10 Common Questions Men Have About Sex Addiction

1. Question: Am I a sex addict?

Answer: There are a number of red flags that can signal an addiction to sex. A person who uses sexual activity be it intercourse, viewing pornography, phone sex, chat rooms, prostitution or masturbation as a numbing agent, something to prevent them from feeling bad, may have a sex addiction. Other indicators the sexual behavior is causing the addict problems include their spouse becoming upset over their behavior or they’ve gone into debt over payment for phone sex lines or Internet pornography sites. Spending an excessive amount of time viewing pornography Over 10 hours a week is another red flag, since this sexual behavior is interfering with time spent with friends, family or at work.

Another key factor is the addict has tried to stop engaging in sexual behavior but failed. When all these things come together, it’s time to ask a professional about getting help.

2. Question: Can I be cured?

Answer: Many sex addicts have reported being able to bring their sexual behavior under control, through any one of a variety of treatment methods. Some attend intensive rehabilitation facilities; others go to therapy sessions, attend 12 step meetings or use medication and a host of other techniques to control their sexual behavior. This can include finding a trusted person to act as an “accountability partner.” Or for pornography addicts, it can mean the use of pornography blocking computer programs.

3. Question: Does being cured mean I give up sex?

Answer: No. Unlike chemical dependencies related to alcohol or drugs, sex is recognized as a healthy aspect of life. Treatment for sex addiction, while it does involve a period of abstinence, seeks to bring harmful and unwanted troublesome sexual activity under control to where it is no longer causing harm. It may lead to stopping viewing pornography, discontinuing solicitation of prostitutes and other “bottom line” behaviors or even illegal activities. The goal is stopping harmful behavior, but certainly not giving up sex.

4. Question: Is sex addiction even real, or just something people use to excuse their behavior?

Answer: Truth be told, there are some experts who don’t feel sex addiction is real and say it’s more a product of conflicting social norms and mores. Other say sex addiction exists but do not feel it meets the definition of an addiction in the same way addiction to alcohol or drugs does. For a sex addict seeking treatment, it may be a moot point. To get treatment, first one has to recognize they have a problem and stop trying to use their own willpower alone to control it. Many people have sought treatment for sex addiction and reported results. Much of the criticism about its validity has been aimed at celebrities embroiled in public sex scandals and is hardly analogous to the average person not living in the public eye. Sex addiction is real and one struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors certainly can attest to that fact.

5. Question: What caused this? How did I get to be this way?

Answer: There is no definitive cause for sex addiction, and for each person it will be different. Many sex addicts report being sexually abused at a young age and growing up with a distorted view of sex and what a healthy sex life should be. For others, it is simply the rush of chemicals in their brain after discovering a parent’s pornography stash or coming across it in some other fashion. Still others indicate the accessibility of Internet pornography had them fall into a cycle, while there are those who turned to using sex as a numbing agent during a difficult period in their lives and began relying on it as a coping mechanism. For some growing up with abuse, neglect, abandonment and enmeshment have cause the to seek out other ways to feel good about life and themselves.

While knowing the cause of sex addiction is important, those on the path to recovery should not seek to dwell on the unchangeable past; instead, they need to focus on their present actions.

6. Question: Does viewing pornography and sexual interaction over the Internet count as cheating on my spouse?

Answer: Not to be glib, but it can depend on the spouse. Certainly many women do feel that their spouses having cybersex or phone sex with another woman qualifies as infidelity. They may not react in the exact same way as if it had been physical sex with another woman, but the impact on a relationship can be dire. First, the wife will feel betrayed. She won’t trust her husband if he’s been hiding his behavior. She may can feel bad about herself, perhaps thinking some failing on her part led the husband to seek these sexual outlets.

Even pornography viewing can be a sore spot for women. Society places a lot of pressure on women to be physically attractive and sexually desirable and they may feel they are in competition with actresses in pornographic videos. This can affect their self-esteem, even if they do not confront their husband about the behavior.

7. Question: Can medication lower my sex drive so I don’t have this problem.

Answer: Yes and no. There are medications out there that can lower a person’s sex drive, and they are often used to treat sex addiction. However, they are limited in their power to erase the problem completely. Some form of therapy, be it a 12 step program or other process, is required.

