Sex addiction is analyzed and broken down in a number of ways, but there is one simple way of understanding sex addiction that is not applied as often as it should. This view of sex addiction is that it represents an overly complicated sexuality where as healthy human sexuality is kept simple. This concept may seem overly simplified, but it is very useful in helping people wrap their heads around what sex addiction is. Comparing a food addiction to a sex addiction works very well in demonstrating this concept.
When someone is addicted to sex, their appetite for sex has grown huge. And rather than craving a small variety of sexual tastes, they crave many of them. This can easily be compared to unhealthy foods. Typically, people do not become fat by eating one thing over and over. They crave a variety of foods and then they indulge in them. We overeat because our brain chemicals tell us that it will satisfy our hunger, which is the same reason we indulge in excessive amounts and varieties of sex. But just like in the case of food, our appetites are only briefly quenched, then they come back more powerful than ever. A healthy sexuality knows how not to overindulge.
Food addiction and sex addiction can be compared in another sense: portion control and variety. A person who eats a healthy amount of food will naturally eat smaller portions and less food varieties than a person with a food addiction. A person with a healthy sexuality will not need sex as often or as varied as a person with a sex addiction. Sometimes limiting one’s self means that not every variation of something is tried. This does not mean that a person cannot have variety in their tastes. It just means they will be more selective and intelligent in their tastes. This translates directly to a person’s decisions about their sexuality.
Sex addiction is far more common than many people realize. Many people are addicted to sex and do not even realize it. They may consider sex a big part of their identity or believe they are just sexually liberated, but many of these people are, in fact, consumed in an addiction to some form of sex. The signs that you or someone you know are addicted to sex are as follows:
Overly flirtatious, wandering hands. Often, a sex addiction can be seen in a person’s non-verbal behavior. If they are too frequently flirting with people who are their type, or if they cannot seem to keep their hands to themselves, they are a likely candidate for a sex addiction.
Constant thoughts about sex. One can only judge this thought pattern in themselves, but it is a telling way of knowing whether or not you have a sex addiction. If thoughts about sex distract you from the rest of your life constantly, it is likely due to a sex addiction.
Excessive masturbation. If you need to masturbate frequently in order to stay even, and you become stressed out and hostile when you are unable, this could indicate a sex addiction. Many people think masturbation is unrelated to sex addiction, but a sex addiction can actually be nothing but excessive masturbation.
Anonymous sex and one night stands. When someone repeatedly has sex with anonymous partners and engages in risky sexual activities such as one night stands, they are displaying signs of being addicted to sex.
Secretive behavior, caught lying. Any time a person is caught lying or is clearly keeping secrets, it is a strong indication that they are hiding an addiction of some sort. This sign occurring in conjunction with any other signs in this list strongly point toward a sex addiction.
Another person’s scent or make up. Anyone caught repeatedly with tells of engaging in sexual activity, such as make up on a man’s collar or the smell of a man’s cologne on a woman’s clothes, should be confronted about their possible sexual addiction.
Sex addicts live among us in surprising numbers. People you see regularly, at work, school, church and the grocery store can be sex addicts. Because sex is a basic carnal need and the urge to have sex originates within the body, it is one of the most common and strong addictions that there is. Because it is so prevalent and because parts of our culture embrace or deny sex addiction, many people learn to hide their sex addiction carefully or project the image of a non-addict. It can be difficult to spot a sex addict, but if you are aware of which signs to look for, sex addiction is possible to assess.
Because there are many forms of sex addiction, its signs do not always look the same. Some sex addicts prefer to act alone, some with one other partner and some with multiple partners. Those who act alone are often addicted to masturbation, and will demand large amounts of privacy. The clearest way of telling if someone is a secret sex addict is how often they act reclusive. They may supplement their addiction with porn or sex toys, so demands on computers, rooms with TVs, hiding places for toys and finances are also present.
Sex addicts who are monogamous with one other person are usually discovered faster than others. When a sex addict has a life partner who they bring into their addiction, the partner will usually be able to tell. The addict will have heavy sexual demands and interests which involve frenzied behavior and obsessive fascination. When these demands are not met, they will demonstrate extreme emotions over sex, which may involve anger, dejection, control, jealousy or spite.
Sex addicts who have multiple partners are usually the most uninhibited, but because they may not be very close to any one particular partner, their addiction may not be discovered. Sex addicts with multiple partners typically have a larger sexual appetite rather than an unusual one and satisfy it by keeping a number of partners available to them.
