. "People ask me a lot about my drive," Kanye said.

"I think it comes from, like, having a sexual addiction at a really young age. Look at the drive that people have to get sex β€” to dress like this and get a haircut and be in the club in the freezing cold at 3am, the places they go to pick up a girl.

DAVID DUCHOVNY

In 1997, David Duchovny told Playgirl Magazine, "I am not a sex addict. I have never been to those meetings." But the sex addict doth protest too much. Or something.

In 2008, after one of many break ups with his then wife Tea Leoni, Duchovny confirmed he had checked himself into a rehabilitation facility for sex addiction. The pair finally divorced in 2014.

Duchovny also played a troubled man in his appearance on Sex and the City, and a sex addict in the dramedy Californication. In the SATC episode, entitled Boy, Interrupted, his character had institutionalised himself, telling Parker's character he didn't know why things were "harder for him than other people".

RUSSELL BRAND

Russell Brand was at one time named "Shagger of the Year" by British tabloids, and he was proud of it.

And while Brand struggled with a number of different life threatening addictions, including alcohol and hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, his appetite for the carnal was one he found hard to identify as being problematic.

Brand has spoken about certain points in his life where his desires reached a level where he found it hard to satisfy his own desires, hiring people whose sole job it was to source him sex partners.

He would sleep with somewhere in the vicinity of 50 to 70 women a month, and nine women in one night, according to his autobiography.

SCOTT DISICK

In 2015, Scott Disick, former partner of Kourtney Kardashian, revealed he was a sex addict by screaming it in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, "I'm a sex addict!".

Around this period Disick had been photographed "cosying" up to numerous models while he holidayed in Miami. His former wife has often hinted that he was untrustworthy during their marriage.

Disick's confession may surprise some, but it likely came as little surprise to regular viewers of the Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

His language during many episodes of the reality show can skew towards the inappropriate and at times become highly sexually charged, with him routinely making lewd jokes with family members, especially when he was struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

ROB LOWE

Rob Lowe has been sober for 28 years now, and in his 2011 memoir he detailed that his indulgences of choice were alcohol and sex.

In 1989, at the age of 22, Lowe had a sex tape scandal. It involved two women, one of whom was 16. Lowe claims he met the two women at a nightclub where patrons were esquired to be over 21, and never asked their ages.

Clearly the event did not reflect well on Lowe, but he said the learning experience that came from the scandal was "the greatest thing that ever happened to me."

The event forced Lowe into hiding, and triggered him engaging with addiction groups. He has also expressed his feelings that addicts cannot fight their struggles without support groups.