8. Question: Will I ever be cured or is this a lifelong problem?

Answer: Many people report being able to bring their sexual behaviors under control, sometimes after a period of months or years, and are living lives relatively free of problems related to sex addiction. These people have addressed the factors in their life they had once sought to control by using sex; they have now embedded into their lives multiple tools to avoid falling back into destructive addiction cycles. For some, there is always the fear they will relapse, and some do struggle with sex addiction for long periods of time. There is no quick fix for the problem.

9. Question: I’m also addicted to alcohol. Is my sex addiction just a sign that I’m susceptible to addictive behaviors in general?

Answer: In some ways, yes. Many sex addicts report being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or behaviors such as gambling. They also claim family members with various addictions. It’s certainly been theorized that a person can have a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors. As to treating multiple addictions, it should be noted that many sex addiction treatment programs are modeled after alcohol treatment techniques developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. 12 step programs such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous model their programs after and borrow their literature from that organization.

10. Question: Am I really a sex addict or is my sex drive just naturally high?

Answer: The difference between a sex addict and a person who enjoys a lot of sex has to do with why the behavior is being sought and the inability to stop an unwanted behavior as well as the obsession and compulsion. A person with a high sex drive is aroused and in most cases can control acting on that arousal. A sex addict is engaging in sex as a coping mechanism, isolating themselves from others even if they have a real life partner for the sex, and engaging in the sex act compulsively. They may feel shame after they complete the act, or some general feelings of depression. Actual arousal is not the primary motivator.

How To Revive Your Sex Drive And Enjoy Sex Again

Chances are probably pretty good that when you got married, when you said “I Do,” you thought you would always “Do… it”.

While completely enveloped by the excitement of all the passionate, late nights during your honeymooning phase in the relationship, it’s a good bet you probably didn’t think much about the fact that your sex drive would decrease, in fact, you probably didn’t even know it was a possibility.

I mean, what with the great personality qualities you like, the wicked physical attraction to him; there’s no mistaking these are the reasons you decided to tie the knot in the first place. You had most likely heard of long marriages having their problems, like developing wandering eyes, the inability to find excitement in the bedroom, being easily irritated with your spouse, or even falling out of love; but you may have never thought you’d end up being in one of these marriages. This sort of thing was only supposed to happen to everyone else but you, right?

Unfortunately, life happens; the honeymoon period, which could last up to the first three years of your marriage, will ultimately fade, changing the way your relationship works, especially when it comes to sex.

Even though each relationship is unique, it is most likely that your relationship will follow the same path as most others have, go through the same stages. It seems that because there is a huge amount of attention given to sexuality, especially in intimate relationships, there is little room left to focus on the downfalls and issues that come up that many people are just unprepared to deal with and work through them. As we work to take care of ourselves, becoming exhausted by our jobs, or not being able to think of anything else as problems at work come up – even thinking of passionate sexual encounters just become more of a burden than something to delight at.

The fact of the matter is that there is much more you are responsible in your life other than making sure the two of you have an amazing relationship and sex life; finances, work, having children, dealing with the terrible twos, rebellious teenagers, taking care of your own parents. All of these things are part and parcel of living, having a family, and they all take away our focus and desire for sex. More often than not, even if you do continue having sex all along, it can become very monotonous; you go through the motions, and probably don’t even really remember it the next day because it’s exactly like the time before, and the time before that… Basically what this does is kill your once alive and kicking sex drive. It’s like figuring out which came first, the chicken or the egg; the less you have sex, the lower your sex drive, the lower your sex drive, the less you have sex. Therefore, it just becomes a vicious cycle; there’s seemingly no end, and you’re not quite sure how it began.

So how can we possibly bounce back from this? It’s very possible you will need to just grab the bull by the horns and put some urgent emergency action plans in place to revive a limp sex drive.

Just think about it, for those who currently have great sex, or have in the past, you know a lot of it has to do with your own mind, just thinking of some naughty things can get you going. If you want to start to get your sex drive on an incline, you’ve got to start thinking about sexual things. Even though I may not agree with fantasizing of other people, we should use what we’ve already experienced with our spouse; relive past encounters, invent new ones with some things you’d like to try that excite you. You cannot enjoy sex when you’re mind isn’t working, thinking about sex; the brain hasn’t been called the most important sexual organ without reason. So, we need to learn how to use it to get us back in the game. It can be as simple as just reading some great articles, watching illuminating videos, which can teach us and therefore allow us to know some areas where we need to just focus more energy. In the end, it is imperative that your mind shouldn’t be allowed to just sit there, never being used when it comes to your sexuality, and therefore eventually become empty of any thought of sex.

