People with sex addictions

8 Signs to Look For

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 02, 2020

In this Article

  • What is a Sex Addict?
  • Signs of a Sex Addict
  • Treating Sexual Addiction

What is a Sex Addict?

Sex addiction is defined as a lack of control over sexual thoughts, urges, and impulses. While sexual impulses are natural, sex addiction only refers to behaviors that are done in excess and significantly impact one’s life in a negative way. 

Although sex addiction isn’t listed as a diagnosable condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), research indicates that excess sexual behavior can develop, like a chemical addiction.

A person with sex addiction may have a compulsive need to be sexually stimulated. This desire often interferes with their ability to live their daily life. Sexual addictions can come in many different forms, including addiction to: 

  • Sexual acts
  • Prostitution
  • Watching or consuming pornography
  • Masturbation or sexual fantasy 
  • Exhibition or voyeurism

Sex addicts may alter their activities to perform sexual acts persistently, unable to control their behavior despite any consequences.  

This compulsive sexual behavior can have serious personal consequences. Like drug or alcohol addiction, sex addiction can impact physical health, mental health, personal relationships, and quality of life. 

Signs of a Sex Addict

Sexual addiction can manifest itself in many different ways, both physical and emotional. It takes a healthcare professional to make a clear diagnosis, but here are some signs that can point to a potential sex addiction:

Obsessive Sexual Thoughts 

Someone dealing with sex addiction may find themselves thinking persistently about sex. These chronic thoughts of sex or sexual fantasies may become obsessive or interfere with other responsibilities. 

Spending Excessive Time on Sex

While seeking out sexual partners isn’t necessarily a sign of sexual addiction, if someone is spending excessive amounts of time and energy on sex, it might be a red flag. This can include spending time attempting to acquire sex, having sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences.

Feeling Shame or Depression 

If a need for sex crosses over into an addiction, someone’s sexual feelings might also be interspersed with feelings of anxiety, shame, depression, or regret. The individual may feel shame about their sexual urges and their difficulty controlling those urges. 

They may even show signs of clinical depression or suicide ideation. Research shows that it isn't uncommon for people who are sexually compulsive to also show signs of depression, anxiety, and social anxiety. One study found that, among sexually compulsive men, 28% showed signs of depression, compared to 12% of the general population. 

Excluding Other Activities

A sex addict may fixate on sex to the point where they have difficulty engaging in their other activities. They may fall behind on responsibilities in school, work, or their personal lives or become socially withdrawn. They may also prioritize sexual behavior over other forms of relaxation or hobbies. Relationships with friends, families, and partners may suffer because of this. 

Masturbating Excessively 

While masturbation can be a healthy way to explore sexuality and express sexual drive, excessive masturbation can be a sign of sexual addiction. This might look like compulsive masturbation, masturbation during inappropriate times, or even masturbation to the point of causing physical discomfort or pain. 

Engaging in Risky or Inappropriate Behaviors 

In some cases, sexual addiction can lead to inappropriate and/or risky sexual behaviors. This can include exhibitionism, public sex, sex without protection, and sex with prostitutes. 

In some cases, this can lead someone to develop sexually transmitted diseases. Studies have shown that those who identify as sexually compulsive are more likely to develop sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. 

Cheating on Partners 

Someone with a sexual addiction may feel compelled to seek out sex with new partners, even if this means cheating on a partner or having an extramarital affair. They may seek out one-night stands on a regular basis or even cheat multiple times with different partners. 

Committing Criminal Sex Offenses 

In some extreme cases, people may engage in criminal activities like stalking, rape, or child molestation. While some sexual offenders may also be sex addicts, there is no evidence that sexual addiction can lead someone to commit sexual offenses. 

Treating Sexual Addiction

Can a sex addict change? Yes, although it may require treatment from a medical professional like a psychologist, psychiatrist, or sex therapist. 

Depending on the underlying cause and how it manifests in someone’s personal life, treatment may vary. If the sex addiction presents alongside another underlying anxiety disorder or mood disorder, the treatment plan may also include medications.

Forms of treatment can include: 

  • One-on-one therapy with a mental health professional
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 
  •  Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) 
  • Psychodynamic therapy 
  • Group therapy 
  • Support groups
  • Inpatient treatment 
  • Couples counseling or marriage counseling 

Sex Addiction: Symptoms, Treatment, and Outlook

What is sex addiction?

