We’ve all heard about sex addiction on the news, usually in connection with a celebrity. But, anyone can become a sex addict. Anything in excess is not a good thing. In fact, doing something too much, over and over and over can be really bad for you.
Ask anyone—having sex is great. However, there are those that tend to overdo it—but believe us, it’s not in the sense that you may have “overdone” it with your partner in the first few months of your romance. Some people really can be addicted to sex, in the same way that others can be addicted to drugs or alcohol.
So, do you simply like to have sex often, or are you a sex addict? [Read: How to stop destructive behavior and change your life for good]
Sex addiction is more than just loving sex. It is a compulsive behavior that involves loss of control, failed attempts to stop, and continuous inappropriate sexual behavior despite negative consequences. Such inappropriate and rampant sexual behavior can lead to many legal and health problems.
Much like any form of addiction, sex addiction can get in the way of living a normal life, and it can interfere with your relationships with other people. It can be destructive and disruptive, to the point of making you forget your responsibilities just to get your fix.
You might hear people jokingly say that they’re addicted to sex because they enjoy it so much, but the truth is, it’s not a laughing matter. This is a real addiction with the power to ruin lives.
But again, like with any other addiction, there are ways to overcome it. [Read: Am I toxic? How to tell if you’re the toxic one and not everyone else]
We know that sex addiction is not just liking sex. We all like sex, but we’re not all sex addicts. This is something far deeper and far more damaging.
So, how can you know if you have a problem with sex addiction or not? Ask yourself how many of these signs you agree with.
This happens not only in Hollywood, but in real life. Men and women, alike, cheat on their spouses or partners.
Some may just be unhappy with their relationships, but if you find yourself always in bed with a third party, only for the sake of having sex, this could be a sign of sex addiction. [Read: What is cheating in a relationship? The truth most people ignore]
Perhaps you are going out with someone and your sex life rocks. However, someone else caught your eye, and you can’t help but flirt… and then things get heated… and you end up in the bedroom. After some time, you have sex with another partner, again.
Having multiple partners at a time or in a series *especially if you don’t really intend to* can mean that you have a sex addiction.
It’s one thing to know who you’re getting in bed with. But if you always put yourself in a position where you engage in sex with random and anonymous people, then you’re not only in it for the excitement, but the sex.
By having sex with people you don’t know, you are throwing intimacy and connection out the window, as you are only dead-set on being sexually satisfied. [Read: Sex myths – 15 commonly accepted sex facts that are so wrong]
Many people do this with their partners. After all, there’s nothing like sending naughty pictures and messages to your partner at work to spice things up.
However, if you sign up to hookup apps and find yourself compulsively having phone sex with people you meet there *whether or not you have a real-life partner*, then you might need to rethink your behavior.
Sure, having a quickie in a public place can be fun—and come on, everyone has thought about it at some point— but doing this often can be very dangerous. Having sex in public places risks running into legal problems, hurting a loved one, or doing something that may endanger your physical health.
If you continue, even with this knowledge, then you might have a problem. [Read: I need sex! 13 signs your high libido has become an addiction]
Turning to prostitutes to be sexually gratified is something that’s been done since ancient times. After all, it’s one of the oldest professions in the world. However, if you find yourself in the habit of soliciting sex from prostitutes like it’s a treat or a walk in the park, then it’s a sign of sex addiction.
Prostituting yourself, just to have more sex, is another sign. [Read: My Asian happy ending massage experience]
Like substance addicts or alcoholics, who cannot go through periods without their drugs or alcohol, sex addicts will rearrange and revolve everything around getting sex. This behavior may eventually cost you your work, studies, friends, and family.
If you are without sex for a period of time, or don’t get it as often as you’re used to, do you get angry and take it out on other people? This could be a sign.
Being deprived of sex with a partner or after a breakup is normal for some, and they can cope with it pretty well. However, if you are addicted to sex, not having sex is like a drug addict without drugs—you become restless and irritated unless you get what you crave. [Read: How to stop being angry – Free your mind and stop hurting yourself]
If you are always engaged in highly sexual acts, people who are close to you are bound to notice. They may try to talk to you about it, and it pays to listen to them.
You may even find yourself arguing with your partner or spouse after they see your sexts and porn subscriptions—or worse, your affairs. [Read: 5 signs you’re addicted and 15 ways to get over porn]
Sex is meant to be enjoyed. But if you feel like you’ve gone too far, or if you feel bad about what you’ve done, then there’s something you should feel bad about. If you feel you’ve gone too far, maybe you have.
