Sex Addiction Looks Different to Different People

Looking at porn on the internet does not make you a sex addict.  

However, masturbating to porn on the internet so often that it interferes with your daily life so that you cant function at work or at home, is a problem. 

Replacing human interaction with porn so that it interferes with your relationships, makes it a problem. 

If you have blisters on your hands or genitals and done it anyway, thats a problem. 

If you are hiding it and feel ashamed and hate yourself because you cant stop, thats a problem. If you have wanted to quit and couldnt, its a problem.

Having an affair does not necessarily make you a sex addict. 

It might make you unhappy and threaten your marriage, but it does not qualify as purely pathological. 

If you are having affairs that you cannot control, if you are hiding and lying and feel shame and feel driven to do it even when you have wanted to or promised to stop, that is a problem. 

Compulsive infidelity is a serious issue and can be indicative of a deeper problem, which can be assessed by a professional counselor or therapist.  Its not fun and its not cool, and its painful to everyone involved.

Picking up strangers compulsively for sex does not make you a sex addict, although it can be a symptom.  It can also mean other things. 

For instance it can mean you have an impulse control problem due to drugs or alcohol.  It can mean you might be manic and in a bipolar disordered mood swing.  It can mean that you are self destructive and acting out a suicidal urge.  It can mean that you are questioning your sexual identity and trying to test out your homosexual urges.  It does not mean you are sex addicted, BUT IT CAN. 

Sex addiction looks different to different people. 

From the outside it can look like you are just being selfish, that you cant control your body, that you are narcissistic.  It can also look like you dont care about the people you love.  Although that might be true, many times its not. 

To find out what all of these or other hypersexual behaviors mean in you or in your loved ones, email me for an assessment.  See the simple questionnaire in this blog to get an idea if you have a problem, or contact a licensed professional counselor in your area. 

There is help.


Dr Tammy Nelson


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