Considerable controversy surrounds the diagnosis of “sex addiction. ” It’s been excluded from the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5), but it’s still written about and studied in psychology and counseling circles.

Additionally, it can still be diagnosed using both DSM-5 (as “Other specified sexual dysfunction”) and the “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems” (ICD-10) criteria (as “Other sexual dysfunction not due to a substance or known physiological condition”).

ICD-10 criteria

By way of a definition, “sex addiction” is described as a compulsive need to perform sexual acts in order to achieve the kind of “fix” that a person with alcohol use disorder gets from a drink or someone with opiate use disorder gets from using opiates.

Sex addiction (the compulsive sexual behavior described here) should not be confused with disorders such as pedophilia or bestiality.

For some people, sex addiction can be highly dangerous and result in considerable difficulties with relationships. Like drug or alcohol dependence, it has the potential to negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health, personal relationships, quality of life, and safety.

It’s purported to be somewhat common (although statistics are inconsistent), and some argue that it’s often not diagnosed.

It’s believed that a person with sex addiction will seek out multiple sex partners, though this in itself is not necessarily a sign of a disorder. Some report that it may manifest itself as a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, or be in sexually stimulating situations.

A person with sex addiction may significantly alter their life and activities in order to perform sexual acts multiple times a day and are reportedly unable to control their behavior, despite severe negative consequences.

Since sex addiction isn’t outlined in the DSM-5, there’s considerable controversy about what criteria constitute an addiction.

One characteristic may be secrecy of behaviors, in which the person with the disorder becomes skilled at hiding their behavior and can even keep the condition secret from spouses, partners, and family members. They may lie about their activities or engage in them at times and places where they won’t be found out.

But sometimes symptoms are present and noticeable. A person may have a sex addiction if they show some or all of the following signs:

  • chronic, obsessive sexual thoughts and fantasies
  • compulsive relations with multiple partners, including strangers
  • lying to cover behaviors
  • preoccupation with having sex, even when it interferes with daily life, productivity, work performance, and so on
  • inability to stop or control the behaviors
  • putting oneself or others in danger due to sexual behavior
  • feeling remorse or guilt after sex
  • experiencing other negative personal or professional consequences

Compulsive behaviors can strain relationships, for example, with the stress of infidelity — although some people may claim to have a sex addiction as a way to explain infidelity in a relationship.

It’s important to remember that enjoying sexual activity is not a sign of sex addiction. Sex is a healthy human activity, and enjoying it is normal. In addition, differences in the level of sexual interest between partners does not mean that one partner has a sex addiction.

Since the diagnosis is controversial, evidence-based treatment options are lacking.

Those who describe treating sex addiction may recommend one or more of the following methods.

Inpatient treatment programs

There are many inpatient treatment centers that offer sex addiction recovery programs. Often, people with a sex addiction are removed from their normal daily lives for at least 30 days to help them regain control of their impulses and start healing. These types of programs typically include in-depth individual and group therapy sessions.

12-step programs

Programs such as Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) follow the same recovery model as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). They can be very helpful for addressing sex addiction.

Members aren’t required to give up sex entirely, but they are encouraged to refrain from compulsive and destructive sexual behavior. Group meetings with others addressing the same challenges provide a good support system.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

This type of therapy can help a person identify triggers for sexual impulses and ultimately teach them how to alter behaviors. This is achieved through one-on-one sessions with a licensed mental health therapist.


Some people may benefit from a course of drug therapy. Certain antidepressants might help alleviate urges (which is separate from the potential side effects of some antidepressants that can cause decreased libido or impair other aspects of the sexual experience).

It’s not clear, however, whether a physician would prescribe drugs for this condition.

The person addressing sex addiction faces a unique set of challenges. They may be engaging in behaviors that put their relationships, their own safety and health, and the health of their partner in jeopardy. At the same time, sex addiction is considered a controversial diagnosis and it’s lacking diagnostic criteria as well as evidence-based treatments.

If you feel that you have a sex addiction, begin by talking with your family doctor. There are also organizations that can provide support.