Although sex addiction is often excused due to the mentality of our somewhat sex addicted culture, it is, in fact, a legitimate addiction with disastrous life consequences. Any form of addiction can consume a person to the point that they are out of control of their lives, which brings about negative effects on their health, their success and their relationships. The best thing you can do for your sex addiction is end it once and for all, even if it requires submitting to addiction treatment. By checking into a rehabilitation program that specializes in sex addiction, you will be surrounded by the encouragement you need to get your life back under control.
Treatment for sexual addiction usually involves an initial health inspection by a certified physician, then a stay in a rehab facility for 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on the severity of the addiction. During treatment, you will receive both group and individual counseling to help you understand on a psychological level why you are addicted to sex. Readings and workbook exercises from relevant addiction materials will increase your understanding. You will have access to support group meetings where you can meet others who are recovering sex addicts. You will also have time to participate in healthy, therapeutic activities such as gym time, yoga, gardening and art therapy. When the intensive treatment is over, you will be provided with ongoing aftercare in the form of counseling, meetings and access to a network of addiction services.
Do not be taken in by those who make light of a sex addiction. It is a serious condition that can inform bad decision making that puts your very life at risk. If you are experiencing a decline in your personal relationships, job or school performance or personal health due to uncontrollable sex cravings, you should not hesitate to reach out for help from addiction specialists. Sex addiction does not make you strange, gross or unlovable. It simply makes you in need of help.
A sex addiction can look like one of many things. Some sex addictions are common, such as an abnormally high libido that makes a person crave sex at a much higher rate than the average person. Some such addictions are eccentric and unlikely, such as craving sex with people who are wearing a particular costume. Sex addiction comes in many different forms and is highly influenced by each individual addict’s psychological makeup. Some of the more common sexual addictions are listed below:
Fetish: The term “fetish” is used to refer to having a sexual fascination with something that deviates outside of what is considered “normal sex.” It is arguable that any sex addiction is essentially a fetish, because sex addiction itself deviates outside of what is considered normal sex. A fetish, however, is usually an odd sexual fascination, such as the desire to have sex with people in wearing a pirate costume, or the desire to perform sexual acts on human feet.
Lingerie: This lacy, revealing article of clothing was designed specifically to get people in a sexy mood, but for some people, it does much more than that. Lingerie is its own sexual fascination to some people, who often are not even interested in sex unless lingerie is involved.
Masturbation: An addiction to this form of “self pleasure” means that a person takes care of their own sexual needs rather than having a partner do it for them, and they do not have control over how often they pleasure themselves.
Intercourse: The most obvious sexual addiction is to sexual intercourse itself, an addiction that often hits those with a high libido. Intercourse may be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.
Multiple partners: Some people have multiple sexual partners to meet their high libido’s demands, while others have multiple sexual partners because they are fascinated with the idea. Having multiple partners at different times or at once are both variations of this type of sexual addiction.
Pornography: Films and magazines that contain text about or pictures of sex acts are called pornography. Pornography is widely available through the internet and through retailers, and some people are so addicted to it that their collection of pornography is the largest investment they own.
Sex addiction is considered by many addiction experts to be one of the hardest addictions to break. This is because sex is one of our basic carnal instincts and cravings as members of the animal kingdom, and because, unlike addictive substances such as alcohol, we can not put physical distance between ourselves and our libido. True, we can resist things like strip bars the same way we can avoid liquor stores, but sex addiction can include an addiction to masturbation, in which case there is no physically separating a person from their addiction. The will to control it must be resolute on a deeply personal level.
Sex addiction can appear in a number of forms, just like drug addiction can vary between many different drugs. Some sex addicts seek out partners while others prefer to act alone. Some are in monogamous relationships and act out their addiction on their partner, while others select a number of multiple partners. The fetishes that sex addicts have are often as individualistic as the person’s sexual psychology, and can revolve around something that another person would not associate sex with at all.
Although sex is a basic human instinct, addiction to sex is considered an unhealthy condition because of certain observable, negative effects it has. In most cases of sex addiction, the addict has a tendency to objectify the object of their sexual desire. Objectification of another person is never a healthy practice as it leads to mistreatment. This appears in the form of resentment or anger toward another person for a refusal of sex – behavior that is very morally incorrect. It also can lead to dishonesty with loved ones to hide a sex addiction, secretive or reclusive behavior in order to indulge in the addiction and neglect of one’s relationships and responsibilities for the sake of indulging in the addiction.
Addiction treatment centers and rehabilitation facilities are very familiar with sex addiction in all its various forms and can help immensely. If you are afflicted with a sex addiction and you are ready to seek help, contact the sex addiction rehab of your choice to learn more about how you can gain your life back.