Around 12 million adults in the United States are classified as sex addicts. The truth is that sex addiction is far more prevalent than a lot of people realize, and is potentially as widespread as alcoholism. Despite the numbers of known sex addicts, there are even more who go under the radar. While one of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean you struggle with sex addiction, multiple of them might. Here are some signs that could mean you also struggle with sex addiction…
You don’t consider consequences of sexual activity
One aspect of sex addiction is that you routinely engage in riskier sexual activity, and entirely neglect the consequences. This could mean having unprotected sex with a stranger, or even risks like engaging in sexual activity where you are highly likely to get caught and suffer consequences that affect your relationships or career.
It takes more to be sexually satisfied
There is nothing inherently wrong with having a certain kink that gets you going, sexually. However, if you find yourself continuously needing to amplify the scale of sexual behavior and engage with more and more kinks to feel sexually satisfied, then there might be some underlying mental disorder behind your sexual activity that you need to examine, especially if these kinks end up becoming more and more dangerous behavior.
You can’t hold down relationships because of sex
Sex addiction gets in the way of people’s ability to have meaningful relationships, by its very nature. Relationships need intimacy to work, and sex addiction distorts intimacy in a way that is incredibly damaging. If you continuously find yourself unable to hold down a relationship due to sexual reasons, then there might be something else going on. For example, if every relationship you have ends because you can’t help but cheat on that person, then your behavior might be completely out of control and qualify as sex addiction.
You objectify other people
If you tend to dehumanize individuals in a sexual way, then your sexual behavior is unhealthy and definitely needs to be looked at. This is notably different from sociopathic tendencies, where you don’t care about people, in general, because you only objectify them in sexual situations.
Sex gets in the way of other aspects of life
Sex addiction means that your priorities get rearranged so that sex is always on the top of your mind. As such, it gets in the way of every other priority that should matter to you, whether that be your career, family or friend relationships, romantic relationships, education, or even health and hygiene.
An Increasing Prevalence
First, it seems reasonable that now is the hardest time in history to escape the grips of sexual addiction. Consider pornography and the availability of it. No longer is this something that people have to go out and seek after. You don’t have to go to some shady shop and secretly buy a magazine or have it sent through the mail. It’s literally in the palm of your hands. You can access it on your computer or tablet, your phone, television, and virtually anywhere that has wifi. You can watch it at your house or your car or on the train to work.
Our society has embraced this sexual revolution that seems to pollute every possible outlet. Our media sends sexual messages and innuendos liberally and it’s not just coming to adults. Our kids are bombarded with these messages. Think about the “romance” literature available. Movies, sitcoms, regular television, and music all push this culture of sex.
Sexual Addiction is Real
Sexual addiction is no different than any other type of addiction. As with all other unhealthy dependencies, it is a disease of the brain. People that struggle with this type of addiction struggle to control their appetites for sexual thoughts, acts, and behaviors. While there is not an exact reason that pinpoints why people struggle with this particular addiction, some studies show that many sex addicts were physically abused as children. In fact, that statistic says that 72% experienced sexual misconduct at a young age. Even more alarmingly, 81% of sex addicts have been sexually abused and an astounding 97% were emotionally abused during childhood.
This is a very real struggle for many people. It’s likely someone in your circle or family struggles with this addiction. There is help for you or the person you love. They can overcome this addiction, but like any addiction, treatment is often necessary. There are many rehab centers in Utah that specialize in the treatment of sexual addiction. Much of the focus is often place on inner emotional and spiritual healing.
This article is continued in part 2.