According to the Cleveland Clinic, up to 10 percent of Americans are addicted to sex. And even though so many people are affected by it, conversations surrounding the addiction are few and far between.
What is a Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction happens when a person is unable to control extreme sexual thoughts and urges. Also known as hypersexuality, it can lead to dangerous behaviors that negatively impact their daily life. For example, watching too much porn or engaging in wreckless sexual activities can hurt their personal and professional lives. However, they’re not the only ones affected by their addiction.
Sex should be fun. But unfortunately, when it comes to dating someone addicted to sex, it can really ruin the mood. According to Health Research Funding, 80 percent of women with a partner diagnosed with a sex addiction admitted to struggling with depression.
Who is Most Susceptible to Sex Addiction?
Men are more likely to be diagnosed with sex addiction than women. Symptoms typically present themselves when a person is 18 years old, however most people aren’t diagnosed until nearly 40.
There are many causes linked to sex addition. For example, sex addicts are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or OCD. Health Research Funding also reports that those questioning their sexuality may be at greater risk for engaging in risky behavior on their journey towards self-discovery.
But even though someone is addicted to sex, that doesn’t make them a bad person. In fact, individuals who struggle with their addictions are likely to experience feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. For this reason, it’s important to approach conversations about their addiction with openness and respect.
How To Tell If Your Partner Is Addicted to Sex
Sex is a natural, healthy part of the human experience. And not only is it fun, but it’s good for you, too. But even with all of its health benefits, it can act against those with an addiction. Sex addictions don’t only hurt the one who’s addicted, but those around them, especially their loved ones. Because of this, it’s important to keep on the lookout for the warning signs to protect yourself from future heartache. Here are five telltales signs that your partner may be addicted to sex:
Editorial Note: Information provided in this piece is general advice meant to be informational in its nature, and is not meant to be a substitute for qualified medical expertise. Contact a licensed physician in your state to find option(s) that are best suited for your unique experience.
They’re Not As Available
Spending quality time together as a couple is important in a relationship. But if you’re dating someone addicted to sex, you might notice that the quality time seems to become less and less likely as time goes on.
They may start to spend more time on their phone or laptop late at night. Or maybe they start to make excuses for why they’d rather stay home than hang out with you.
Of course, after the honeymoon stage in dating, quality time often naturally diminishes. As you get used to each other, it’s normal to revisit friends, family, and hobbies outside of your partner. But if you notice your boo just doesn’t seem to have ANY time for you, it may be time to have “the talk.”
Your Sex Life Has Changed
A good way to tell if your partner has an addiction is by considering your sex life. Someone addicted to sex may become bored or dissatisfied with “normal” or “routine” sex.
And let’s face it, “routine” and “sex” are two words that just don’t belong together. But if you notice your partner start to avoid having sex in favor of other activities like watching porn, it might be time to have a serious conversation.
Or, instead of avoiding sex, your partner might start introducing new and uncomfortable sex positions in the bedroom. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with spicing up your sex life. In fact, it can be a great way to strengthen your relationship. But when your beau insists on adopting new moves or language that you’re uncomfortable with, consider it a red flag.
They Criticize You
Porn often gives people an extreme and unrealistic view of sex. For the actors, it’s often just a job meant to entertain others. But for many sex addicts, it can affect the way they start to feel about you and your relationship.
If your partner is addicted to sex, they might start critiquing your body in favor of the women they see in videos. They might also suggest you try to be more openminded about risky sexual behaviors that some porn stars partake in.
It’s important to understand that when this happens, it’s not a reflection of you. Instead, it could be a direct result of their addiction.
No one deserves to be talked down on, especially by someone they love. So if you find that your partner starts disrespecting you or your appearance, you might consider giving them the space they need — for good.
They Spend A Lot of Time Watching Porn
Many people use their addictions as a way of escaping their problems. And for many sex addicts, pornography is a welcome retreat.
However, watching too much porn can pose a problem for those who are addicted to sex. Even though it provides them quick, direct access to feel-good hormones, it can act also as a distraction from their every day lives and responsibilities.
You may notice that your partner prefers to watch porn over spending time with you. Sex may even become dissatisfying to them unless they watch it before or during the act. Whatever the case, if it starts to get in the way of your relationship, it’s worth having a conversation about.
The great thing about sex is that there are many different ways to enjoy it. Some couples prefer romance and sensuality. Others like to quickly get to the point.
There are many couples who like to get a little rough in the bedroom. This is a natural, healthy way to spice up your sex life — as long as it’s consensual.
If your partner is addicted to sex, you may notice they have difficulty hearing the word ‘no’ when it comes to sex. Perhaps they ignore your excuses for not wanting to have sex. Or maybe they get a little too rough with you when performing certain positions.
Either way, sex should be fun and enjoyable for both parties. And if it makes you at all uncomfortable, whether physically or mentally, you might consider taking a step back from the relationship.
Check out 21Ninety’s exclusive podcast “Asking For a Friend” to learn more about sex addiction and other hot topics related to sex, relationships, and more.