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Am I A Sex Addict?The new hot disorder everyone seems to have is sex addiction. I have many clients who contact me because they or their partner(s) suspect a sex addiction. Often the addictions revolve around infidelity, masturbation, and/or what one perceives is a need for too much sex.

What is too much sex?

Who can say what one’s allotment of pleasure is because our needs for pleasure are all different. One thing I know for sure is that there is no person alive or who ever lived who did not need pleasure in some way or another. Yet, normal is not a definable notion in human sexual behavior.

Here lies the problem! With sex addiction, some people have them but often are way over diagnosed because of a complete lack of understanding about sex and what real sex addictions are.

How do you define a sex addict?

Officially sexual addiction can present if a person experiences any one of the following:

  • A sexual behavior that one is compelled to do and, in excess
  • When one tries to limit or stop the behavior, they are powerless to control to do so
  • The behavior causes harm to one’s life or is criminal in nature and a person is unable to stop the behavior even after they know or experiences the consequences of one’s behavior or after repeated injury.

Compelled Sexual Behavior

The first part of the definition talks about the sexual addiction being any sexual behavior done in excess and that the person feels compelled to do. This may seem pretty cut and dry but let me pose a question to you: What is your favorite sexual activity?

Now, what would you be willing to give up before you would give up that activity forever? I suspect the answer to the question is something pretty important before you are willing to give up your favorite sex act.

Does that mean we are all sex addicts? No, of course not, because nearly everyone has a compulsion to have sex or at very least engage in some sort of erotic touch like cuddling or massage.

Powerless to Stop

The second part of the definition suggests that when the sexual behavior is done in excess and any attempts to limit or stop the behavior, a person finds themselves powerless to do so. The fault of this part is in its bias when talking about sex.

We know for a fact sexual desire ranges from a person who is A-sexual to a person who has unquenchable thirst for sex with most of us falling in middle (a bell curve). The question then becomes what is the amount of sex that is “too much” and who decides “too much” as “too much”. Remember, we are not talking about heroin, we are talking about natural healthy normal behavior.

Our sexual needs are unique

Sexuality is as individualistic as our DNA. It is a key factor in our individual identity, creating a place for personal biased beliefs about sex. Let me give an example: Perhaps you have a need for a sexual release once a month and that what you think is normal, then you hear a person must have a sexual release once a day. You may think the person who needs to orgasm once a day as a sex addict.

When sex causes damage

The third part of the definition suggests a sexual behavior that causes harm to one’s life or someone else’s life, or is criminal in nature and a person is unable to stop the behavior even after they know or experiences the consequences of one’s behavior or after repeated injury. This is one part of the definition that is mostly cut and dry because if a sexual activity is destroying your life and you are unable to stop spiraling your life down to rock bottom, you may have a sex addiction.

However, for people who engage in illegal sexual activity, like sex workers or people who utilize a professional sex worker, does that make them a sex addict? A person who spends every dollar they earn or hires a prostitute to avoid sex with their partner, you may have a sex addiction. Injury also has exceptions. Many kinky sex practices have a high risk of injury, and yet kink is known to be a healthy sexual practice. So would you call a person into BDSM a sex addict, even if they have the legal system against them? Of course not.

A person who masturbates to the point that causes physical damage to the genitals, creating so much damage that the person can no longer have a normal sexual response because of excessive pornography use could be experiencing a sex addiction.

When sex addicts become dangerous

One absolute sign of a sexual addiction is when an adult is sexually compulsive towards children. Pedophilia and child porn are serious mental health issues that put the community at large at risk.

The sexual exploitation of children must never be allowed under any circumstances; I cannot stress this enough. To persons experiencing sexual compulsions towards any child please seek help before you devastate a child for life and place your own life and freedoms in jeopardy!

 

All things said, sexual addiction is a real thing. People do have sexual behaviors that are devastating their lives. I have even given a few examples already of those kinds of things. My point is this: we cannot treat sexual addiction like we do with drug addiction. Often a person, addicted to sex, has a severed relationship and negative views of their own sexuality and sexuality in general or has stunted sexual development. To reconnect with one’s sexuality means a more satisfying sexual experiences and the need for porn will be reduced.

 

Have more questions about sexual addiction? Contact us today. 

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