Is sex taking over your life? Having a high libido is beneficial, but when it crosses over into an obsession, it can really start to negatively affect your relationships. Fortunately, there are concrete red flags to watch out for to tell if you’re a sex addict.
You can self-check against the following 10 typical features of sex addict.
1.You masturbate excessively.
Compulsively jerking off could be a sign of sex addiction. On its own, masturbating is totally normal, but if you’re doing it multiple times a day or right after you’ve had sex, that’s a warning sign.
You might also masturbate at inappropriate times, like when you’re with friends or in public.
2.You have a large stash of pornography.
Having a massive stash of porn could indicate you’re thinking about sex often. It’s totally fine to watch porn sometimes, but if you notice you have hours saved up on your phone or computer, that’s a sign you’re preoccupied with sex.
Using pornography to masturbate more often than usual could mean you’re addicted to sex.
- Pornography doesn’t have to be images or videos, it could also be erotic fiction.
- Keep in mind that watching pornography is completely normal behavior, as long as it’s done in moderation.
- Talk to your partner to make sure you both are on the same page when it comes to pornography and your relationship.
3.You cheat on your partners.
Sex addicts often seek out more than one partner. This is because they feel like they aren’t getting their needs met inside of the relationship, so they go elsewhere. Unfortunately, sex addicts also don’t care if their actions hurt others—they are only focused on getting their next fix.
- If you’re a sex addict, you might also notice that you have no history of long-term relationships, probably because you find it so hard to remain faithful.
4.You neglect other responsibilities for sex.
You might find yourself ditching work or your friends to stay home and masturbate. Or, you might be putting off school work so that you can satisfy your sexual urges. If there are things in your life that are falling by the wayside, that’s a sure sign that sex is taking over your life.
- If you’re in a sexual relationship, you might try to urge your partner to put off their responsibilities to have sex with you.
5.You can’t stop thinking or talking about sex.
You might bring up sex at inappropriate times. Or, you might talk to your partner about sex even when they’ve said they aren’t in the mood. Talking about sex often might mean that you can’t stop thinking about it, and you want to get it off your chest so that your thoughts stop bottling up.
- You might even bring up sex in front of others, like your friends or family.
6.You promise to stop your behavior, but never can.
Sex addicts often go through a cycle of addiction. You might realize that your preoccupation with sex is harming you, so you promise to yourself (and to your partner) that you’ll change. This might work for a little while, but eventually, you will most likely fall back into your obsessive ways.
- Maybe your partner has talked to you about how often the two of you have sex, and they’ve expressed that your constant need for it makes them uncomfortable. You might be able to hold off for a few weeks (or days), but then you fall right back into pressuring them or coming onto them.
7.You constantly want to try new things in the bedroom.
You may be using kinks to satisfy your sexual urges. There’s nothing wrong with trying new things in the bedroom, but your partner might notice that you constantly bring a new idea or fantasy up to try out with them. If you can’t be satisfied with your sex life, it most likely means that you have an addiction.
- You might constantly try to bring rougher elements into sex as well.
8.You feel guilty or remorseful after having sex.
Feelings of shame often indicate an unhealthy relationship with sex. There’s nothing wrong with having sex, as long as both parties are consenting adults. However, your partner might notice that although you love talking about sex and having it, you get moody or sullen afterward.
- These feelings usually stem from being repressed or shamed for sexuality earlier in life. Try to seek help from a mental health professional to work through your emotions if you can.
9.You use sex to cope with negative emotions.
Sex addicts often need sex to feel better. If you notice that every time you’re stressed or have a bad day you “need” to have sex, that’s a red flag. Sex is a great stress-reliever for some people, but sex addicts use it as a way to cope, which only leads to problems in the long run.
- Using sex as a coping mechanism pushes down the negative emotions instead of working through them.
10.You engage in risky sexual behavior.
People addicted to sex will put themselves and others at risk. You might meet up with strangers for sex or have sex with someone without protection. Sex addicts have trouble thinking rationally about sex, and they don’t care if they are doing dangerous things to feel good.
- If you’ve engaged in risky sexual behavior, make an appointment to get tested for STDs.
The concept of sex addiction is not recognized as a mental disorder by the psychiatric community and it can lead to stigmatization and shame for individuals who struggle with compulsive sexual behaviors. It’s important to approach any concerns about a partner’s sexual behavior with empathy and understanding and to encourage them to seek professional help from a licensed therapist if they are struggling with their sexual health.