Want to know if you’re a sex addict or not? Settle down, as we will be diving into the ins and outs of sexual addiction.
Loving and craving for sex isn’t something to be embarrassed about. For real though, sex is fucking awesome! However, if sex is becoming a hinder to your professional and relationship pursuits, maybe it’s best to assess yourself. Are your sexual behaviors still deemed acceptable? Or are you going overboard?
It might take you a while for you to admit it to yourself but acknowledging it is always the first step. Whether you already know that you have a problem or you’re just starting to wonder about it, the mere fact that you’re here willing to learn about hypersexuality proves that you won’t know once and for all what your problem is and what you can do about it.
With that being said, we’ve listed the symptoms and common behaviors of a sex addict. As you go through each point, take some time to assess your previous sexual experiences. But first, let’s have a quick refresher on what sex addiction is.
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction, also known as hypersexuality and compulsive sexual behavior, can refer to a range of sexual behaviors that are done in excess and causes a “dysfunction” in an individual’s life. These include actions that “significantly impact one’s life in a negative way.”
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-5) currently does not list sex addiction as a diagnosable condition yet. However, research indicates that sex addiction is similar in development to a chemical addiction like alcohol addiction (drinking addict) or nicotine addiction (smoking addict).
Now, some of you are probably thinking: Everyone thinks about sex all the time, so does that mean all of us are sex addicts?
Here’s the thing, you can like experiencing various sexual activities and not get addicted to it. You see, sex at its core is healthy for us. We should all have a libido that makes us desire sex. And it’s okay to like sex a lot. The line just gets drawn when you want sex a little bit too much to the point that it’s sex that you care about and not the other person.
Healthy sex is about love and connection between the two people involved in the act. Meanwhile, sex addiction manifests in pursuing excessively in different activities that are focused on sex acts, and not on any connection with the two people.
13 Signs of Sex Addiction
Sexual addiction can manifest itself in many ways. There’s a variety of possible warning signs to look out for, such as the list below.
1. Obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies.
How to know if you’re a sex addict? Your whole life revolves around sex. You’re preoccupied with sex. You can’t concentrate on anything for more than 10 minutes without thinking of sex. When you’re watching a movie, going to a concert, or even as simple as talking to a friend, you’re thinking of sex and even fantasizing about the person that’s in front of you.
When you aren’t having sex, you are planning on how you will get it. In fact, you even schedule your whole day around it.
2. Living a double life.
If you have sexual secrets that you absolutely refuse to share with anyone, or if somehow you managed to create two entirely different lives just to have sex, then something is way, way off. Sex and your fetishes are private things, but if you know your whole life will go down the fucking drain if people find out what you’re really up to and the only way “out” is to lie always, then you have a severe problem.
3. Masturbating all the time—whenever, wherever.
You masturbate all the time. And I mean all the time. You do it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and you do it on your breaks. You do it even after sex. No amount of masturbation seems to be enough. You masturbate excessively. You just can’t seem to get enough of the pleasure you get, so you jack off again and again. Sometimes, you even masturbate in public places because you can’t control your urges.
4. Watching pornographic content all the time.
Porn is your life. You would rather watch people having sex than work on your hobbies and personal projects. If there’s a new celebrity sex scandal in town, you would be the first one to watch it. Sometimes, you would even watch pornographic videos in a public space. As for the content, it doesn’t have to be in video form all the time—you can also be addicted to Literotica, audio erotica, and the like.
5. Treating partners as “objects” to satisfy sexual urges.
You don’t care about the people. You don’t see them as “humans” but mere objects you use to get you off. They’re just toys you play with, and they don’t mean anything more than that. You don’t care what happens to them after you’re done with them, but you’ll absolutely do anything to get them to do what you want.
6. Engaging with multiple partners and extramarital affairs.
You always know your relationships will end because you know you’re going to do something terribly wrong related to sex. As mentioned above, a sexual addict doesn’t care about the people that they’re fucking with. They’re simply sexual objects in their minds. So if you find yourself on a cheating spree or consistently having sex with multiple people, there’s a big chance that you’re a sex addict.
