It’s normal to have a sexual appetite. Beyond normal, it’s extremely healthy. We’re human beings and frankly, without sex, life would be dull and the human race would have a hard time continuing. But when does a healthy sexual appetite become unhealthy? Where is the line between an active sex life and sexual addiction? Generally, non-addicts can control their sexual desires. If a few attempts to engage in sex prove unsuccessful, they are usually disappointed but able to move on and abandon the search. For addicts, however, the need for sex is all consuming and not being able to find it, can be devastating. Moreover, the motivation for sex for addicts versus non-addicts is completely different. “A sexual addiction most often manifests in one of two ways: substituting sex for love and pursuing different, varied, or extreme sexual activities that are focused on the sex acts, not on any type of connection between two people,” says Kathleen Nickerson, Ph.D., founder of FeelBetterNetwork.com. So how can you tell if you’re addicted to sex or just have an active libido? Here are a few of the common signs of sex addiction: It’s not about pleasure- Sex should be something we engage in for pleasure; to get closer to someone we love and to connect with people we’re attracted to. For addicts, however, sex is a way to escape, feel a rush and get high. Sex is the number one priority- For sex addicts, thinking about, looking for and engaging in sex takes precedence over career, friends, hobbies, physical safety and all other activities. Excessive masturbation- Masturbation for an addict transcends a healthy behavior and becomes a habitual and obsessive exercise they are unable to control. There’s never enough- Addicts usually have multiple sex partners and cheat on their partners/spouses. And yet for the sexually addicted, they are never satisfied and almost always looking for more. Pornography spirals out of control- Like Masturbation and sex with partners, pornography is often something addicts that becomes an obsession. What is curiosity or an enhancement for some becomes a quick sex fix for the addicted and quickly dominates a large portion of their time. Phone sex, online hookups and paying for sex are often approached in the same way as pornography by sex addicts. No fear or recognition of consequences- As with drug addiction and alcoholism, as sex addiction progresses, life becomes harder to manage and even dangerous. Addicts who once said they’d never engage in certain behaviors constantly find themselves lowering their standards all in the name of getting a fix. The threats of unemployment, jail time or even death do not scare addicts in advanced stages of their disease. Extreme cases of sex addiction lead to criminal behavior like incest, rape, stalking or child molestation. Thankfully, there is help. At Begin Again Institute we see patients come in with these symptoms and leave with new lives, a sense of hope and a life free from addiction. Our center holds a 97% success rate. All our work with patients at Begin Again Institute is highly confidential, non-judgmental and effective. If you or someone you know is suffering from the above signs of sex addiction, call us today.
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