The term “sΣx addiction” unfortunately has given sΣx a bad name. People often feel shamed for having a high libido and beyond-vanilla and/or non-monogamous sexual preferences. None of these predilections is inherently “bad,” or need end a relationship, as long as both partners are transparent and negotiate an agreement that is consensual, not coercive.
Having “too much” sΣx doesn’t make someone a sΣx addict; having sΣx fused with shame, secrecy, and betrayal does. Here are Ten ways to know if you or your partner has crossed the line from high libido into sΣx addiction.
- People with high libidos are transparent with their partners.
sΣx addicts keep secrets; they manipulate and lie to their partners.
- People with high libidos feel energized and fulfilled after an encounter.
sΣx addicts often feel shame and emptiness, then immediately start jonesing for their next fix.
- People with high libidos have full lives in which their sexuality is just one part.
sΣx addicts’ lives contract and revolve around their sexual encounters.
- People with high libidos see their partners as separate individuals with rights and boundaries.
sΣx addicts see their partners as objects existing solely for their own gratification, to be exploited and discarded at whim.
- People with high libidos watch porn to enhance their sex lives or meet their sexual needs in between partners.
sΣx addicts watch porn because they prefer it to relationships with real people.
- People with high libidos feel satisfied after they masturbate.
sΣx addicts often masturbate to the point of injury.
- People with high libidos have successful relationships and careers.
sΣx addicts’ high-risk, obsessive, and often expensive sexual behavior results in shattered relationships and families, job loss, and financial ruin.
- People with high libidos have sΣx that is relational – and, yes, casual sΣx can be relational!
sΣx addicts have sΣx to avoid intimacy.
- People with high libidos don’t participate in sΣx acts that degrade them;
sΣx addicts can’t stop participating in sex acts that degrade them.
- People with high libidos run their sΣx lives.
sΣx addicts’ sΣx lives run them.
And here’s a caveat: some might read this and decide they’re not sΣx addicts because their careers are booming, they were happy to get out of that lousy marriage, their kids are just fine, and they don’t feel any shame. What they don’t realize is that their treatment of others is fundamentally exploitative. They often justify their sexual behavior because their partners seem to be consenting, when in fact they have attracted people with no self-esteem and no boundaries, and who will do anything to keep a relationship.
Bottom line: if you can’t stop having sΣx that hurts yourself or other people, you’re a sΣx addict. And you need help.