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Top 10 signs of sexual addiction

Do you think that you or a loved one is a sex addict? Check in here for a quick guide to signs of sexual addiction and the steps that you can take to get help.

2
minute read

Negative consequences of sex addiction
Unhealthy sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviors can lead to pain and negative or self-destructive consequences. In fact, sexual addiction can get in the way of the many benefits that healthy sexual relationships have to offer: intimacy, respect, nurturing, support, peace and self-enhancement. But how can you identify signs of sexual addiction? And how do you know if you or a loved one are a sex addict?

Sexual addiction is progressive
Many different kinds of sexual activities are red flags for sexual addiction. Sex addicts can be involved in a wide variety of practices and many have trouble with just one behavior or with many. Furthermore, sexual addiction can be progressive, meaning that a sex addict starts with one behavior (masturbation) but over time eventually engages in increasingly dangerous activities (sex in public, masochistic or sadistic sex, multiple partners, etc.).  Although the following list is not complete, it helps give you a guide of what to look for.

1. Avoiding emotional involvement in sexual relationships (wanting to get away from a sex partner right after sex)
2. Having multiple sexual partners, anonymous partners, prostitutes, with someone you do not care about or extramarital affairs
3. Using euphoric recall while being sexual
4. Sexually acting out against your values
5. Frequent use of pornographic materials
6. Using phone and internet sex services
7. Excessive masturbation
8. Fixating on an unattainable sex partner
9. Practicing masochistic or sadistic sex
10. Practicing exhibitionism (indecent exposure)

Am I a sex addict?
If you suspect that you are a sex addict and want help, contact your doctor, psychiatrist or a sex specialist for an assessment. You can also take an online sex addict questionnaire for self diagnosis (see below). Once assessed and ready for the next step, you can find a sex addict treatment database or a sex addiction therapist at the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals  or The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. Treatment for sex addiction is best supplemented by attendance at support group meetings, such as twelve step groups for sex addicts.

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40 questions for self-diagnosis of sex addiction
Discussion

Please let me know if you have any questions. I respond to all comments and answer all emails. Feel free to share your experience below, or simply to let me know what you think.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.

32 Comments

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  1. I have every symptom on this list. I have always had all of these symptoms sense I was in Kindergarten. I have never had any trauma happen to me that I can remember. But it also says it could be bipolar disorder and I’m scared that’s what is “wrong”. I have every bipolar symptom as well. But that’s just myself diagnosis. I need help. Bad.

  2. Well I just found out I have a sex addiction… Haha haha, now I want some… Well I already wanted it, that’s why I looked this up… but now I want it more…

  3. OK, um well I am 10 and I fap 10-30 times a day or so and It’s really annoying and I want to know if it’s normal for kids to watch porn, I am really concerned about my health please answer me.

  4. I unintentionally enabled a friend who turned out to be a sex addict. Is it important to stop the friendship?

    1. Hi Egflynn. I believe it is. Is your friend seeing a therapist for the addiction? Maybe you can have a session with the same therapist and discuss the best course of action in the near future.

  5. I also get naked while driving and run around naked at night (or during the day if it seems safe) but if I ever see someone I panic so I know it’s wrong. I love finding someone online to watch me. Not sure if I want help because it gives me so much pleasure.

  6. I am almost 50 and absolutely love to masturbate in the mirror or videoing myself and have been for decades now. I am married but think I love my cock more than anything. It does not seem healthy but I enjoy it immensely.

  7. I’m 16 right now and I have been masturbating like 2 to 4 times a day and I don’t like everytime I see someone hot or if I think about a hot girl or something that would make me wont to masturbate and I had this problem since I was six but I didn’t masturbate I would have a hard on and my sisters would always say are u happy or y u haveing a erection and I would just ignore them and I talked to my friends about it and they said that that’s different and they don’t do that and I was wondering if it is affecting my health and what can I do to stop this. It does get my mind off of school and I barely talk to girls anymore can u PLZ HELP ME

  8. i’m married. addicted to internet porn & fantasize other women. masturbate frequently & prefer partner to use hands rather than intercourse. very frustrated almost fancies a chance of sleeping with every woman i see, yet. lack confidence to approach. i enjoy watching sex rather than doing. i really want to understand my position. pls help me do it with constructive comments as i also have fear of being judged. THANKS.