If you feel guilty that you had sex with someone behind your partner’s back, then you know it’s wrong. However, despite these feelings, when you’re a sex addict, you may still find yourself doing the deed without restraint.
You may realize you have a problem, so, you try to curb it. Often, this happens after you contract an infection or get in trouble with your spouse or the law. You tell yourself it’s the last time, or that you’ll never do it again.
But later on, the urge to have sex becomes greater than the guilt, and so you’re out on the prowl again. This is a rather significant indication of sexual addiction. [Read: STD 101 – The most common types and their symptoms]
You may like someone, really like them, but you’re still not able to be in a monogamous relationship. Instead, you find yourself cheating on them whether you really want to or not. You may genuinely want to be faithful with your partner, but you just can’t.
You’re always seeking other sex partners, regardless of how good the sex is with your current partner. It’s never enough. [Read: Why do people in happy relationships still cheat?]
You may work a regular job, have a spouse, and even kids, but sex is always number one for you. If you have to strongly decide whether to attend your best friend’s wedding or have sex with a prostitute, you, my friend, are probably a sex addict.
Putting sex above everything is a strong sign something is wrong.
We all masturbate, but if you need to masturbate a couple, if not several times, a day, that’s a problem. Sex addicts don’t always need to have sex with someone to feed the urge, they can also masturbate.
If you’re masturbating very often and find yourself doing it because you have to, you may be a sex addict. [Read: Chronic masturbation – How to stop your hands from lingering in your pants]
When you’re having sex with a complete stranger, you’re not thinking about the possible sexually transmitted infections you could contract *and spread* or how this will affect your relationship with your partner. You don’t care.
The only thing that holds your focus is having sex and that’s it.
Most of us have watched porn or watch porn on a daily or weekly basis. Porn can be used to sexually satisfy or enhance one’s sex life. For you, you can’t seem to live a day without it.
See, addiction is measured by how long you can last without the substance. If you cannot go a day without watching porn, that’s a problem. [Read: Why ditching your porn habit could improve your life]
Listen, everyone has a kinky side, this isn’t something new. But, do you find yourself needing to cater your life around your kink? If your kink has turned into your entire sex life, you need to talk to a professional.
Though tying someone up may have been fun in the beginning, you walking them on a leash is a little much. [Read: How being sexualized can make or break you]
Your addiction to sex must be fed constantly. You don’t feel like you have control of your life. Instead, your sex addiction controls what you do, who you talk to, and how you make choices.
You feel completely hopeless and aren’t sure what to do.
The relationships around you are all messed up. Whatever relationship you’re in, you end up ruining them with your actions.
You get caught cheating, they find out you masturbate ten times a day; all these little things destroy your hopes of finding genuine love. [Read: How to fix a broken relationship – 19 tips to make it last]
There’s no other way to say this lightly. After looking at what sex has done to your life, you start to hate yourself. You hate how you allowed it to take over, what it’s done to your life, and that you let it get this far.
If your past lovers have told you that you’re a sex addict, chances are, they’re right. They can provide an entirely different perspective on your life.
If one person says you’re a sex addict, take it lightly. If two or three people are telling you this, look at why they’re coming to this conclusion. [Read: How to find a deeper connection in a relationship]
You have two lives. One life is what you present to the people around you. Then, you have this dark side, this other life that only you know about.
Of course, with time, people figure out what’s going on, but you work hard to keep these two lives at a distance from each other. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and to your partner]
If you’ve read the points above and you’re starting to think that perhaps you have a problem with sex addiction, all is not lost. You’ve taken a brave step already by starting to explore the possibility and from there, the only way is up.
Now you need to start addressing and overcoming the problem.
Sexual addiction is not that rare, and thankfully, there are a few tried and tested methods of handling it. [Read: The most powerful ways to stop being horny]
First of all, you should first determine if you really do have an addiction. Liking sex or wanting to always have sex with your partner or spouse is different from actually being addicted to sex.
The steps above will help you work this out. [Read: 5 signs of porn addiction and 15 ways to get over it]
In order to handle your sex addiction, you should take an honest look at what has caused it. Sex addicts often use sex as a way to cope with events that are happening in their lives, such as a loss of a loved one or failure at work.
You should consider asking yourself questions like, “What feelings or situations am I trying to avoid?”
