Sex addiction is something that is real and flourishing in America; nevertheless, people are afraid to talk about it. The fear in talking about it has built up an unnecessary and invalidating stigma around the addiction, when in actuality, it is a very real problem for people that renders some serious detrimental effects on people’s lives. It’s believed that people who don’t have a sex addiction view it as if it can be controlled by the patient by willpower alone. However, that is not how addiction works.
And, sex addiction is an addiction like anything else. It’s the same as alcohol addiction, drug addiction, food addiction, etc. The ignorance surrounding the topic lies, for some, in the believe that because sex a physical ‘activity’ rather than a chemical substance, that it should be easier to manage. But, sex addiction is a chemical addiction.
The feeling one receives during the act or gaining momentary validation sets off a dopamine release. If we would simply reason to open up discussion, evaluate signs, and investigate the effects, we’d have a much better chance at helping people who suffer from this problem. But, the most important thing for a person who might have an addiction to sex is to be able to recognize the signs that tell them whether or not they do have a real problem on his/her hands.
As proponents of sexual expression and openness, we at BuddyBang want to be very clear: Not everyone who chooses to have a lot of sex has a sexual addiction. We encourage our readers and members to engage with as much sex as they like! This article is for readers who believe that their sex lives are interfering with their ability to be successful in their daily lives. We’ve researched and found some of the tell-tale signs that show whether or not a person has a sex addiction.
[Related: So, What is a Foot Fetish?]
Thoughts revolve around sex
If you find that your brain is constantly obsessing over sex, you may have an addiction. It’s important to remember that most people think about sex on a daily basis. Thinking about sex everyday is not going mean that you have an addiction, but if sexual thoughs become distracting to things that you need to do in your daily life, or if they come up at inappropriate times, there might be a problem that you’ll need to address.
Another sign of sex addiction is an overactive sex life. Some people are happy with a boutiful sex life, and that is completely ok. However, it’s imortant to take pause if you find yourself having sex multiple times a day everyday, or if you find yourself having sex with multiple partners in one day or one week. This could mean that you are spending too much time having sex, and it also makes you vulnerable to unhealthy side effects.
Frequent STDs or STIs
As aforementioned, a large number of sexual partners could be indicative of a sex addiction. If you find that you are also practing unsafe sex with a number of partners (this includes unsafe oral sex), you are undoubtedly exposing yourself to very dangerous aftermaths, such as STDs. Frequent STDs are not to be taken lightly. There are some very serious STDs that exist that can be life-altering or fatal. It’s important, even if you are not technically a sex addict, to watch out for this kind of behaviour in yourself and change it as soon as possible for the sake of your health.
Anxiety and Depression
Often times, sexual addiction stems from some sort of mental disorder. Sex is used as a way to control, release, or distract from feelings of anxiety or depression. If you are someone who has a lot of sex, thinks about sex often, and also suffers from anxiety or depression, there is a very high likelihood that you have an addiction. More than attending a 12-step program, you should speak to a therapist or psychiatrist to address where these feelings are coming from.
Frequent money spent on sex
People who have sex addictions usually take sex wherever they can get it. Finding people to have sex with is not always easy, so many times they’ll pay for sex with a sex worker or spend a lot of time or money on porn/cam websites. Engaging in these activities once in a while does not mean that you have an addiction, but if you are spending money that you don’t have on sex in a frequent manner, there is an underlying problem that is likely a sex addiction.
Placing sex above obligations + relationships
If you find yourself sacrificing obligations or relationships for the sake of sex, you almost certainly have an addiction. This sacrifice for something that is a destructive thing in your life is essentially the definition of addiction in the first place. Take a look at your life. Do you miss meetings or work to go off and have a sexual encounter? Are your relationships suffering because of your constant need to have sex?
Feeling of disgust for your sexual partner after sex
This is a more specific indication of a sex addiction. The idea is that you have no feelings of friendship or kinship with the people you are sleeping with, determining that their only function in your life is for sex. People who don’t have a sex addiction do not invite people they do not like into their intimate space in that way. People with the addiction take it wherever they can get it. If you constantly feel disgust for the person you have just slept with, it’s likely to do with the fact that you innately do not want to be intimate with that person, but temporarily abandon that thought before sex to achieve sex.
If you have read this article and fear that you may have a sex addiction, do not worry. There are plenty of resources out there that will be able to help you manage, understand, and heal parts of the addiction. You can do research for Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings in your area. It’s a 12-step program that utilizes the same tools and steps as Alcohol Anonymous. More than that, you can reach out to a health professional or addiction clinic to see what steps you should take to manage your addiction.