  9. Hai,
    I am masturbating daily basis 2 or 3 times a day or atleast 1 time a day by watching pornagraphic photos & video or sexual songs or soft sex activities in cinema (indian cinemas) watching through internet. I am doing masturbation since 13 year old, now I am 42 years married. the last 20 years I am doing 2 or 3 times a day. Is this sexual addition? Is it affect my health? but health wise I am average person. This habit affecting my daily life, work life even affect my good thinking, planning of my future.
    Please advise me that how to rid it off from this habit. I can not understand.

  10. May be I’m a sex addicted and I want to stop masturbating I’m 20 years old I am a female and I need to find a solution for my problem
    Thanks

  11. Hi Wendy. Check with a psychologist or speak with your general physician. You can benefit from getting a referral to a specialist in sexual disorders.

  12. i know i need help. beyond that i dont know how to go about getting it. i have not been formally diagnosed, but i am sure this sounds so much like me.

  13. Very interesting article but fetishism like S&M and exhibitionism are not anymore practiced by sex addicts than non-addicts. The correlation is irritating. But…many fetish folks married to “vanilla” (normal) folks, as we say, are unevenly matched and turn to porn or cheating to try and avoid asking their partner to provide the type of sex they need. Asking a fetishist to be vanilla is like asking a gay person to be straight. It doesn’t work.

  14. Love you Hate The Porn is a great book. Most men can’t admit that they have a sex addiction until they hit rock bottom. But I feel for myself along with so many that have husbands using porn or cheating on them. Also the book “The Porn Trap” was very useful when I was trying to figure out what was so wrong with my marriage. If your husband is ready most states have the Life Star Network program and it’s changed my husbands and life. Truly amazing program.

  15. Hello Tara. Thanks for your question. I’d suggest that you check out the book, “A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction” by George and Paldrom Collins. Sexual fantasies made possible by porn are not REALITY and may be a way for your husband to feel good in the short term, but will eventually cut him off from intimacy with you (if it hasn’t already). So, I’d suggest that you start reading up on sexual addiction and seek a couples therapist near you if he’s willing to take a look at his behaviors and start making a change.

  16. my husband watche porn and masterbates to it he lies about since caught him but i know he does it’s on his web history what should i do how i can i tell if he’s addicted

  17. Hi Jennifer. Thanks for your question. You can first try Sex And Love Addicts Anonymous for support. Although group membership is made of both genders, you can find Women’s Only meetings, and network with people who you can relate to. http://www.slaafws.org/

    Does this help?

  18. I dont like how most of these words i am reading point only to men having an addiction. I too have this addiction and am trying to find ways to cope and treat it before it gets to a point that it hurts my marriage. My husband is away alot for work so up to now I have been able to hide my symptoms but i feel them getting strong…Where do i find support group that may help me A WOMAN??

  19. Hi Carl,

    No. You don’t need to show all 10 signs to be addicted to sex. You may need to answer a short questionnaire with a counselor to confirm a diagnosis. Do you know where to look for help?

  20. I would give priority to the two points here – frequent pornographic access and excessive masturbation. These both can easily call out a man/woman who has been addicted unhealthily to sex.

  21. Addiction is continuing to use a substance or a behaviour, to change the way you feel, despite negative consequences.

    Rethink rehab.
    Jane Derry

  22. Yes, James. Not only do addictions affect us physically, but they also destroy our emotional and spiritual lives as well. Thanks for your comment.

    Eva – To be honest, I do not know. I will investigate and post my findings here.

  23. I learned a lot about this site. i have a concern regarding the issue, is it true that a drug addict person has a high percentage to become a sex addict person? just want an info regarding my concern.thanks!

  24. No doubt it is like any addiction and we need to take precautions because it can lead to a total neglect of medical health.

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