Is sex always on your mind? Ever wonder if you have a sex addiction? In this article we have put together a list of questions that you can ask yourself to find out if you should be seeking treatment.
Sex is a normal part of human life. Sex is needed to procreate of course, and a regular, healthy sex life with a partner can help relieve stress and nurture the relationship between the couple at the same time. However, when a person spends too much time having or thinking about sex, they could be developing a sex addiction.
“Too Much Sex — Is that Really an Addiction?”
Having “too much sex“ may not sound like a bad thing. And as previously mentioned, a safe and active sex life can actually offer many health benefits including lowered blood pressure, decreased stress and more. Sex addiction, however, can best be described as compulsive sexual thoughts and/or behaviours that increase over time — often to a point which could be considered an obsession. Classified as a type of process addiction, the person becomes addicted to the act of having sex, or addicted to thinking about sexual acts.
Sex addiction can most commonly be broken down into 10 types of addiction including voyeuristic sex, paying for sex and fantasy sex among others.
Signs of Sex Addiction
If you are concerned about whether or not your sex life is becoming an unhealthy addiction, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I leading a double life?
If you are in a relationship and continuously seeking out new partners or acting out sexual fantasies in secret, this is considered leading a double life. While it is true that many people cheat on their partners, the difference between a random act of unfaithfulness and sex addiction is compulsivity. If seeking new partners is more important than maintaining your current relationship, this could be a sign of sex addiction.
2. Am I constantly looking for more?
Some sex addicts are addicted to performing sexual acts in real life, while others are addicted to seeking out sexual content on the internet or other pornographic avenues. But whether you are spending hours each day searching for new partners or spending those hours online excessively seeking out sexual content, when it begins to interfere with your daily activities such as work or spending time with family or friends, this is considered a problem.
3. Is my sex life harming other relationships?
Most people suffering from sex addiction will find that their relationships with friends and family will suffer along the way. As the addiction to sex gets worse, more and more time is spent seeking sexual gratification, and sex addicts will begin to withdraw from social situations opting instead for searching for their next sexual ‘hit’, much like a heroin addict looking for their next dose of heroin – in the moment, nothing else really matters except satisfying these sexual urges.
4. Am I putting myself or others at risk?
One of the main components of sex addiction is that over time the sexual thoughts or acts increase in intensity. Especially for those interested in paying for sex, anonymous sex, pain exchange sex or intrusive sex (4 of the 10 types of sex addiction), risky behaviour is often involved, especially as the disease of addiction gets worse. From putting yourself at risk for sexually transmitted diseases to taking sexual acts too far and inflicting serious pain on yourself or others, if anyone involved is being put at risk, this is a severe sign of sex addiction. A healthy sex life should not be putting anyone in danger or involve any situations that make either party feel uncomfortable.
5. Could I find myself in legal trouble?
If you find that your sexual acts are putting you in trouble with the law, this is a pretty sure sign of sex addiction. Spying on others, engaging in sexual acts in open places or having sex with prostitutes or minors could all land you jail time.
6. Do I feel good about my sexual acts?
Sex is supposed to make all parties involved feel good. When your sexual behaviours are accompanied by shame, guilt, depression, embarrassment or any other negative feelings, this is a definite sign of sex addiction. If you feel bad about the way you behave sexually, or it is negatively impacting your life in any way — you are likely suffering from sex addiction.
Can Sex Addiction really be as bad as Drug Addiction?
While shows like Californication make the life of a sex addict look appealing to many, sex addiction is a serious problem that can have devastating effects on a person’s life. Having lots of sex can be fun and exciting. However those suffering from sex addiction will often see their lives spiral out of control quite quickly.
As there are many types of sex addiction, the risks are different for each individual, but often include job loss, failed relationships, severe depression, loss of money (for those paying for sex) and health risks such as sexually transmitted diseases. When sexual acts are causing negative effects on your life, it may be time to consider treatment.
Sex Addiction Treatment
Treatment for sex addiction can present several challenges compared to treating drug or alcohol addiction. For starters, most addiction treatment programmes are abstinence-based and it is unrealistic to expect any person to abstain from sex for a lifetime. For this reason, it is important to choose an addiction treatment centre that has experience in providing this type of treatment.
At The Cabin Chiang Mai, part of The Cabin Addiction Services Group — a world leader in addiction treatment — we use a unique method of treatment specifically designed to treat addictions in which complete abstinence is not possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with sex addiction, contact us today for a free, no-obligations assessment.
As with all types of addiction, the sooner an addict gets help, the better their chances are of a full and successful recovery. Get help today to minimise the negative effects of sexual addiction on your life, and to start living the happy, healthy life that you deserve.