If you or a loved one is experiencing sex addiction, these resources may be helpful:

  • Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
  • The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health
  • Relativity at Elements Behavioral Health (formerly the Sexual Recovery Institute)

Is there a sexual addiction - Lifehacker

December 20, 2021Sex

What does modern medicine think about increased sexual desire and in what cases does it really become harmful.



How historically the issue has been treated

Science has always looked at human sexuality with apprehension. During the Enlightenment, they still tried to treat her with a naturalistic interest, but by the 19th century, European scientists began to associate open manifestations of desire with promiscuity or illness.

In those days, getting the status of a sex addict was not so difficult, because even natural needs were viewed with suspicion. Some scientists believed that women "do not have sexual feelings at all." Others denounced clitoral stimulation, considering only vaginal sex to be normal. So women who expressed inappropriate desires could be recognized as nymphomaniacs.

Masturbation has been associated with the development of various diseases, such as ossification of the joints and epilepsy. One of the most implacable fighters against self-satisfaction was the American physician John Harvey Kellogg. As a method of getting rid of a dangerous disease, he advocated circumcision and suturing to prevent erection in men and cauterization of the clitoris with carbolic acid in women.

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Even today's breakfasts are connected with the struggle against baser instincts: it was Kellogg who invented corn flakes. You can thank him for this, but the doctor sincerely believed that eating cereal reduces libido (unlike meat, which supposedly sets you in a frivolous mood).

However, over time, scientists came to the conclusion that human sexual needs are evolutionarily determined, and therefore quite natural and do not require draconian measures of suppression. But the level of hormones and the learned strategies of behavior are individual, so questions about how sexually active you need to be still arise.

Is there a norm

Illustration: Anastasia Pruss / Lifehacker

Everything can change

It is not so easy to say unambiguously what is normal and what is not. After all, even during the life of the same person, the degree of interest in sex varies.

Allocate pubertal hypersexuality. Teenagers are especially obsessed with sex, which makes perfect sense in a changing, hormone-filled body. People during puberty are characterized by increased excitability and obsessive thoughts about sex. As a rule, with the end of puberty, these manifestations disappear and sex remains an important, but not the main component of impulses and thoughts.

Adolescent hypersexuality is characteristic primarily of men, and in women the attraction is especially strong after 30 years. Although, of course, these are average data, and for specific people everything is different.

In addition to age, environmental and lifestyle factors can significantly affect libido.

Corn flakes are unlikely to prevent you from experiencing attraction, but alcohol abuse is very much so. Sometimes desire decreases against the background of taking antidepressants, as well as due to internal hormonal disorders. Also, sexual temperament is harmed by a systematic lack of sleep.

On the other hand, playing sports helps to increase the desire. So if you want your hormones to work more actively, add moderate exercise to your schedule.

People have different libidos

It's hard to say how much sex and masturbation you need to have for this to be considered normal. Often our ideas about what indicators to equal are imposed from the outside. However, in personal life, everyone can set their own rules. The temperament of all people is different. For someone, several times a month or even a year are enough, while someone needs a discharge much more often. The main criterion here is subjective comfort and agreement with a partner or partners.

In addition, there are asexuals who do not need sexual relations at all. But they can also be very different. Some, in principle, do not experience attraction and excitement, others simply do not want sex with other people, but practice masturbation.

Nor is it possible to set a standard for the number of sexual partners.

According to statistics for 2005, the average number of partners throughout the life of respondents around the world turned out to be 9. At the same time, in the United States, each person had an average of 10.7 sexual partners, and, say, in Indonesia - 5. 1. Of course, we are talking about averages per capita. Someone keeps celibacy, and someone has dozens of partners. It is also important to consider that in such surveys, people often report incorrect data, trying to impress others with sexual victories or, conversely, not wanting to appear licentious.

When sexual activity is harmful

Illustration: Anastasia Pruss / Lifehacker

Only a person can determine what is normal for him and what is not. At the same time, behavior should not become destructive and lead to obvious bad consequences. There are several signs that indicate that a problem exists and needs attention.

A person tries to quit, but can't

The principle "no complaints - no diagnosis" works here in many respects. If your own body does not cause discomfort to a person and does not prevent him from building mutually satisfying relationships with other people, he will have no reason to go to doctors. But several attempts to control their sexual behavior, which ended in failure, are a wake-up call. It can signal that outside help is really needed.

