10 Signs You're a Sex Addict
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With all the sensationalism around sex addiction these days and porn addiction, a big debate has sparked on whether or not someone can be addicted to something so natural - sexuality. The public is very familiar with alcohol, drug, and gambling addiction and how they destroy lives but sexual addiction seems to baffle us. Sex Addiction, or perhaps the more contemporary term "Compulsive Sexual Behavior," is a progressive intimacy disorder describing an individual who appears to be increasingly out of control with sex and feeling out of control of their behavior. Many professionals compare such behavior to a crack/cocaine chase and see it as more of a problem now than ever before due to all the growing issues with relationships, sexually transmitted infections and the feelings of being out of control. Displaying signs of sex addiction, however, is not indicative that you are a sex addict because there is a level of functioning that goes along with it, but if you think your sexual behavior is preventing you from functioning effectively in your daily life then you may be in trouble. Here are ten common signs your behavior may be sexually compulsive.
1. Leading double life
One of the classic examples of addiction is hiding two or more separate selves. Often this comes in the form of keeping a secret sex life. There is a compulsion to cheat on your partner, you frequent strip clubs, and you hide while watching loads of pornography. The idea here is if you are in a relationship and you are hiding behavior, it's a "red flag."
2. Difficulty in personal relationships
With the above being stated often times there is a marked difficulty in relationships. This is often seen through difficulty connecting, sharing and giving your self as a whole to another person. This is often because there is an internal compulsion that wants to continue to lead that "double life." Often times, sex addicts have very distant relationships and/or very enmeshed relationships (smothering -- often to get unattainable needs met).
Feelings of guilt often permeate through a sex addict's mind. Even though the double life is often exciting, when guilt sets in it can create a downward spiral, which is commonly referred to as the "addiction cycle."
4. Obsessively seeking out sexual material
You spend your day seeking out sexual material or at minimum being preoccupied with the thoughts of sexual material. This may have already affected your relationship, job, and sense of responsibility. This is a marked behavior that often leads to decreased functioning in one's life.
5. Seeking out risky behaviors/adventures
Driving down a well-known street cruising for hookers, trying to have sex in public places, and just generally upping the ante with your sexual behavior can be another sign. Many people who are compulsive with sex actively seek out people, places and things to give them a rush. This is highly connected to the common concept of addiction. This, along with obsessively seeking out sexual material, is often referred to as "ritualistic behavior."
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