Healthy sex and intimacy are crucial components of a fulfilled life. But like anything that can cause good feelings, there are times when the desire for those good feelings goes too far, and in some cases the desire for sex and sexual behaviors reaches a level that qualifies as an addiction. When this happens, you may have what’s known as “sexual addiction” – an addiction to sex and sex-motivated behaviors that causes significant life impairment.
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction is a very real, very problematic issue that affects hundreds of men and women in and around Calgary. Sexual addiction is not necessarily the constant desire for sex. It is a desire for sex that extends beyond normal societal functioning, when it controls behaviors and leads to significant personal distress. You may qualify for a sex addiction when:
- Sex is affecting your work or personal life negativity.
- You engage in sexual exploits that you know are dangerous or immoral.
- You are unable to stop these sexual behaviors.
Sex addicts may find themselves in a variety of inappropriate sexual encounters with strangers, spreading or frequently putting themselves at risk for disease, or seeking out sex in situations that may not warrant it, or desiring something so strongly that it is leading to obsessions that are problematic personally, professionally, or legally. Symptoms may include all or any of the following:
- Unhealthy obsession with the sexual behavior.
- Preoccupation with the sexual behavior in unrelated circumstances.
- Frequent sexual activity, often with multiple partners or escalating dangers.
- Avoiding healthy relationships and activities in favor of sex.
- Need for or desire of a specific situation in order to find sexual fulfillment.
Sex addiction can also lead to a variety of negative consequences, including:
- Inability to perform during healthy sexual encounters.
- Altered consciousness about sexual expectations.
- Decrease in energy for activities outside of sex.
- Depression, anxiety, and low self esteem.
- Trouble in relationships where the sexual needs are not met.
Sexual addiction is not limited to sex either. Pornography addiction is an increasingly common problem. Those struggling with pornography addiction seek out pornography any chance they have and experience withdrawals when they are not watching it. There are also fetish addictions, voyeurism problems, exhibitionist issues and more, all that fall within the realm of sexual addiction.