What Is the Difference between Sex Addiction and Enjoying Sex?

Category : Getting Help

What Is the Difference between Sex Addiction and Enjoying Sex?The act of sex to perpetuate the human race is an indirect survival action. As such, it awakens the pleasure receptors in the brain and is recognized as an enjoyable activity. As one becomes closer to his chosen partner and has sex with the same person many times over a long period, his brain conforms to that reward pathway and becomes habit-forming without being a true addiction. However, sex may become literally addictive. One who fears that he enjoys sex too much may begin to ask himself if he is indeed addicted to it.

Recognizing Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction may be defined by the following qualifiers:

  1. Feeling compelled to have sex, think about sex or otherwise arouse one’s sex drive to an excessive and/or immoral degree
  2. Increasingly craving sex beyond the point satisfaction and toward compulsive habit
  3. Continuing to pursue sex despite the detrimental effect to your personal welfare, loved ones and partner(s)
  4. Being unable to form or maintain an emotional bond with a single partner, but changing frequently in pursuit of a never-realized ideal partner
  5. Experiencing escalation as the thrill of previous experiences no longer meets your desires
  6. Seeing a current partner as a disposable object that fulfill your needs rather than someone of equal value in a relationship
  7. Feeling guilty about an obsession with sex but being unable to stop

Sexual addiction is exacerbated by alcohol and drug use, so consider your drug use as you weigh the likelihood of sex addiction.

Who Is Likely to Be a Sex Addict?

Someone who was neglected or belittled in her childhood may feel unworthy of true affection or unable to contribute to a committed monogamous relationship. This means she may seek compulsive sex instead to fulfill her emotional needs, which may make her only feel worse after every episode. Sexual addiction is likely to occur in a personality already prone toward addiction, characterized by abysmal self-esteem, mental disorders and negative mindsets. These patients will embrace anything that temporarily numbs the pain, which sex can do.

Sex Addiction vs. Healthy Sex

Sexual addiction and a strong sex drive are often confused, whether jokingly or in earnest, but the difference is the amount of guilt, self-harm and inability to stop despite repercussions. Sex addicts are usually unable to bond emotionally with their partners or enjoy any kind of committed long-term relationship, while those who simply enjoy sex can appreciate both benefits. In fact, enjoyment of sex is a great asset in a relationship, but it simply needs to be kept in proportion with the rest of life’s necessities.

Professional Help for Sexual Addiction

If you fear that you or a loved one suffers from sexual addiction, there are recovery programs available that we can connect you with. Please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline and let one of our counselors discuss recovery options with you. There is hope, so don’t give up. Call us today and start getting help.