For most people, sex is an intimate activity to be enjoyed as one part of a healthy lifestyle. For sex addicts, however, sex dominates their thoughts and actions to the detriment of their life and the lives of those around them. The question for many people is, where is the line? Here are some of the signs of sex addiction along with information on how to overcome it.
Sex addicts spend much of every day thinking about sex and how to get more of it. It’s normal to think about sex regularly, but it is a problem when sex becomes the focal point of a person’s existence. Often, this obsession results in compulsive porn viewing and masturbation to the exclusion of healthy activities. No matter how much porn the sex addict views, a craving for more remains.
To obtain sex, addicts will go to extraordinary lengths and take surprising risks to satisfy their urges. It is not unusual for sex addicts to spend much of their time looking for new sex partners at bars, clubs and anywhere else an opportunity presents itself. Even with strangers, the sex addict may be totally unconcerned with using protection to avoid STDs and pregnancy.
Severe cases of sex addiction frequently involve participation in unusual fetishistic sexual behaviors that are outside of social norms. These interests may rest at the fringes of what is considered acceptable behavior, but they are not so taboo that the addict can’t openly satisfy these cravings with plenty of like-minded sexual partners. At its very worst, however, completely uncontrolled sex addiction may involve taking part in criminal sexual behavior that results in prison sentences and alienation from society.
It is unusual for sex addiction to be the only pathological behavior exhibited by these individuals. Many sex addicts also deal with compulsive gambling and abuse of drugs and alcohol. This illustrates the fact that these compulsions share a common root inside the individual. The addictive behaviors are simply the visible manifestations of deeper problems.
When they are ready to change, addicts can benefit from therapy designed to help them better understand their behavior. In situations involving a spouse or partner affected by the addiction, couples therapy can be beneficial to help save the relationship and formulate a plan for long-lasting positive changes to the addict’s coping mechanisms. These opportunities mean there is still hope for individuals struggling with sex addiction.