Even before David Duchovny played a sex addict in his hit show Californication (and then became one in real life), we’ve been bombarded by cheating celebs swearing they’re only cheating because they’re addicted to sex. Tiger Woods is only the half of it.
Experts are on the fence about whether sex addiction is a real condition – but most agree that it is an actual, if not a diagnosable, disorder (though it’s not listed in the bible of psychology, the DSM-IV).
So what are some of the symptoms? Are you a sex addict? Is your partner a sex addict? Read on to learn more about the signs of a true sex addiction.
1) Compulsively cheating on a partner or spouse.
2) Engaging in multiple extramarital affairs that have almost nothing to do with intimacy.
3) Masturbating excessively and/or obsessively.
4) Getting involved in unsafe sexual encounters despite knowing they’re risky.
5) Compulsively engaging in phone sex.
6) Making a habit of having anonymous sexual partners.
7) Turning to prostitution — either soliciting sex from prostitutes or becoming a prostitute or escort.
8) Engaging in sexual behaviors that interfere with other obligations like work, family life, and school.
9) Trolling classified ads online or in print for sex partners.
10) Getting irritable, anxious, or angry without frequent sex.
11) Spending an inordinate amount of time planning (often deviant) sex fantasies.
12) Feeling a great deal of guilt and remorse after engaging in sexual behaviors.
13) Frequently arguing with family and loved ones about the hypersexual behavior.
14) Engaging in unhealthy or compulsive sexual behavior despite knowing the risks of physical harm to self or others involved.
15) Repeatedly trying to curb the sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors without being able to.
16) Habitually having one-night stands.
17) Knowingly compromising personal relationships (including marriages) in order to fulfill sexual fantasies and urges.
18) Performing sex acts that tend to be precipitated by a depressed mood.
19) Engaging in exhibitionism (a desire to expose parts of the body), in public.
20) Getting pleasure out of voyeurism and frequently engaging in it.
If you recognize a good number of these traits in yourself or your partner, seek out a therapist in order to get some help. Sexual addiction can be treated.