By Cheryl-Anne Jenkinson

Sex addiction sounds humorous at first, especially to those who lack any knowledge of the devastating effects of this condition. Being a sex addict is not the same as having a high sex drive; rather, sex addiction is an out-of-control, compulsive behavior often resulting in loss of relationships and jobs, and significant financial instability. The most severe level of addiction can lead sufferers to cross the boundaries between ’acceptable’ sexual behavior and deviant or even illegal practices.

If you think you may be dating a sex addict it can be very worrying and stressful. Only full diagnosis by a medical practitioner or psychotherapist will be able to say for certain, but the following indicators may help you decide whether you need to encourage your partner to seek help.

  • Does your partner become unusually stressed or upset if he does not manage to engage in sex on a regular basis?
  • Does your partner masturbate frequently even though you have a sexual relationship?
  • Have you caught your partner indulging in furtive or secretive sexual behavior such as viewing pornography or talking to sex lines?
  • Has your partner ever visited prostitutes or had intimacy with other paid-for sex workers?
  • Does your partner seem dissatisfied with what most people would consider to be a ‘normal’ sex life?
  • Does it feel as if your partner is never sexually satisfied when he is with you?
  • Does your partner always want sex when he’s stressed or worried?
  • Does your partner describe sex as a vital means of de-stressing?
  • Can your partner find it difficult to sleep if he has not engaged in sex first?
  • Is sex the very last thing your partner thinks of at night, and the first thing he seems to think of most mornings?
  • Are you made to feel guilty if you don’t want frequent sex with your partner?
  • Does your partner seem to feel guilty or apologetic about any of his sexual preferences?
  • Do you think your partner has been sexually unfaithful to you, or has sexual infidelity been a part of his recent past with other partners?
  • Do you believe that your partner subscribes to (or uses heavily) online or offline pornography?
  • Does your partner seem to be looking for increasingly stimulating ways to enhance his sexual pleasure, whether alone or within the relationship?
  • Does your partner seek time alone on a regular basis, where you suspect he might be indulging in masturbation or the viewing of pornography?
  • Does your partner’s high level of interest in sex, or the sexual demands he places on you, adversely affect your relationship with him?
  • Has your partner’s sexual behavior ever interfered with his working life?
  • Has your partner ever suffered financial issues because of his sexual behavior, to your knowledge?
  • Has your partner shown addictive or compulsive behavior in any other (non sexual) areas of his life?

It is important to understand that answering ‘yes’ to one or two of the above questions does not necessarily indicate that your partner has a sex addiction, however it does show an above-average propensity to become addicted in future.

If you answer positively to three or more questions, it’s certainly a case that your relationship is threatened by sexual issues and it may benefit you to seek professional help together.

If you determine that your partner is a sex addict, this certainly doesn’t mean your relationship has to terminate; it can be managed and controlled like any other addiction.

Don’t be tempted to make your partner feel bad about his problem or to address this subject in an aggressive or threatening manner, for example by giving an ultimatum. This behaviour will only lessen his chances of agreeing to seek diagnosis and help; and make it far more likely that you cannot continue in the relationship.

 

In the next article: On Tuesday we would publish an article on some dangerous fashion trends.

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