After consideration, you may realize that you have underlying issues such as an abusive or traumatic childhood, or problems with dealing with stressful situations, etc. Knowing the main cause of the problem can allow you to find the appropriate method of overcoming your addiction. [Read: 10 teeny tiny changes that will improve your love life]
Once you have a good grasp of what could be causing your sexual addiction, you can take a look at when the cravings or the urges occur. Look at when you usually crave sex, or when you usually want to masturbate or watch pornography.
Do your actions give you a high? How often must you repeat an action to satisfy your craving?
Take a look at what your actions have done to you or to the people around you. Consider the consequences of your actions and what else could happen if you continue your ways.
Write down the harmful effects of your addiction in terms of your relationships, your profession, your emotional state, and your health. [Read: Why some men watch porn instead of making love to their woman]
Now that you have come to terms with your sexual addiction and how it affects your life, you have to make a commitment to change. Know that you cannot go on living the way you do. Otherwise, you will only go into a downward spiral that will leave debilitating, even fatal, effects on your life.
Think about what you want to change in your daily routine, so you can avoid the cravings and stop yourself from giving in to your compulsions.
Maybe you can change your environment to help you manage your addiction. Perhaps an outlet such as a hobby or sports can help you curb your urges. You can also vow to stay away from the people who indulge you in your sexual cravings.
You can also make a list of the activities that you will do in exchange for giving in to your addiction. This will help you to replace your destructive behavior with something productive and enriching. [Read: The simple ways to make each day more meaningful]
Like a drug addict wanting to stop themselves from using, you should also avoid anything that has to do with your sex addiction. This includes getting rid of pornographic material, blocking porn from your devices, and throwing away sex toys.
You should also sever ties with anyone you have had casual and unprotected sex with – delete them from your list of contacts. Taking these measures allows you to have less access to anything that will promote and even encourage your behavior.
Furthermore, you should stay away from places and situations that trigger your addictive behavior, such as bars, sex shops, or places where you often go to find sexual partners.
This is where having diversions are a great help. Diversions such as sports and hobbies can help you get your mind off sex. [Read: How to hone and increase your positive emotions in a negative world]
You may also need help from professionals. Often, sex addiction can get so out of hand that you cannot change on your own. You may try to quit many times and still fall back into your old ways.
Seeking help from your family can be a good idea, however, they may not have a full grasp of your condition. There will be times when they may feel frustrated because they cannot understand what is going on.
In this case, you may need to talk to a therapist, a counselor, or an anonymous sex addiction group to help you open up about your issues and triggers. They will help to guide you as you try to abstain from sex-related behavior.
Furthermore, your sex addiction can also be triggered by other mental disorders that have yet to be diagnosed, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and other conditions. This is why seeking professional help can be a great advantage. [Read: Why we need to break down the stigma of mental illness]
You will need to set goals to help you focus on keeping your act together. This may include keeping a strict routine of activities that you need to adhere to, as well as a promise to stay away from your old sex contacts.
To help you keep your eye on the prize, you will also need to attend meetings with your sexual addiction support group. You will be inspired by the success stories of other people who have gone through what you are going through. This will also allow you to gain a deeper perspective on your addiction. [Read: Emotional baggage – How to help someone put it down and find freedom]
When you are addicted, you may have built plenty of relationships *as well as broken some* that are solely based on your need to have your sex addiction satisfied. The relationships are just for your orgies, one-night stands, cybersex sessions, and many other sexual activities.
Meanwhile, your relationships with your spouse or partner, colleagues, family members, and friends may have been put aside. They may feel betrayed, deceived, used, and taken for granted.
Once you finally embark on your road to recovery, you will need to work on the relationships that matter to you the most. Make amends with the people that you have hurt, and try to reconcile to keep the relationship going again. [Read: 8 kinds of friends everyone needs in their life]
Aside from propagating our species, sex is designed to be pleasurable. If, however, the pleasure and connection you get from your partner are overshadowed by your white-hot desire for just the deed itself, you could have a problem as a sex addict.
This is true, especially, if you use sex as a distraction from your problems or your real life. Using sex as a way to cope only gives you a momentary release, and you end up chasing after that “high” again and again—much like someone with substance addiction does.
So, if you recognize some or most of these traits in yourself, then you have to recognize that there is an internal war inside you. You may need to have a better understanding of what your impulses and motivations are, or you may need to seek professional help.
[Read: The big signs you need sex therapy and how to face it]
If you answered “yes” to most of the signs of a sex addict above, then you may have a sex addiction. Don’t wait—talk to a mental health professional today, and begin your recovery.
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