An addict is someone who has lost the ability to control their compulsions and instead indulges in their “substance” of choice. Too often, these sufferers build a world of secrecy around their addictions where they can act on their desires. When these actions lead to a physical or emotional meltdown then it becomes an issue that needs to be confronted and dealt with. A severe sexual addiction can lead to the destruction of a marriage and family. In extreme cases, it can also lead to jail or suicide.
As with most addictions, the sex addict will go to great lengths to satisfy their urges at the expense of everyone and everything in their lives. There are some specific signs and symptoms that can be strong indicators of a person who is struggling with a sex addiction.
Beginnings of a Sex Addiction
The outset of a sex addiction often starts off with a constant stream of sexually oriented thoughts and fantasies. This is different than the occasional fantasies we might all experience. With a sex addict, these types of thoughts become the dominate action of their minds. When they begin to lose the ability to control these thoughts, it can lead to acting out which is referred to as a sexual compulsion. In many cases, a sex addict simply can’t stop doing what they know to be wrong even if it will cost them their jobs, reputations and relationships.
A sex addict can also escalate into more hazardous types of actions. This could include high-risk sexual activity like having unprotected sex, sex with prostitutes or sex with many different partners.
Signs of a Sexual Addiction
The following are some of those red-flag indicators for a person who is struggling with a sexual addiction:
- Compulsive masturbation
- Excessive viewing of pornography
- Non-stop dating through personal or sex ads
- Obsessive used of phone sex or webcam sex via the Internet
- Numerous one-night stands
Sexual Addiction Complications
The complications associated with a sexual addict are related to their symptoms and actions. One of the most serious complications is an increased risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease such as herpes, genital warts or HIV/AIDS. If the addict is married or involved in an ongoing relationship, those diseases could be transmitted to the partner without their knowledge.
Like other addictions, a sex addict can also find themselves dealing with overwhelming feelings of shame or embarrassment. This can lead to bouts of deep depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Illegal Acts of a Sexual Addict
There are also illegal acts which can be considered symptoms of a sex addiction. These can occur when the addict seeks out more “thrills” to satisfy their lustful thoughts. Some of these illegal acts could include:
- Exposing genitals in public
- Public masturbation
- Obscene phone calls
- Engaging in sexual abuse on a minor or non-consensual partner
- Engaging in sex for money
- Sexually harassing others
Getting caught carrying out any of those acts can lead to arrest, jail time and being forced to register as a sex offender.
Hopefully, if you recognize any of these signs or symptoms in you or someone you love, you can take actions to get help. Calling the toll-free number on this page and asking for help is a positive first step.