How do I know if I'm addicted to sex?


In this article, I will talk about sex addiction. What are the causes and consequences of sex addiction and how to prevent and treat it.

Table of contents

1. What is sex addiction?

Sex addiction involves a lack of control over sexual behavior that leads to dependence and abstinence, which progressively increases both in the frequency of sexual activity and in open, non-discriminatory, compulsive sexual behavior with sexual behaviors far from affection and tenderness, anonymous or not, but multiple and brief.

Sex addiction causes serious negative consequences on family, affective, social, economic or work relationships.

Sex addiction: 8 signs that should alert you
In this in-depth article, you will understand what sex addiction really is and what are the signs that indicate a sex addiction?

Sex addiction can be carried out through different means depending on the needs or preferences of each person:

  • Compulsive masturbation.
  • Search for new lovers.
  • Group sex with strangers, swingers...
  • Frequent brothels on a regular basis. Prostitution.
  • Abusive consumption of erotic telephone lines.
  • Abusive consumption of erotic material
  • Cybersex: Visit on the Internet pages dedicated to sex, in order to satisfy sexual fantasies of all kinds.
How do I know if I'm addicted to sex?

2. What are the symptoms of sex addiction?

  • An increased sexual appetite
  • Lack of control over sexual behavior.
  • Frequent and recurring thoughts about sex throughout the day.
  • Dedicate a lot of time to researching and carrying out sexual behaviors.
  • Explicit sexual behaviors.
  • Progressive tolerance due to the need to increase the intensity or frequency of sexual behavior.
  • Denial of the problem and self-deception.
  • Continuous feelings of emptiness.
  • Mood changes related to sexual behavior, such as anxiety, depression...
  • Despair when your pleasure needs are not met.
  • Hopelessness or feelings of guilt in the face of the situation.
  • Restlessness or agitation.
  • Irritability.

3. What are the causes of sex addiction?

The causes are multifactorial.

They can have a biological or psychosocial origin in people with low self-esteem who seek in sex an escape from a personal, social and emotional situation that they do not like. It is also a frequent addiction when the person has suffered sexual abuse. He suffers from intolerance to inappropriate stimuli or impulsiveness.

In general, we can group the causes into the following areas:


  • Low self-esteem.
  • High level of search for sensations.
  • Deficit in interpersonal relationships (shyness, social phobia...).

Cognitive sphere:

  • Uncontrolled imagination.
  • Dispersed attention.
  • Tendency to distraction.

Psychopathological problems

  • Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder...
  • Consumption of other substances or behaviors.
  • In some cases, have been subjected to emotional, physical or sexual abuse in childhood.

Socio-environmental factors:

  • Advertising and media
  • Easy accessibility
  • Social stereotypes of "triumph" (for example, being a "male"...)

4. What are the consequences of sex addiction?

  • Sex addiction leads the person to an over-stimulation of certain sensory factors during sex, which leads him or her to end up practicing risky behaviors accompanied by a change of partner and sexual habits on a regular, almost routine basis.
  • Sex addiction often endangers their relationships, as they also choose to engage in sexual activity with random and/or "anorexic" people or through the Internet.
  • Deterioration of the couple's relationship if any due to lies and lack of affection in intimate relationships, as well as for inciting the couple to perform sexual practices that are not to their liking, to infect the couple with some sexually transmitted disease...
  • People addicted to sex are at greater risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) without themselves being aware that they are putting their health and that of all their sexual partners at risk.
  • On a physical level, not only is the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases increased, but injuries and other medical problems are frequent, mainly in the genital areas due to the debauchery of sexual activity (masturbation, intercourse...)
  • Feelings of guilt and shame.
  • Lack of concentration and attention at work or studies due to having the mind and time busy looking for sexual encounters or carrying out sexual behavior.
  • Loss of work due to overwhelming with sexual demands to colleagues or due to decreased performance.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Abandonment of obligations and hobbies, alone, or with family and friends.
  • Inability to control oneself.
  • Psychomotor agitation.
  • Anxiety.
  • Obsessive thoughts.
  • Economic problems caused by the money spent on pornographic material, dating, prostitution...
  • Sex addiction facilitates the appearance of paraphilias, that is, the obtaining of sexual pleasure from atypical sources (such as pain or specific objects), and behaviors that can be classified as harassment, especially if sexual desire is focused on specific people.
  • Legal problem, in case of harassment or other circumstances arising from sex addiction.

5. What is the treatment?

To overcome sex addiction, you have to be very aware that the first step to be able to end this problem is the fact of gaining control over oneself.

How to prevent sex addiction?

It is important to work on certain personality variables that can increase the possibility of the person suffering from this or other type of addiction.

Therefore, it is important to favor adequate doses of assertiveness, self-esteem, tolerance to frustration, etc. through techniques that reduce the difficulty of maintaining adequate interpersonal relationships, as well as emotional management techniques that allow them to reduce their own impulses.

What is assertiveness and how to be more assertive?
In this article, you will learn why assertiveness is so important, what its limitations are and why not everyone can be assertive.

People addicted to sex answer some of the following questions in the affirmative

  • Do you have your sexual behavior out of your control?
  • Has your sexual behavior become persistent and repetitive?
  • Do you have the need, more and more frequently, to increase the number of sexual activities and practices?
  • Do you spend more and more time thinking or carrying out your sexual practices?
  • Does your sexual behavior begin to be high-risk, or is it self-destructive?
  • Do you have repeated attempts to avoid or stop your sexual behavior?
  • Do you feel irritable and increase your tension and anxiety, if sexual behavior cannot be carried out?
  • Do you have severe mood swings related to sexual activity (e.g. depression and/or euphoria?
  • Does your sexual behavior begin to be inappropriate and cause it to have serious consequences of all kinds: interpersonal, legal, medical, etc. relationships?
  • Is there the negative interference of your sexual behavior in social, occupational family or leisure activities...?

I would be very happy to read your answers to these questions or your feedback to this newsletter in the comment section. I wish you a nice day. 🙂

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.