How to tell if you're a sex addict

Having a healthy sex life can be great, but how do you know when you have gone beyond having sex to having a sexual addiction? What are the signs that show you need help?

Sex addiction is defined as a lack of self-control over sexual thoughts, urges, and impulses. While sexual impulses are natural, sex addiction solely encompasses behaviours that are done in excess, which could significantly impact one’s life in a negative way.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), sex isn’t listed as a diagnosable condition, but research reveals that excessive sexual behaviour can manifest, like a chemical addiction.

Obsessive gratification

A person with sex addiction may have an obsessive need to be sexually gratified. This desire often affects their ability to live a normal life. Sexual addictions can be apparent in different forms, including addiction to:

  • Sexual acts
  • Prostitution
  • Watching or consuming pornography
  • Masturbation or sexual fantasy
  • Exhibition or voyeurism

Sex addicts may also interrupt their normal activities to frequently perform sexual acts. They are usually unable to control their desires despite any the risky consequences.

Signs of sex addiction

While spending time with several sexual partners isn’t bad, spending excessive time and energy thinking about sex may be a symptom of sexual addiction.

Fixated on sex

A sex addict is highly fixated on sex to the point that it starts having very serious effects on other activities in their life like their relationships, school, work life. They may become socially awkward and find it difficult to relate with others properly. If the person likes women for example, he/she would only see women as sex objects that they could have. Sometimes it may result in them sexually harassing others in public.

Masturbating excessively or in inappropraite settings could also be a sign that one is a sex addict.

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