Suppose you find yourself hiding your outings, clearing your browser history, and falling behind in your responsibilities because you’re focused on sex. In that case, you may be showing signs of sex addiction.
Sex addiction symptoms may look slightly different for those experiencing them. But understanding the common signs of sex addiction can help you better understand whether you need professional support.
Having Obsessive Sexual Thoughts
Sex, pornography, and self-pleasure seem to dominate your thoughts. You may find it challenging to focus on work and other responsibilities. Instead, you’re consumed by thoughts of sex and thinking about your next sexual encounter. Trying to find sexual partners consumes an increasing amount of your time. Your lack of focus may significantly impact your life.
Feeling Depression and Shame
Sex used to feel fun. You used to look forward to it. Now you feel like it’s a need rather than a desire. Depression and shame plague your sexual activities, and you begin to hide what you’re doing from those you love. Your depression causes you to seek out other sexual encounters. Then, you feel more upset about the sexual encounter. The cycle feels endless.
Avoiding Other Activities
Your friends invite you out for a drink after work, but you decline to attend. Your family has a barbecue, but you feign illness. You find yourself uninterested in activities that aren’t related to sex. You also avoid people, so they don’t ask questions about what you’ve been doing or where you’ve been.
Engaging in High-Risk Behaviors
Your sexual activities increase in frequency. You then find that your activities branch out into new areas. You may find yourself having unprotected sex with strangers or having sex in public places. You may be paying sex workers for their services. Regardless of the potential legal or social consequences, you’re still trying to find release. This escalation into high-risk behaviors is one of the most common signs of sex addiction.
Hiding Sexual Behaviors
You may expect that someone with a sex addiction would brag about their sexual escapades. But these signs of addiction are often hidden and steeped in shame.
If you have a sex addiction, you’ll try to keep anyone from discovering your activities. You may even try to build a whole separate life.
Ignoring Negative Life Impacts
Your sexual activities and masturbation habits penetrate every aspect of your life. You may lose your job because you’re watching pornography at work. You may find yourself in debt from spending money on sex workers. You may lose your loved ones as you dive deeper into your addiction. Your sex addiction signs are ever-present, but you may feel unable to control yourself.
Betraying Your Partner
Infidelity is a common sign of sex addiction. You may love your spouse dearly, but you feel like you need more. So you step outside of the boundaries of your monogamous relationship and hide your betrayal. You don’t consider the possibility of your partner suffering until it is too late. Then you try to hide the betrayal to save them from trauma. This pattern likely will continue until the partner becomes aware of it.
Failed Attempts to Stop
You’ve seen that your signs of sex addiction are causing significant problems in your life and relationships. You try to control your urges and stop the destructive behavior. You may even try more than once. But you are unable to stop these behaviors on your own.
How Sex Addiction Affects Your Life
Having a sex addiction means your life is out of balance. Your actions, which you feel unable to control, likely cause strife in multiple areas of your life.
Professional and personal relationships suffer when someone has a sex addiction. Secrecy about your activities and shirking social engagements will wear on those you love. To them, you seem to be a different person with priorities they don’t understand.
If you have a partner, they’ll likely notice the behavior change and may find it too difficult to accept. Infidelity may tear the trust in your relationship apart.
Your money no longer goes to paying your mortgage and bills. Instead, a person with a sex addiction spends their money on sex. They may even lose their job because their addiction keeps them from completing their work.
High-risk sexual activities may not bother someone with a sexual addiction when they’re in the moment. However, after the fact, they may recognize that they’ve put their health at risk. People with sexual addictions often put themselves and their partners at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
How BAI Can Help
At Begin Again Institute, we understand the signs of sex addiction and can help you make a full recovery.
We offer a 14-Day Men’s Intensive set in the rural mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado. The retreat allows you the time, space, and 24-hour support to recover from your addiction.
BAI also offers a Partner Support Program to help you heal your relationship.
We are ready to help you in your recovery. All you need is willingness, support, and courage to take the first step toward your future, free from sex addiction. Contact us today to begin.