7. Prioritizing sex over other aspects of your life.
For someone who has a sexual addiction, they’re busy pursuing activities that can get them sex. Everything else is just second to sex. Instead of growing as an individual, a sex addict is just chasing one high from another. They’re busy with checking nightclubs and dating apps for hookups. Some also shell out their budget just to book a bunch of sex workers. For them, sex matters more than anything else.
8. Frequenting strip clubs and prostitute houses.
If you’re not busy checking out dating apps for hookups, you’re busy going to strip clubs for a quick fix. You could also be paying online cam girls all the time just to get that sexual rush. As long as you satisfy your sexual urges, even though it can be risky, you would still do it.
9. Inability to control your sexual behavior.
You think you can stop, but you can’t. You try to stop, but you can’t. Little by little, you lose everything. And even if you know you’re going to lose everything, you keep going until it’s all gone. You just can’t control yourself. You feel that your sexual urges have a life of its own and it’s stronger than you. Like all addictions, you know you know you’re a sex addict when you feel powerless against your urges.
10. Putting yourself or others in danger for sex.
This is probably one of the most obvious signs to know if someone is a sex addict or not. If you would risk your health, integrity, financial status, and your whole life just to get a one-night bang, then you’re most likely experiencing hypersexuality. You know, people that can control their carnal urges can walk away if they know that something dangerous can happen during a sexual encounter. Meanwhile, addicts simply don’t care about the risks—they want their fix and it’s all that matters.
11. Not caring about the aftermath of sexual activity.
You’re out of control. You don’t care what happens so long as you get your daily dose of sex. You’re doing things you know are terrible, like banging your partner’s best friend or giving your credit card information to your mistress. But it doesn’t matter as long as you got your fix. You know you’re a sex addict when you don’t care about the consequences, no matter how grave they are.
If you are doing things that are going to screw you over in the future, and you know they’re going to screw you over in the future, and yet you still do them because of sex, your sex life has officially crossed the line. You have a huge problem.
12. Feeling of remorse or guilt because of excessive sexual behavior.
As much as you can’t care less for using people for sex, at the end of the day, you feel ashamed of yourself. You drown in self-loathing for going through life, hurting other people, and destroying yourself. But you still do it. You constantly feel ashamed, so you fantasize about sex or do sex to escape it, and then you feel embarrassed about that and then…the cycle just goes on and on.
13. Experiencing negative consequences in life because of sex.
Since sex is your number one priority, everything else is in ruins. When you’re at work, you spend the majority of your time trying to get laid by anyone that catches your interest in the meantime.
Once you succeed in one target, you quickly move on to the next. Even if you manage to stay employed, you’re always broke because you have to keep appearances with all of your partners and people you want to fuck all the time.
Causes of Sex Addiction
As you’ve learned about the different symptoms to know if one is a sex addict or not, you’re still probably confused if you’re a sex addict or not. Well, it’s normal to feel confused about this. That’s why we suggest checking in with a counselor and therapist to help you determine if you’re experiencing hypersexuality or not.
On the other hand, if you already know that you’re a sex addict, we suggest going through therapy and analyzing the core of your excessive sexual behavior. Here are some of the causes.
1. Biological Factors
As for the biological factors, genetics may be at play here. Some people are genetically predisposed to impulsive actions or sensation-seeking behavior. They may even be inclined to other traits that are commonly associated with sexual addiction, like anxiety or depression.
Hormones can also affect one’s sexual behavior. If you have higher levels of sex hormones like testosterone or estrogen, you’re most likely going to excessively indulge in sexual activities.
2. Psychological Factors
Certain psychological factors can also affect one’s sexual behavior. Early-life environmental factors like abuse or exposure to sexual content can contribute to some of the underlying characteristics that drive hypersexual behavior.
Another psychological factor is mental illness. People who deal with mental issues can use sex as a coping mechanism. Commonly-associated traits are anxiety, depression, personality disorders, poor impulse control, and performance anxiety. They also might be occurring at the same time as sex addiction.