If you’re going to be a sexual person, you have to look like a sexual person. We are visual creatures, and dressing sexy is a great stimulant. When we look good, we feel good; and when we look good, we show that we are confident and feel good about ourselves. It’s just a snowball effect of feeling sexy and exuding sexiness. It’s so simple to just go out, pick up a new outfit, a new bottle of perfume, maybe a makeover, or new hairdo; this all just goes to show that we still care what we look like to our own self, and our spouse. Even though we all become very used to living with our partners, seeing each other every day, it is important to keep the surprise element in the relationship, even in the way we make ourselves look. This is also relevant for men; popping out to the gym a few times a week to get back the muscle that may have been lost over the years can be a great way to keep in shape and look and feel more attractive. If we allow ourselves to look like a wreck, we end up feeling like a wreck, and then more often than not, our sex life becomes a wreck.

The next thing you need to do is talk. We all know how powerful words can be, affecting us for the rest of our lives, in some cases. When you speak to your spouse in a flirty and sexy way, it can be an easy way for you to start reconnecting as a sexual couple. You can do this by initiating it yourself, deciding to talk together at the same time; more often than not, if you are telling each other all of the things you would like to do, and miss doing, this will be enough to get you both going. The words you speak can be like a romantic, sweet, poetic, and flowery love letter; or you can get naughty and use graphic words, like a passionate novel. You can write them, speak them; heck, why not both? Whatever you may choose to do, use this sexy language to help you increase both your sex drives in a boring marriage – all that you need to do is either open your mouth, or pick up that pen.

Don’t test the waters first, just jump in. Well, you haven’t had sex in a while, your interest is nigh nil, and you would really like to fix this and get that sexual spark back. Just have sex. “Just do it,” as Nike’s catch phrase tells us. There’s solid research that shows that the more we have sex, the more we want to have sex. Keeping up a healthy sex life allows the brain to release a hormone called oxytocin, which lends strength to our attachment, our bond to our spouse, leading to more desire for sex. Sex is also good when you’re in a bad mood, it changes the chemicals flowing through our bodies, so just allow it to happen. It’s also very important to keep in mind that keeping away from sex because you are waiting for only the most magical of moments to have it can be incredibly counter-productive. Just jump in, even if you don’t feel in the mood, you could be pleasantly surprised by how good you feel during and after.

Keep a lookout for good advice. If you are suffering from a low sex drive, and lack of sexual encounters in your relationship, it is possible that there are some serious issues that need to be dealt with that are affecting the lack of desire for sex. These issues should not be made out to be nothing, or ignored. When it comes to abuse, infidelity, or previous individual trauma, it would be a very good idea to seek help in resolving and healing. Finding a counselor, therapist, or even your pastor to help you heal old wounds can help you to open up to your sexuality again. If this is the case, then getting your sex life back on track may need you to be strong and finally deal with the issue, whether it is an issue the both of you share, or an individual issue. This will take time, but it is the foundation for a stronger sexual relationship in the future.

Do You Know Someone With A Sex Addiction?

Sex is not a comfortable topic for many people, even though talk about it has become more open and relaxed. People may speak freely of their sexual experiences and particular taste, but what remains taboo are the sexual problems of individuals. Men find talking to their doctors about erectile dysfunction problematic, so it’s not surprising that confronting another person about their possible sex addiction would be even more challenging and awkward.

Many addicts choose to seek help from a licensed professional, an expert in the field. However, sex addiction is probably a subject most comfortably discussed among family, closes friends and spouses. For the moment let’s address the issue from the friend and family point of view.

Here are some signs a person you know might have a sex addiction:

1. Is their sexual behavior leading to problems?

Are pregnancy scares a common thing for them? Have they caught or transmitted an STD? Being careless about safe sex, having random sex, or having multiple partners are signs of sex addiction. These behaviors show the person has placed fulfillment of sexual needs above all other priorities. Are they putting themselves at risk for problems as a result of their sexual behavior? Sex in the workplace creates a risk of being fired, as does masturbation and viewing pornography while on the job. Even if this is done off site during a lunch hour, these activities show a lack of control and the inability to separate appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

Some other problems not as tangible, and not as easy to see, are ones involving how much time an individual spends on sex. Oftentimes, the addict will cancel plans to go out or visit, preferring to stay in to watch porn, and/or masturbate. People with an addiction to porn will spend inordinate amounts of time watching videos and films, excluding family and friends. Have they given up hobbies they once enjoyed? Stopped going out on weekends? Maybe you used to talk to them often and they haven’t been as available recently?

