A person with sex addiction feels out of control to the point where sex becomes an all-consuming need. They can’t control their impulses or urges. Sex addiction only refers to behaviors done in excess that negatively impact someone’s life. This post explains more about sex addict symptoms.
The Difference Between Sex and Sexual Addiction
There is a difference between sex and sexual addiction. It’s natural to desire sex. So how can someone tell the difference between natural sexual desires and sex addiction? There are many signs to look for.
For example, the urge to have sex may feel out of control or obsessive. It’s like the desire is an all-consuming thing that they can’t stop. The urge itself might be more about the act than the person involved. The desire isn’t about a need to connect with someone so much as the need to achieve a feeling. This need can manifest as substituting sex for love or pursuing different or more extreme sexual activities as time goes on.
These urges negatively affect a person’s ability to function in their day-to-day life. Sex addiction is usually the result of coping with feelings related to unresolved trauma. Until they work to resolve the trauma, people with sex addiction will continue to use sex cope.
Sex Addict Symptoms
There are multiple symptoms of sex addiction. And sex addiction can manifest in physical and emotional ways. It takes a mental health professional to diagnose someone with sex addiction. But the following are some common sex addict symptoms.
Spending Excessive Time on Sex
People with sex addiction often spend increasingly more time on sex since their urges become stronger over time. Spending excessive time on sex may include seeking out new sexual partners, engaging in sex, masturbating, using porn, or recovering from sex.
Neglects Other Activities or Responsibilities
Like other addictions, people with sex addiction put the urges of their addiction above other things like work, school, or family. They may fixate on the desire to have sex and prioritize sex over other hobbies or forms of relaxation. Their relationships begin suffering because of their addiction.
Masturbation can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but in people with sex addiction, it’s done to excess. This excess means the person with the sex addiction may find themselves masturbating compulsively or at inappropriate times. In some cases, the person may masturbate to the point of pain or discomfort.
People with sex addiction have a compulsive urge to have sex. So, they may cheat on their partners with one-night stands or cheat multiple times with different partners. The infidelity puts their relationships and the health of everyone involved at risk.
Engaging in Risky Behaviors
People with sex addiction often find themselves engaging in increasingly more dangerous or risky sexual behaviors. These behaviors can include having unprotected sex with multiple partners, exhibitionism, or having sex in public places.
Feeling Shame and Guilt
For people with sex addiction, the feeling of guilt or shame often accompanies the act of sex. They may feel shame for their behavior or guilt for potentially harming someone else. These feelings don’t quickly fade and leave the person with sex addiction trying to find another fix.
Possible Risks of Sex Addiction if Left Untreated
There are many risks of sex addiction, affecting multiple aspects of a person’s life. Beyond the untreated trauma that potentially led to the sex addiction, there is also the health of the individual to consider. People with sex addiction are more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases.
There are also job-related risks to sex addiction. The person with sex addiction feels the need to engage in sexual acts all the time. They spend increasingly more time on sex. This may result in them spending work time on sexual pursuits. They may even try to have sex or masturbate in the workplace. These behaviors could result in termination. This firing can lead to legal and financial issues too. A person with sex addiction may lose their job and struggle to find a new job. And if their behavior leads to legal action, they may also incur legal bills.
Their relationships may suffer too. Because people with sex addiction spend so much time on their addiction, they may neglect friends and family. Also, if that person cheats on their partner to satisfy their urges, it may result in the loss of that relationship.
And many people with sex addiction also struggle with substance use disorders like alcoholism or drug addictions. They often use alcohol or drugs to enhance their experience with sexual encounters.
Sexual Addiction is Real
Sex addict symptoms are real and can cause real damage in a person’s life. Begin Again Institute can help diagnose sex addiction and get you the right treatment.
Begin Again Institute offers a 14-Day Men’s Intensive Program to treat porn and sex addiction. There is also a Partner Support Program that runs concurrently with the men’s intensive to help partners heal from the effects of sexual betrayal.
Begin Again Institute also offers a continuing care program to provide ongoing support to patients after treatment.
Contact Begin Again Institute if you feel you need help and are ready to recover.