Obsessive-compulsive behavior occurs

A person develops obsessive thoughts and desires, which he tries to cope with with the help of special actions (compulsions) - often exhausting, unpleasant or humiliating. For a while they help, but then everything starts all over again.

Some people with obsessive-compulsive disorder feel the need to wash their hands dozens of times a day, others touch stationary objects or perform other rituals that drown out anxiety. For people with sexual compulsions, sex plays the role of a sedative, and its quality and generally pleasant sensations are far from in the first place.

There is no adequate cycle of sexual response

Not all sex has to end in orgasm, but the standard cycle of human sexual response includes a path from excitement to discharge. People with sexual disorders may experience compulsions beyond their capacity. That is, desire persists even in the absence of physical arousal, and sexual activities do not lead to orgasm. Nevertheless, the person insistently continues to try (this, by the way, is fraught with injuries to the genital organs).

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There is a threat to health and safety

Sexual activity should not lead to distress. This is the name of the negative type of stress, which disrupts the functioning of the immune system and other body systems. If sex becomes so important that it prevents a person from taking care of himself or makes him forget about protection and possible negative consequences, something has gone wrong.

The rights of others are violated

Whatever we want, the free will and health of others should never be endangered. A person who commits sexual harassment or violence is dangerous to others and breaks the law.

If you find one or more of the listed symptoms, you should contact a specialist - a psychotherapist or a sexologist. There are also support groups for sex addicts.

Whether it's a disease or not

Illustration: Anastasia Pruss / Lifehacker

What medical classifications say

The World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) does not diagnose sex addiction. Nevertheless, in the ICD-10 edition there is a diagnosis of "excessive sexual desire" F52.7. It includes nymphomania and satyriasis, which denote an unhealthy, pathological form of sexual desire in women and men, respectively. However, in modern sexological practice, these terms are rarely used. We are talking about an obsessive, painful craving for the person himself, which leads to potentially traumatic actions.

In 2019, for the new version of the handbook, ICD-11, the item “compulsive sexual behavior disorder” was prepared. It talks about the impossibility of a person to control his attraction. At the same time, the craving for sex leads to recurring episodes that are harmful in social, work and family life.

Separately (although not mentioned in the ICD) is porn addiction - obsessive sexual activity using pornographic materials. It becomes a problem when it takes up so much space in life that it calls into question physical, mental, social well-being. The negative symptoms of excessive interest in porn are depression, social isolation, loss of a career, and large expenditures of money.

To be considered a problem in its own right, hypersexuality must not be the result of other mental disorders and addictions.

Increased sexual excitability is characteristic, for example, of bipolar disorder in the phase of hypomania or mania, as well as substance abuse.

What doubts exist

Some doctors doubt that sex addiction should really be considered a medical diagnosis. Classical addictions, such as alcohol and drugs, involve a withdrawal syndrome. This means that after giving up the object of craving, a hangover or withdrawal occurs. At the same time, people who claim to be sexually addicted definitely experience pain in abstaining from compulsive sex (the same support groups are aimed precisely at preventing relapses).

The compilers of the latest edition of the ICD suggest that we do not yet have enough scientific research to draw an unambiguous conclusion and equate sex addiction with the rest. In addition, the medicalization of the problem may raise ethical objections and legal issues.

After all, if sex addiction is a disease, then harassment and violence can be its symptoms. And the one who commits them should not be judged, but treated, because he does not control himself and cannot be held responsible for his actions.

For example, in 2017, actor Kevin Spacey went to an elite clinic for treatment for sex addiction, which also treated producer Harvey Weinstein.

This approach raises a number of ethical questions and opens up the possibility of abuse. Can we tell for sure whether a person commits harassment because of an irresistible impulse, or simply because he had the power and opportunity to harass with impunity? Of course, lawyers will insist on the first.

What is the result

Not every person who needs a lot of physical intimacy is a sexaholic. Often having sex with an attractive partner is completely normal. But regularly and against one's own will to seek erotic adventures, and even more so to violate other people's rights, is already problematic behavior.

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Is there a sexual addiction? Sex addicts and a psychologist discuss

Afisha Daily talked to a man and a woman who believe they suffer from sex addiction and asked a sexologist to dispel the myths around this phenomenon.