What might be more visible are their romantic relationships. Do they bounce from one person to another in rapid succession? Are they having a series of “one-night stands? While there is no definitive amount of time one should devote to sex, or a way to measure how much sex is “normal,” if someone you know seems like he or she is only in a relationship for the sex, and have been frustrated in forming a real bond, that could be a sign of addiction.

Keep in mind one can be “addicted to love.” The act of seduction and the rush of brain chemicals produced when a relationship is in its early stages can form a sex addiction. While men and women can suffer this, female sex addicts are more likely to exhibit this behavior. It may not involve actual sex, but a person who is constantly starting new relationships (sometimes before the previous one ends) or flirts excessively may be showing signs of sex addiction.

2. Do they often talk about sex?

People tend to discuss subjects of interest to them, daily occurrences or events they have experienced. Is your friend bringing up pornography often in idle conversation? Such talk between friends is normal, but note how often the individual talks about it. Does it seem like that is the only thing he or she has to discuss? Are sex and pornography the only topics that seem to peak this person’s interest or gets the individual animated? It is possible that’s all he or she talks about because it’s all that person has to talk about. A porn addict can spend the bulk of his or her free time viewing pornography, leaving them with little else to speak of in conversation.

This can be tricky; each person is different, as is each friendship. A person addicted to sex may not talk about it, feeling shame and guilt, or they may bring it up at inappropriate times.

Note things other than speech, too. Having a poster of an attractive model in one’s room is common. Having one’s screen saver set to show hardcore pornography might be cause for concern. Do they have pornographic backgrounds on their mobile phones? Inappropriate ring tones? While these may be signs of mere tastelessness, they can also be signs of this addiction.

3. Have they brought up sex addiction in conversation?

Many sex addicts suffer from this addiction for a long time before suspecting they have it, and then a longer time before they stop denying it. If they’ve broached the subject of sex addiction, they may be testing the waters, so to speak, to see how you will react. Many sex addicts feel ashamed of themselves and keep their addiction a secret for fear they will lose friends. It’s not likely they will admit to having a sex addiction, but they may ask you your opinion on it, or talk more in depth about a high profile celebrity claiming to suffer from the issue. They may even mock the notion of sex addiction, feeling you suspect them of it and wanting to alleviate your suspicions.

How you feel about sex addiction is up to you, but most people taking this approach are scared and looking for support and your reaction could affect their choice in receiving professional help.

For spouses and romantic partners, you have a more intimate knowledge of the suspected sex addict than anyone else. Some things you should look for if you suspect your significant other may be suffering from this addiction are:

· Are they becoming more demanding about sex with you?

If is fairly normal for two people in a couple to have differing libidos. It’s also pretty common for sex to put a strain on a relationship. How your partner reacts to being told “no” and how insistent is he/she on the subject of sex is an example of where red flags may appear. An addict in need of a substance can become highly agitated when they don’t get it. Spousal rape is a real thing, and just because they didn’t coerce you into sex with force doesn’t mean there wasn’t a transgression. A sex addict can exploit the power dynamic in a relationship, threaten to do something negative, or withhold something from their spouse to get sex. If they’ve resorted to these harmful behaviors, oblivious to the emotional damage being caused, that’s a sign of addiction.

· Are they going somewhere else for sex?

Being unfaithful doesn’t necessarily mean your partner is a sex addict, but it is certainly one indication, especially if this isn’t the first time. While this may be a sign of a troubled marriage, if the bond between you is otherwise strong, the infidelity may be sue to the addiction. An addict craves the physical act of sex, or the intoxicating feeling of a new relationship, they are not necessarily in love with the other person or not in love with you. Often, addicts aren’t even interested in the act of sex, but in the repetitive behavior that leads up to the act, creating the dopamine levels the addict craves.

Remember, pornography and masturbation are sex acts. Is your spouse on the computer in the early morning hours before work? Do they hide large amounts of pornography on the computer? Are they less interested in sex with you? How you feel about some masturbation and pornography use is up to you. Some levels of self-gratification and porn are not detrimental, but if the use of these sex acts is at a point of contention, and your partner hasn’t given it up, that’s a sign they’re dealing with an unhealthy compulsion.

It is important to realize that only the addict himself/herself can really know the depths of their addiction and it is the individual that must realize he or she is suffering before treatment and recovery can be sought.