Archive for the ‘Symptoms of Sexual Addiction’ Category.

Symptoms of Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction is very similar to drug or alcohol addiction. Although many people think that sexual addiction is not really an addiction, psychiatrists and other addiction specialists take the condition seriously. The American Psychiatric Association formally calls it hypersexual disorder. It can only be diagnosed in patients who are 18 years of age or older. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists nine criteria for chemical dependency. Many of the symptoms of sexual addiction are shared with substance addicts.

Sex addicts are frequently reckless and don’t consider the effects of their actions. Many of them also have a chemical dependency and are prone to other addictions. Their thoughts are dominated by sex, which makes it hard to hold a job or to have normal non-sexual relationships. In some cases, they’re very secretive about their addiction. Other sex addicts make no attempt to hide their addiction. In fact, they enjoy flaunting their behavior. Here are several symptoms of sexual addiction.

• Constantly craving sex

• Inability to reduce sexual activity despite wanting to limit the activity

• Spending excessive time on sex-related pursuits, including surfing pornographic websites or cruising for sex partners

• Pursuing sex to the detriment of school, work or family

• Feeling depressed or irritable when unable to have sex

• Uncontrollably increasing sexual activity

• Frequent use of prostitutes or massage parlors

• Chronic masturbation

• Numerous one-night stands with anonymous partners

• Frequent cybersex or phone sex

• Repeated extra-marital affairs

• Engaging in risky sexual behavior to the detriment of marriage or meaningful relationships

• Having unprotected sex despite possible health risks

• Daily use of pornography

• Exhibitionism

• Stalking or voyeurism

• Responding to stress or boredom by having sex

• Disregarding the possibility of causing physical or emotional injury to loved ones

• Sexual harassment

• Rape or sexual molestation

• Excessive time spent fantasizing about, planning for and engaging in sexual activities

Sex addicts try to adapt their world to their addiction. They are constantly on the lookout for sexual pleasure when they interact with other people in social situations. Spouses may become enablers by participating in group sex or enduring an addict’s actions without objecting. Frequently, the sex addict feels guilt and embarrassment from the sex act. They rarely bond with their partners. Instead, they move on to the next fantasy. As with chemical addiction, it usually takes a personal crisis, such as losing a job or spouse, to jolt the sex addict into accepting the problem and seeking treatment.