You’ve heard of sex addiction, but do you actually know what it is?
The American Psychiatric Association does not list sex addiction as a sanctioned disorder; however, this doesn’t mean that it’s not something that affects millions of households across the nation.
In many cases, instead of calling it a full-blown addiction, therapists and psychiatrists will call so-called sex addiction by another name: Hypersexuality Disorder. And this is a very real thing.
But like any other addiction, the disorder is about the underlying issues, not the actual obsession with sex.
In other words, if your man is addicted to sex, it’s more than likely that he actually has problems other than those that cause him to be obsessed with sex. He funnels all of his anxieties into sex obsession, but he may be depressed, anxious, have a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder, or be experiencing any other number of emotional or mental issues.
Before we get into how sex addiction or hypersexuality can be treated, however, let’s talk about the signs and symptoms.
Signs You’re Guy May Have a Sex Addiction
The biggest sign of sex addiction is the individual’s obsession and preoccupation with sex. Makes sense, right? But this can manifest itself in different ways.
To start with, many with this addiction say that basically, sex rules their lives. It’s all they can think about.
Here are a few of the hallmark signs of sex addiction that you may see.
- Cheating and Multiple Sex Partners
The thing you have to wonder about those who come out as sex addicts is whether or not they really are ill with this addiction or just jerks who cheated and are looking for something to blame it on so that they don’t get in trouble and thrown in the dog house.
We’ll say it again: Sex addiction is not a legitimate disorder according to The American Psychiatric Association. And to be sure, there must be some jerks out there who have tried this tactic.
With that being said, there is evidence to prove that some individuals who have this hypersexuality disorder do show the symptom of constant cheating and infidelity. They may put themselves and partners if they have them at risk by having sex with multiple partners on an almost daily basis.
- Habitual Masturbation
You knew masturbation was going to be a part of this conversation.
Habitual masturbation refers to the almost constant need of the individual to sexually pleasure him or herself. Masturbation alone is a healthy, normal thing to do, but when it’s all the time and mixed with other signs and symptoms, it may not be quite normal.
- Various Forms of Sex
We all know that sex comes in many forms, especially in this day and age. Those who struggle with sex addiction may be especially into trying all of these out.
They may use prostitutes, have sex on the phone, on the computer, via text, with messaging systems, and in many other ways.
- Pornography and Lots of It
You also knew pornography would come into play, right?
Again, all porn isn’t terrible. Some, undoubtedly is and is illegal and should be banned for good reason. But depending on what experts you talk to, some forms of porn aren’t bad, and watching it is a healthy way of expressing yourself.
The trouble is when porn starts to run someone’s life. There is such a thing as too much porn.
- Constantly Talking About Sex
Someone who is addicted to sex will relate everything to sex. If you are their partner, this can get extremely annoying and likely unnerving. They may constantly ask you for sex by relating everything you say or do to an innuendo, or they may comment on everything you see or do in a sexual way.
- Leering or Cat Calling
As the individual who is addicted to sex wants to have it all the time and may solicit it from you the partner and/or others, they may also stare at other women or men in a leering manner or flirt, hit on or cat call constantly.
Exhibitionism is when an individual wants to show themselves off—usually their body and especially their genitals. Streaking and stripping are forms of exhibitionism.
- Loss of Interest in Other Parts of Life
He may stop doing other things he used to find fun or interesting. Trouble at work or being fired may come into play, or he may start losing friends because of the way he’s composing himself.
- Constant Preening
A man who is addicted to sex wants to have it all the time and therefore may primp and preen more often so as to appear more attractive to the opposite sex.
- Other Risky Behavior
There are other risky sexual behaviors that someone addicted to sex may engage in. If something he’s doing seems very out of the ordinary to you, take note of it. It may be a part of this bigger problem.
Treatment for Sex Addiction
So you think your guy might have sex addiction but aren’t sure what to do? Treatment varies. There’s no end-all, be-all treatment that can instantly cure someone of a sex addiction just like there’s no instant cure for alcoholism or drug addiction either.
In some cases, medications may be used. These are typically medications that treat the “obsessive-compulsive” aspect of some impulse control disorders such as sex addiction (i.e. When he “can’t stop himself”).
In this way, if you think your husband or boyfriend may have a problem with sex addiction, seek professional help at a rehab center, or try a therapist who specializes in this mood disorder. The American Psychiatric Association may not say that sex addiction is real, but it’s certainly true that this is an issue that thousands of both men and women deal with and struggle with each year.