Yourwellness – The Gateway to living well
It is difficult to spot a sex addiction, as enjoying and having a lot of sex is not uncommon. Generally, we look to social customs to determine how much is normal, but an addiction can skew the sense of normality of your behaviour which makes self-diagnosis difficult. Being aware of what the signs of sex addiction are can help you spot it early, which can help when it comes to getting treatment and advice from a professional.
Distinguishing the difference between having a healthy interest in sex and obsessing about it could be the first clue that you may be suffering from a sex addiction. There’s no limit to what crosses the line from healthy and normal to an addiction, but you will be aware of what is healthy for you – have you noticed that you’ve started thinking about sex more in recent months? Are you pushing boundaries? These could be potential signs.
Is sex causing you problems in your life, either physically or mentally? For example, have you cheated on your partner or are you contracting STDs? Is a sexual indiscretion compromising your employment? When sex begins to affect other areas of your life, this could be a sign that you have a sex addiction. Likewise, are you using sex to fill an emotional void? When you start to use sex to make yourself feel better or to cover up bad feelings, this could be a sign that you need treatment.
Have you tried to stop your sexual behaviour, but have struggled or failed? Addicts often struggle to overcome their urges, which could mean that they find it difficult to sustain long periods of time without their vice or to refrain from it. Being in control is the sign that you are able to maintain your addiction, so if you can’t you may be advised to seek help from a medical professional.
This question is similar to whether or not sex is causing you problems. Do you hire prostitutes? You are risking an STD if you do, plus trouble with the law. Prostitutes also tend to frequent unsafe areas creating physical risk and peril.
Are you having illegal sex? To be clear, not all sex addicts are sex offenders, but someone with an addiction may see their reasoning trumping their desires. Aside from the serious crimes such as rape and child victimization, voyeurism and exhibitionism can also lead to legal problems. Voyeurs also called “peeping Toms,” risk prosecution as do exhibitionists, or “flashers.” A person compelled to do these things are risking their freedom and the consequences can be long jail sentences and a social stigma that is difficult to get rid of.
Having sex in inappropriate places is another unsuitable behavior. Young, high-spirited couples have been known to have sex in odd or conspicuous locations, but if you have a reputation and a career that you frequently put them at risk by having sex at work, or looking at porn on the job, you may have a sex addiction.
It can be difficult to separate sexually addictive behavior from plain indiscretion or foolishness. If one or more of the above scenarios affect your life or the lives of your family and loved ones, you should give some real consideration to seeking professional help. Awareness of sex addiction is growing and there are a number of informative, helpful, and insightful sources and resources on the Internet.