Irina, 31 years old

Medical analyst

About awareness

At the age of 13, I began to be very interested in sex — I thought it was the same with everyone. Then there were a lot of books for girls, where they wrote about the first time and about how it should be. In these books they never said (and I specifically looked for) what to do if you really want to, but there is no one to do it with. Then I thought that something was probably wrong with me, since there was no answer to my question.

Public attitudes still influenced me. For example, I decided to keep my virginity until a certain point. Because of this, I refused vaginal sex and settled for other forms of sex. The first erotic experiences were even before I was 14. I had 4-5 guys a year, and with all of them I did petting and oral sex. I didn’t do much masturbation, and I still don’t know how to do it very well. At 15, I lost my virginity with my first love.


Mom caught me with a boyfriend when I was 15. I never talked to her about my peculiarities, but I think she guesses. One day she said a phrase from which it became clear: she is aware that I constantly need a partner.

There were sometimes problems at school because of my relationships with guys. One day, a good friend of mine with whom we had sex got drunk and started telling his friends how much fun he had with me. And we have a small town, rumors spread quickly. This resulted in a small scandal: my reputation suffered, and I was terribly offended by a friend - we never talked again.

There were some rumors. But I am an honest, clean person. I won't take anyone away. I don’t understand why take a husband or boyfriend away: there are a lot of free ones. And in my university, everyone had their oddities. My girlfriends did not understand me, because they were mostly virgins, but they treated me calmly.

My mother was most afraid that I would become pregnant, and this happened in my second year. She thought that I would leave the institute, but this did not happen, I finished my studies. We got married, among other things, in order to reassure our parents. The first year after the birth of the child, there was no strong desire, but then everything became as before. The marriage broke up after a few years, but not because of sex. I just felt like I outgrew that relationship.

At that time, twice a week was enough for me. It seems to me that this is an average, especially when you are 20 years old and you have a regular partner. But without those two times a week, I really couldn't function properly. After about a week without sex, obsessive thoughts appeared, aggression increased. From age 14 to 25, my longest break was one month. After three weeks of abstinence, my hands began to shake, I had big problems with sleep and food. I don't know for sure because I don't have any other dependencies, but I think it looks like a break. I climbed the wall. By the end of the month, I was not human.

I always realized that this was a problem, because this feature had to be constantly adjusted: like, for example, if we need to eat, we need to get food somewhere. When I needed to move to another city, I really tensed up: how come, I don’t have anyone there, so I urgently need to find someone, otherwise I won’t be able to function normally. You need to think about this all the time: you need to have a partner all the time, and if you don’t have one, you need to look for it.

Often I had several constant lovers: someone came once a week, and someone came twice. I did not seek sexual contact with different people - it was more of a necessity, because I need more sex than others. To be honest, even then I would gladly have one. I would not say that in my life there was a huge number of partners: maybe 30. I have been with the same man for eight years now.

All lovers were aware that this was not an exclusive relationship. I can't lie and invent. Moreover, it was so difficult to build all this logistics: for example, no one can come this week, but everyone can come the next. One night stands were common, but I never liked putting in so much effort for one night. Especially since the first time is usually not the best.

The main problem is that my behavior was very different from what people expect from a woman. They expect you to break down, so you need to take care of it. But with me it's the other way around: first give me sex, and then courtship. I couldn't wait a month to be invited on a date. I took the bull by the horns, and many were frightened. I said that if you can't come twice a week, I need someone else. If my partner and I, for example, lived together, he simply knew that it was impossible to leave me for a long time. For two weeks it is possible, but more than three is quite heroism on my part.

One day after my divorce from my first husband, I didn't have sex for a week or two. I was riding the subway and saw a young man that I liked. I didn’t even ask his name, but simply said: “Do you want to come home to me?” He said: "I want." I brought him to me. We had sex, he left - and that's it.

Partners were from work, school, bars and nightclubs. I don’t understand at all why go to nightclubs if you don’t go out with someone. It seemed to me that this was a continuation of the night. What is the point of going there, suffering, staying up all night and leaving alone?

About the difference between men and women

Addiction has given me the ability to understand men better than my girlfriends who say: “If she loves, let her wait six months” - or something like that. I know some people just can't wait.

