A healthy sex life is the accumulation of connection, safety and intimacy in relationships. When sex or pornography use starts to drive your behavior and take the leading role in your life, it is no longer healthy.
There could be many reasons why you have asked yourself “Am I a sex addict?” Perhaps you’ve noticed that your sexual urges are intensifying, and your need for gratification is eclipsing your responsibilities. Or, you’ve realized that you’re losing control of yourself and don’t have other methods of coping.
Your questions may have begun once you realized that sex doesn’t feel as good, but you still can’t stop yourself from masturbating, viewing pornography, or seeking out new sexual partners. Or it’s your first pregnancy, STI scare or amount of lies you’re engaging in to cover your behavior, that shocks you into examining why you continue to hurt yourself and others.
No matter your circumstances, finding the answer to “Am I a sex addict?” is essential for your recovery.
Am I a Sex Addict if I Enjoy Casual Sex?
In the simplest terms, you could be.
Sex addiction is defined by the negative effects it has on an individual’s life. Having multiple partners or consensual casual sex are not standalone criteria for sex addiction. However, if these behaviors are combined with the following actions, you may need to seek the support of a specialized sex addiction therapist:
You hide your behavior from your partner
You use sex to escape reality
You use sex or pornography to cope with difficult emotions or to “numb out”
You frequently engage in casual sex with multiple partners
You cannot commit to one person
You find sexual partners in riskier circumstances (paying for sex, visiting sex clubs)
The time and energy you put into gratifying your sexual craving is affecting your responsibilities and relationships
Sex addiction is a complicated disorder that only a specialized mental health professional can diagnose. The therapy team at Peter Stathakos and Associates has the credentials and experience to accurately diagnose sex addiction. We can work with you to create a tailored treatment plan that considers your individualized recovery goals. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute initial consultation.
Am I A Sex Addict If Sex Disrupts My Relationships?
Sex addictions interfere with your ability to build and maintain romantic relationships. You may start to view sex as transactional, fraught with negative emotions or adversely, a barrier to intimacy.
You may turn to pornography and push your partner away. Conversely, your sex addiction may lead to serial cheating. Your deception and actions eventually erode the foundational trust in your relationship.
You might wonder “Am I a sex addict?” because sex is hindering you from forging intimate relationships in the first place. You may find that your relationships are volatile and short-lived. You use sex as a means of escape, not intimacy. You cannot build a strong foundation for a relationship, and you resist commitments.
Am I Sex Addict If I Feel Shame Or Disgust Toward My Sexual Behaviors?
Sex addiction can trigger negative feelings in two ways. You may worry about others judging you and feel ashamed of your cravings and obsessions. This can drive a wedge between you and those around you. You feel as if you have a dark secret that you can never share. The isolation only furthers your addiction.
On the other hand, you can become disgusted with the lengths you go to satisfy your urges. As sex becomes your main strategy for managing difficult emotions, the shame and disgust only make your cravings worse.
Either way, sex doesn’t feel natural, healthy, or like a means for intimacy and emotional connection.
Am I A Sex Addict If I Don’t Have These Symptoms?
Possibly. If you are asking yourself “Am I a sex addict?”, you know instinctively that something isn’t right. Sex addiction is highly individualized; even if you don’t notice any of the above signs in yourself, your distress is enough of an indicator that you need professional support.
Are you worried your partner is a sex addict?
If this is the case, we recommend you read this article: 5 Signs your partner has a sex addiction
Find Help for Sex Addiction
A certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT) is a mental health professional who is highly trained to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals living with sex addiction. A CSAT can help you answer the question “Am I a sex addict?” and work with you on an effective recovery plan.
Our CSAT specialists are experienced in offering specialized care to people living with sex addictions from all walks of life. We implement a nonjudgmental, evidence-based approach conducive to recovery, support, and healing. If you are grappling with the fallout of sex addiction, you do not have to go through this trial alone. Contact us and learn how we can help you.