Wondering if your spouse or loved one is addicted to sex? Worried about your own sexual habits? How do you know if you’re addicted to sex? Denver Sex Addiction Therapist Dr. Michael Barta believes there are some common signs of sex addiction that could help answer these questions.
More Sex, More Partners: The easiest sign to identify with regard to sex addiction would certainly be an increase in sexual activity, as well as sex partners. For addicts, engaging in more sex and with more partners is part of the cycle. The escalating scope or frequency of sexual activity required to achieve the desired effect often results in such activities as more frequent visits to prostitutes or more sex partners.
There’s “never enough” for addicts, so if partners aren’t readily available, this itch can be temporarily scratched by excessive masturbation and viewing pornography.
Always on Your Mind: Sure, everyone thinks about sex. It’s a big part of being human, and sex is one of the more pleasurable things we can think about. But for an addict, thinking about sex is an all-consuming obsession. A constant craving for sex and a preoccupation with it—mixed with a desire to cut down, but the inability to do so—is a very common sign of sex addiction. The never-ending thoughts of sex become a detriment to other activities despite a growing desire to stop.
In Hiding: Addicts rarely boast about their sexual conquests. In fact, many people in their lives have no idea how serious the problem really is. Ashamed and ridden with guilt, sex addicts spend a lot of time covering up their sex lives. Deleting web browser and phone histories, hiding receipts to adult bookstores or bathhouses, and lying to cover up how they spend their time are just a few ways sex addicts try to keep their addiction hidden.
Ignoring Risks: Sexually transmitted diseases, broken relationships, arrests and threatened careers are a few of the risks of sex addiction and, for those deep enough into their addiction, these risks are easily ignored. Addicts believe that “it isn’t that bad” and that they can get away with it. The truth is by ignoring these risks, addicts put themselves deeper and deeper into a hole that seems impossible to get out of.
Life Suffers: Basically, folks with healthy sex lives enjoy sex, while for addicts, the pursuit of it can be truly devastating. Hours spent online visiting pornographic websites or cruising for sex partners can take its toll. Neglecting obligations like work, family, friends, and school becomes necessary for an addict to pursue sex. Also, the inability to be intimate and honest with those around them can make an addict’s daily existence truly lonely.
If you recognize these signs in your own life, don’t suffer any longer. Call Dr. Michael Barta today for sex addiction counseling. He can help.
Michael Barta, Ph.D., CSAT – S