There are no people with sexual addiction among my acquaintances. As a teenager, I thought that others were the same as me, especially guys. At first it seemed to me that all men should always want sex, and someone can just restrain himself so as not to cheat on his wife. It turned out that many men in general very rarely need sex - about once a month. They show on TV that men always want sex. It's probably hard for them to live with it.

I had one semi-erotic experience with a girl I liked, but it didn't go any further. I realized that everything is very difficult with women. First, it was not clear whether she wanted to continue or not. Everything is easy with men, and most importantly, they almost always like it. After that, I greatly respected my men. It seemed to me that they were doing a difficult job that I could not do.

On the one hand, it is difficult for a woman with sexual addiction, because society denies the existence of such women in principle. There is a feeling that you live in a gray field. On the other hand, a man with a sexual addiction needs to make efforts to satisfy his needs: pay money, lie, buy something. A woman, especially a young one, is easier in this sense. Went out and took it. And rarely does anyone refuse.

Perhaps there is no addiction now, because I feel good with my husband. Before, especially in my teens, it was difficult for me to achieve an orgasm. The partner really had to try for this. Although if there was no orgasm in sex, it was still valuable to me, because it relieved some of the tension.

Aleksey, 30 years old


About addiction and partners

In my youth, there were not very many sexual partners (by partners, I mean girls), so I did not pay attention to my peculiarity. I had a serious relationship twice, which lasted almost ten years in total. They came to an end primarily because the partners were much less interested in sex than I was. I can't approach sex mechanically when I just twitched and that's it. And the partners were very often ready to have sex, because I needed it. It did not suit me at all, because the emotional component was absent.

When I was in a long-term relationship, I could have sex with one of my girlfriends. It is important for me to know a person - probably, this is largely about safety. I can only speak of sex with a stranger from the subway as an abstract fantasy. When you can open up to a person and engage in all sorts of harmless perversions with him, the level of trust rises, you reach a more intimate level of communication. This is why I have sex.

A little less than six months ago, I had a permanent partner, with whom we, fortunately, coincided. We can have sex three or four times a day. The only problem is that then there is not enough time for anything. I think the acute phase of addiction is still going on for me. Sometimes, when we go home, I can masturbate five more times while watching porn.

In total, I had about 40 or 50 partners - I honestly lost count when there were about 20. Of course, I often need new people, but I prefer to go in the direction of quality, because over time and I open up, and people open up. They say that many women do not experience orgasm during sex, but in my experience, very many are capable of even squirting. For most partners, I was the first person they felt it with. But this never happens for the first time and even in the first week of sexual relations.


My job depends on being able to get people to buy a product. We create quite expensive products, and they take a lot of time, inspiration and involvement are required in production. But when sexual desire is a priority, the work gets up. Instead of doing it, you sit all the time on dating sites, watch pornography, go on dates. In fact, sex is very labor-intensive and time-consuming. If you do not have a permanent partner and you need a lot of sex, it can take almost all the time to search. Also, when you work with your peers, you begin to perceive them as sexual objects. In some cases, this was not very convenient.

Unfortunately, I asked for help. It is very difficult to find a good specialist: in Moscow they are terribly expensive - and as a result, I found a psychologist from a large provincial city, with whom we communicated via Skype. It was a bad experience: I got the impression that she had a very poor understanding of what I was talking about. After a couple of months of work, we did not come to anything.

Most of the information I got from books: it was useful at least in order to direct my own energy in a creative direction. I can’t say that I have solved all my problems: I still spend a lot of time on sex and little on work. What I'm most interested in is how to connect my own sexuality, which takes up a good half of me, with the rest of me, which has to earn money and establish business connections. I don't know the answer to this question yet.

Too much sex can lead to inflammation of the prostate and other consequences. I don't know if everything is fine with me in this regard. It would be worth going to the doctor. But I am regularly tested for HIV and hepatitis; and STDs should be checked more often. When there is no permanent partner, I make sure to check in about once every three months. I use a condom with a non-permanent partner, but not with a regular one.

