Sexual addiction takes up a great deal of energy, and you know you’re in trouble when your behavior causes relationship breakdowns, job problems, legal issues, and a loss of interest in anything non-sexual. If you suspect you have a problem, read on for some signs that you might be a sex addict.
Note: Understand that there is a big difference between a creep and a bona fide sex addict, so being a general pervert or filth monger doesn’t qualify you as a sex addict. Being a sex addict means your sexual desires are significantly impinging on your life in a negative way -- which does not include being unable to pick up, by the way.
You’re leading a double life
Do you have an extra girlfriend or mistress? Do you regularly cheat on your partner? Do you keep your sex life a secret from those around you? Leading a double life for sexual gain can be a sign you’re a sex addict. It is true that many people (men and women alike) cheat on their partners, but a compulsion to do so is abnormal. Keeping your sex life a secret may also point to a problem: Why don’t you want to reveal your activities? When you know that what you are doing is wrong but you can’t seem to help yourself, you have a problem.
You frequently seek out sexual material
A preoccupation with all things sex can lead to a very narrow existence. When you constantly and consistently only seek out media that is sex-related, this might be a sign you’re a sex addict. We are not referring to the average guy who enjoys watching the occasional porn, looking at photographs or reading sex articles; it refers to the guy who is always seeking out sexually related material to the exclusion of most other things. It could also include a preoccupation with things like adult dating sites; perhaps you are not being very productive at work because you are desperately seeking Susan/Sarah/Savannah.
You’re compromising your personal relationships
This sign you’re a sex addict refers to compromising your relationship with your girlfriend or wife, but it can easily extend to social and work circles as well. You may cheat, be deceptive or be untrue to yourself and your partner in a variety of ways. Being unfaithful doesn’t just mean having sexual contact with another person; it can be demonstrated in other ways like regularly visiting strip clubs or X-rated movie theaters without your partner's knowledge.
You seek out explicit sexual adventures
If you can’t get excitement out of sex with the same person, you might desire or attempt to seek out more exciting encounters. This could lead you down a dangerous trail of constantly needing different stimuli to gain satisfaction and relief. If you’re never satisfied with a standard lovemaking session with your partner every now and again, your sexuality is suffering. Frequently seeking out sexual variety is often indicative of an out-of-control sexual problem.
You get into trouble with the law
You may be engaging in many activities that are illegal in most places, such as sex with prostitutes, sex with minors or exhibitionism. Some activities might not be criminal offenses, but they are offensive nonetheless: voyeurism, indecent phone calls, etc. If your sex life is getting you into trouble, this might be a sign you’re a sex addict. Sex should not get you into trouble, especially legal trouble; this could lead not only to a breakdown of a relationship, but embarrassment as your face and name are spread all over the local media.
You have negative feelings about your behavior
If you have intense negative feelings about yourself because of your behavior, it’s time to get help. Everyone has a say in their lives, but sometimes we lose it and fall into a pit of despair. Feeling suicidal, guilty, remorseful or shameful can devastate your sense of self and lead to denial. Sex addiction is like other addictions; it is characterized by one’s life becoming unmanageable as a direct result of the addictive behavior. When we do things because we are compelled to do them, and then hate ourselves for giving in to the urge, we create a nasty pattern of behavior that destroys our lives.
Sex addiction sounds like it could be fun, but it isn't. Sex addicts are in a cycle of destructive behavior that won’t stop without help. Many people are classified as sex addicts, but it’s not a title to give to just anyone who is obsessed with sex. It is a type of behavior that can be changed with self-knowledge, self-love and a good therapist.
If you think you may have a problem with sex addiction, help is available. Online forums and sites are good starting points. Remember: The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.