20 Signs You Might Be a Sex Addict

Health Check 12

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.


Image via zigzaou76/Flickr

cheating, commitment, lying, hooking up, sex, sexuality, turn-offs


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Robyn Carey Allgeyer

If you are concerned that your partner is an SA, based on these symptoms, you should get help for yourself now! For resources and more information for partners of sex addicts, there are a number of places to go for help and guidance. Here are two excellence sites, www.safepassagescounseling.com and www.posarc.com.

apper... appericate

I'm a sex addict

nonmember avatar Avery

Unfortunately, sex addicts rarely seek treatment on their own. More often than not, they are forced into getting help by a court, or by the threat of divorce or some other loss. It isn’t that sex addicts don’t know they have a problem – they do. They have told themselves repeatedly that they will stop, but they can’t. Most end up wishing they had asked for assistance long before they actually did. The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles (www.sexualrecovery.com) offers an affordable two-week intensive program that many people can use vacation time to attend. The Ranch in Tennessee (www.recoveryranch.com) offers longer term residential, gender separate sex and love addiction treatment.

nonmember avatar Camilla

45% sex addict apparently...:|

nonmember avatar Slulselolully

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Jason Wisdom

3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, and 17 are called being human, single, and wanting to get back into the swing of things--no pun intended.
Some people are just very sexual, and they have needs that cannot be boxed into our puritanical culture of repression.
Others are throwing off these chains of repression (deadbeat marriage, church) and need to have an oversexed phase--there is no shame and no blame in this.

Then, some really do have a problem, that gets steadily worse over time and really wrecks lives. They need help. (See #18)
But others with above average sex drives just want to express but get called addicts by those who don't understand.
It is important to be able to tell the difference.

Darrel Ray

There is a reason that there is no DSM or ICD classification for sex addiction. Because no one can agree on what it really is and how to define it. This article is ridiculous. Sure, some behaviors are problems, and seeing a therapist might be a good idea, but this list does not define anything. Much of this can be found in a large percentage of human beings. Some items on this list are nothing more than human, unless, of course, you buy into religious guilt about porn, masturbation or having more than one sex partner in your life. Lets get real and stop perpetuating this crap. Read Dr. Marty Klein's fine article, "You are addicted to what." Just google it. I am a psychologist and get sick and tired of these myths about human sexuality being propagated by people who haven't got a clue.
Dr. Darrel Ray

nonmember avatar berick

What a useless article.

"Compulsive", "frequent", "excessive" and other such words don't have a clear meaning here.

If my partner and I agree and feel good about having sex once every six months, then great for us.

If the six people living next door have sex three times a day, and have more with strangers, and watch porn in many of their free minutes, and they still manage to earn a living, raise their children, and avoid diseases, then who has any right to say their sex life is more "addicted" than anyone elses'?

nonmember avatar Frank

Even though my wife of 30-years has refused sex, and even intimate touching, for the better part of 12years, when I suggested just maybe we 'could' once or twice a month, she considers me a sex-addict. We've been to five counselors over the past 15-years, and all five of 'em (four were females) told her I was NOT a sex addict. And so, life goes on, huh!

nonmember avatar nate

This is absurd. Anyone who has regular one-night stands is a sex addict? This seems like a very old-fashioned viewpoint. The author mentioned "experts" apparently without doing any research at all (or at least without citing it).

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