I think it doesn't matter what society thinks. If one of my acquaintances found out about my features and began to say something negative, I would not care. I myself can name ten reasons why I don't like it. If they are stupid enough not to understand and accept me, that is their problem. But at the same time, I do not stick out my sexual side and do not connect it with everyday life: what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom.

I almost never talked about sex with men, so I can only talk about the behavior of women. According to my observations, if a girl has a bright sexuality, she turns on only when the girl is in love. And when she is not in love, her libido drops to almost zero. One of my acquaintances is married for a long time, and she and her husband have almost no sex, but when she falls in love (and she fell in love with me, for example), it can turn into five times a day.

About the reasons

I have no answer to the question why I am like this. My biggest problem is not that I need a lot of sex, but that I am obsessed with group sex. Even if I have sex with one person, I still have fantasies about the fact that he is not alone. It turns me on, and for partners it means that I don’t really appreciate the relationship. At the same time, I am not interested in group sex without a permanent partner - for me this is a joint adventure, team building, so to speak. But in fact, it is very difficult to find even a third partner (and I would rather like it to be a man). It is necessary that both me and the partner like the person, and that we all coincide. I had group sex, but it was all far from being satisfied. Now I want to close this gestalt and stop thinking about it.

I am sure that there are practically no people who would meet all the standards. Probably, some deviations are accompanied by hypersexuality, some - complete asexuality, which I also met. I can't say what I have. Maybe just curiosity and a desire to explore. For sure, I can only say that it entails, I like it and I just can't stop. It's probably like with drugs.

If you have frequent sex, have many sexual partners outside of relationships, love sex, if you are polyamorous, if you are attracted to people of the same sex, fetishes, domination and submission - this does not mean that you have a sexual addiction. Just like drinking and enjoying alcohol does not make you an alcoholic.

If you or your partner don't like something about your sexual behavior, that doesn't make you a sex addict either. Also, one should not confuse people who commit sexual crimes with people who are sexually addicted. The latter, in the overwhelming majority of cases, enter into a voluntary and not prohibited by law relationship.

You can talk about sex addiction when you can't stop, when it goes on for a long time, and your life starts to fall apart. When it negatively affects work, family relationships, health, when you become infected with sexually transmitted diseases and infect others. In general, when you experience repeated intense experiences associated with sexual fantasies, impulses, urges, and behaviors that cause distress and psychosocial problems.

Typical signs of sexual addiction include constant porn viewing (with or without masturbation), frequent sex with new partners (when contacts are anonymous and for one night only), sexting, hours of texting with partners, excessive use of dating apps, including special applications for fast sex. Often, sex addicts lead a kind of double life, hide their connections, feel shame for their behavior and are afraid of exposure. Sexual fantasies, finding a partner, and having sex take up a disproportionate amount of their time. They experience incredible excitement from anticipation, search, seduction, but sex brings only short relief. At the same time, the person again and again promises himself to stop, but he cannot and, as if in a fog, finds himself in a situation that he avoided.

It is considered a problem when these or more of these signs have been observed for at least six months, and the person in question is over 18 years old.

Contrary to popular belief, sex addicts are not perverts and degraded people. These are ordinary people that we meet every day. Many of them grew up in an unstable family, lived next to relatives with mental disorders or alcoholism, where they did not have the experience of secure attachment. Some have been sexually abused, traumatized. Some sex addicts were raised by a narcissistic parent who gave warmth and approval only when the child did what the parent wanted. The child did not get the experience of intimacy and grew up without learning how to satisfy his needs within the framework of close relationships, where a person shows his vulnerability and healthy dependence on a partner. Unaccustomed to intimacy, comfort, trust and security, they derive satisfaction from intense emotions, including those associated with sex. Today, many therapists view such behavior as coping, that is, helping people cope with negative emotions. This pattern of behavior works, relieves tension for a while, but that is why it is so difficult to get rid of it.

In Russia and the rest of the world, ICD-10 is now used (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision. - Note ed. ). It has a category F52.7 - increased sexual desire. My experience with fellow sexologists shows that they are not inclined to make this diagnosis. They code it according to the leading symptomatology, often in the categories of mood disorders, personality disorders, or sexual deviations.

The prevalence of sexual dependence disorders is 3-6%, although no large epidemiological studies have been conducted. Most sex addicts are men. The onset of the disorder usually occurs in late adolescence.

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