At Begin Again Institute, our patients courageously walk through our doors because they decided they need help. But unlike alcoholism or drug addiction, the signs of sex addiction can be trickier to stop. After all, there are plenty of people who have incredibly active sex lives but are not addicted to sex. There are other people too who seem to have sex regularly with a number of different people but it doesn’t affect their lives negatively. Plus, nearly everybody has been in relationships where sex plays a bigger role in our daily lives than it did previously. So how do you really know if you are addicted to sex and if you need help? If you are concerned that you may have a sex addiction, first ask yourself if you keep your sex life a secret from your friends, family, and spouse. Hiding a behavior because of shame is one of the tell-tale signs of addiction. Addicts are usually so great at keeping their sex lives a secret, even the people closest to them claim to have had no idea that their addiction had gotten out of control. Usually, we hide stuff because we don’t want to be found out. With sex addiction, this is especially true. The sexually addicted are truly crippled by shame. Hiding their behavior soon becomes a full-time job and lying and manipulation soon become regular reactions in order to keep people from finding out. Simply put, people with active sex lives don’t keep their behavior hidden while addicts whose sex lives have spun out of control are masters at covering it up. Another great thing to look at is your relationship to pornography. Most sex addicts have an obsessive relationship with pornography. Magazines, videos and of course the internet provide the sex addict with non-stop way to feed their addiction. Pornography can become problematic when it becomes a priority. There is never enough pornography for addicts and it soon takes over big chunks of their lives. Sexually curious individuals, on the other hand, might have fun looking at pornography with their partner or during occasional masturbation. But for the addicted the relationship with porn is more desperate and all-consuming. If your career, marriage, friendships, personal obligations, and responsibilities have ever been put on hold or at risk because of your sexual behavior, you might have sex addiction. Sex addicts are blind to the consequences and are only interested in fulfilling their needs. This painful and sometimes dangerous pursuit can leave a trail of destroyed relationships, shattered careers, and heartbroken families. Finally, if you are still asking if you have sex addiction ask yourself this final question: have you ever tried to stop but couldn’t? If your sexual behavior is troubling but you just can’t stop, you might need help. If there’s any doubt, you owe it to yourself to find out. You deserve to live a full and happy life and one free of addiction. We can help you find out if you have a sex addiction.
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