Are You A Sex Addict?
Sex addiction, also called hypersexuality, sexual compulsion, or compulsive sexual behavior, is an inability to control sexual thoughts or behaviors that negatively affect your life. If you’re a sex addict, you may find yourself having sexual fantasies, thinking about sex, or feeling driven to engage in sexual behaviors even when it’s inappropriate. Sexual compulsions may lead to severe consequences like financial, health, or legal problems.
Ask yourself the following questions to discover if sex addiction might be a problem for you.
DO YOU FEEL OUT OF CONTROL
Sex addicts often feel unable to control their sexual impulses. Do you find yourself regularly having sexual thoughts at inappropriate times or engaging in sexual behavior that you wish you could stop? It may be a sign that you struggle with sex addiction.
DO YOU FEEL GUILTY AFTER SEX
Do you have sex — or engage in other sexual activities like masturbation, cybersex, phone sex, or watching pornography — and feel guilt, shame, or remorse afterward? Many sex addicts compulsively engage in sexual activities and then experience negative feelings towards themselves after they’re finished.
DO YOU KEEP SEXUAL SECRETS
Most people want to keep their sex life private, but hiding your sexual behaviors out of guilt or shame may mean you struggle with sex addiction. Many sex addicts try to keep the intensity and frequency of their sexual behaviors and fantasies a secret, even from their spouses or sexual partners.
DO YOU USE SEX TO ESCAPE
If you regularly engage in sexual behavior to numb negative feelings, you may struggle with sex addiction. Many sex addicts report using sex to numb feelings of depression or anxiety, deal with low self-esteem, or escape traumatic memories. If you’re using sex as an escape, it may be a sign that your sexual behavior is becoming a problem.
DO YOU SPEND MONEY ON SEX THAT YOU DON’T HAVE
Spending excessive amounts of money on pornography, phone or chat lines, strip clubs, or sex workers is common among sex addicts. Many people spend money on sexual products or services without a problem. Still, if you find yourself spending more money than you can afford or going into debt, it may be a sign of a deeper issue like sex addiction.
IS YOUR SEXUAL BEHAVIOR CAUSING RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS
Sex addicts often find that their sexual behavior is causing grave issues in their relationships at home, at work, and with their friends. Compulsive sexual activities can cause people who struggle with sex addiction to miss work, turn down social invitations, and become distant from family. Are your sexual activities hurting your relationships with the people around you? In that case, you may be a sex addict.
COULD YOUR SEXUAL BEHAVIOR CAUSE LEGAL PROBLEMS
Sex addicts can feel driven to engage in sexual behaviors regardless of how dire the consequences may be. Suppose you can’t stop yourself from engaging in sexual behaviors that could cause legal problems, such as having sex in public places or hiring sex workers in areas where sex work is illegal. In that case, you may have a problem with compulsive sexual behavior.
DO YOU HAVE UNSAFE SEX
Like other addictions, sex addiction is driven by compulsive, impulsive behaviors. Sex addicts often have unsafe sex, even after they’ve been exposed to AIDS or STDs. If you frequently have sex in unsafe places, with dangerous partners, or without safety precautions like condoms, you may be struggling with sex addiction.
ARE YOU PREOCCUPIED WITH SEXUAL THOUGHTS
Sexual thoughts and fantasies are common, but people who struggle with sexual compulsion often feel like they can’t think about anything else. Falling behind at work or school or being unable to focus on things you used to enjoy because of sexual thoughts and fantasies can be a sign of sex addiction.
DO YOU ALWAYS NEED MORE
Experimenting with different sexual behaviors is normal for everyone. Still, if you feel like you continually need more — more intensity, aggression, more frequent sexual encounters, or increasingly high-risk sexual behaviors — to feel satisfied, you may struggle with sex addiction. Like other addictions, sex addicts often feel the need to continually increase the frequency or intensity of their sexual behaviors to feel as satisfied as they did at the beginning.