HEY BESTIE: How can I tell if I’m addicted to sex?

HEY BESTIE: I’m in a new relationship and the sex is amazing. We make love every day – sometimes more than once a day. But I’m starting to get a bit concerned that I might be addicted to sex. How do I know if I am?

So glad to hear that the sex is amazing!

I hope you continue to keep enjoying each other and the sex between the two of you.

Enjoying and having sex regularly (or more often than not) is vastly different to a sex addiction. So let me first and foremost get clear on what constitutes an addiction to sex.

Although Sex Addiction is technically not classified in the most used diagnostic manual for therapists, essentially, it’s the need to perform sexual acts in order to achieve the ‘fix’ that a person with alcohol use disorder would get from drinking, for example.

It would be considered an addiction if your sexual behaviour is negatively impacting your physical and/or mental health, personal relationships, quality of life and/or your safety.

Here are some signs to be aware of:

  • Lying to cover the sexual behaviour
  • Inability to stop or control the behaviour
  • Feeling remorse or guilt after the behaviour
  • Chronic or obsessive thoughts about the behaviour

So let me break it down. If you are thinking of or participating in your desired sexual activity more than you are going to work, taking care of yourself or others and it’s impacting your ability to function, then yes, you probably do need to talk to a health professional about this.

If you are however simply really, genuinely enjoying your new partner, sex on a very regular basis and still able to function within society, then enjoy the moment as long as you can: this is not a sex addiction by definition.

Sex addiction has real consequences which include negative impacts of your wellbeing and relationships.

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