AM I A SEX ADDICT? IS SEX ADDICTION EVEN REAL?
This is a tough question answer for many people. Sex plays such a large, and important role in our lives. We all know that in recent years, we have become more sexualized as a society. From the way that we dress, to what we consume on electronic devices, there is no way to be completely free of some aspect of sexuality on a daily basis.
SO....IS SEX ADDICTION EVEN REAL?
There is a major difference of opinion on this, even currently. Some say "how can you be addicted to sex? Its sex! We all do it". My argument to that is the same of chemical depedency. Can one person be a social drinker and another struggle with alcohol so badly that if there were to have one drink, they would not be able to stop until they have drank an entire case? Well yes! We know this is true for so many who struggle with alcoholism.
So here are some questions to ask when considering sexual addiction.
1. Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
You find yourself thinking about sex frequently throughout the day, and it often distracts you from being in the moment at home, at work, or with friends. You constantly are thinking about your next sexual encounter.
2. Do you hide your sexual behavior from others?
Yes, most of us won't put our "business" out there, but in this question, it is referring to keeping secrets. If you keep secrets from even your spouse or partner, then this question may be applicable to you.
3. Has anyone been emotionally hurt by your sexual behavior?
Has your behavior hurt anyone else, such as a spouse or a partner, consistently over a period of time? For example: Has your spouse struggled with you going to strip clubs once a week for the last year, and it has caused your relationship to suffer?
4. Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
For many addicts, this is the question that is most relevant. Most addicts hate being in the midst of an addiction, but feel controlled by it. They have this "voice" telling them they wont ever be able to stop. It says: "This is just who you are".
5. Do you experience a loss of control?
This question is applicable to any addiction. For alcoholics, it can be a loss of control when driving in front of the favorite liquor store. For a sex addict, this can be a loss of control when you are home alone with an unmonitored computer, or pass in front of the strip club and struggle to drive past, even though you have prior engagements.
Sex addiction is something that as a society, we know little about compared to other addictions. It has just been a topic in recent years, in which we finally started to see that sex addiction actually is a real issue. If you or someone you know is struggling with a sexual addiction or pornography addiction, I urge you to reach out for help. As a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, I have helped many people with these issues find healing, to find a new way of life. Many have walked through the doors with heavy shame and guilt. It's embarrassing and the last thing you want to do is talk about it. But, if you continue to hold it it, try and hide it, try and pretend it doesn't exist...who are you hurting?