3. Social Factors
Social factors may also play a role in one’s sexual behavior. If someone is experiencing rejection and social isolation, they may turn to excessive masturbation and pornography consumption, just to satisfy their sexual urges.
They can also be influenced by their peers. Having a friend, or a group of friends, who engage in excessive sexual activities or porn viewing can influence you in a very subtle, yet powerful, way.
Effects of Sex Addiction
If you’re sure about your condition, we suggest going to a therapist as soon as possible. They’ll teach you how to cope with your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors properly—helping you get through with this. If you don’t do this and just deny yourself with proper treatment, here are the effects that you might experience in the long run.
1. There’s no personal growth.
Because you’re so busy chasing for the highs, you spend less time honing your skills. You become less efficient in your career and personal projects. You may not realize it, but your excessive sexual behavior is eating up your time that could’ve been spent on something productive and meaningful.
2. Strained relationships with loved ones.
If you know that you’re a sex addict, but is not seeking help in any way, your loved ones will slowly distance themselves from you. This is not just because of the lack of time to bond with them, but also due to the emotional damage that you can inflict them due to your addiction.
3. Not having committed and long-term relationships.
Because you’re perceiving sexual partners as objects, you will have difficulty in achieving real intimacy. And even if you attempt to cultivate a long-term relationship, your uncontrollable urges can lead to lies and infidelity.
4. Financial problems due to overspending for sexual pursuits.
If you’re someone who is always booking on strip clubs, sex workers, and online sexual content, you may end up with an empty bank account. Sexual services are pretty expensive—if you keep on paying for sex and sexual content, you might end up with an enormous amount of debt.
5. Increased risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease.
Because of multiple partners and risky sexual activities, you might end up getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HPV, HIV, or AIDS.
6. Higher chances of getting other forms of addiction.
As you spend time chasing sexual highs, you might also end up indulging in other forms of addictions, such as drinking, smoking, and drug addiction. This can most likely happen if you spend your time in bars and strip clubs. Your mental health is also in shambles during this time, making you chase for other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
7. Continuously live in shame and guilt.
If you know that you’re a sex addict but wouldn’t do anything to fix it, then you will live your life in shame forever. You will continuously chase one sexual high from another, then feel guilty after doing so. You may even isolate yourself from your family and friends, making you emotionally weaker than ever.
8. Weaker mental and emotional health.
As you lose your control over your thoughts and action, you become mentally and emotionally weak. Your addiction will keep on disrupting your brain functionality, making you more dependent on your addiction. This is why as soon as possible, you need to stay away from your sexual behaviors and seek help—don’t wait until it’s too late.
Treatment for Sex Addiction
Sex addiction can be treated– the first step is acknowledging it. If you suspect or know that you’re a sex addict, you need to talk to a mental health professional as soon as you can. They will help you address some of the underlying factors of your sex addiction. Here are some of the different treatment options.
For this one, you will be talking to a therapist that would help you identify the cause of your sexual addiction, and help you find a healthier coping mechanism for your personal issues. There are different kinds of psychotherapy that fit within your needs, simply talk to a therapist to know which kind works best for your condition.
2. Inpatient Therapy
If you feel that your sexual addiction is severe, we suggest going to inpatient recovery centers that are designed to treat sex and porn addiction. You will reside at the recovery facility for the duration of treatment so that you can focus on the healing process without temptations or distractions.
Along with psychotherapy, your therapist may prescribe you certain medications to make your brain function healthier than before. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: Antidepressants, Naltrexone (Vivitrol), mood stabilizers, anti-androgens.
4. Self-Help Groups
Along with medications and psychotherapy, we suggest seeking support groups too. It can help you deal with the treatment process as well as remember that you’re not alone in this journey.
If after reading this and you finally acknowledge that maybe you’re a sex addict, you can talk to someone you trust first if you’re scared. Talk it out and seek help as soon as possible. There are mental health professionals in this area. They can help you manage it in a healthier and more productive way.
But more importantly, as much as family, friends, and treatment plans are there to help you, the path to change lies in your determination. It may take an ample amount of time and willpower, but as long as you’re determined to change, you will soon heal from this condition.