Perhaps there’s some truth in the belief that too much of anything can be harmful – even if that thing happens to be sex. Although sexual desire has usually been portrayed in popular culture as intense passion, being addicted to sex is far from romantic and can be a threat even to the most long-standing relationships. Even celebrities like Russell Brand, Kanye West, David Duchovny, Angelina Jolie and Paris Hilton have been known to struggle with sex addiction at some point in their lives.
But at first, let’s answer the question – what is sex addiction exactly? Sexual addiction or hypersexuality is a dysfunctional preoccupation with sexual fantasy, explains Dr. Fran Walfish, who is a child and family psychotherapist, reports The Medical Daily. Sex addiction often involves obsessive pursuit of casual or non-intimate sex, pornography, compulsive masturbation, and objectified partner sex for a period of at least six months.
With people becoming more open about pornography and one-night stands, it can be difficult to ascertain whether you or perhaps your partner could be suffering from sex addiction.
Here are some signs that should serve as a warning bell for someone who might be involved with a sex addict or even be sex addicts themselves.
Constant need for pornographic material
Many people with a curiosity about sex may occasionally watch porn or read up on sex. But a sex addict is a person who is absolutely obsessed with everything related to sex and would be frequently viewing X-rated websites and magazines more than 10 to 19 times a day, which experts say is the average for men and women, according to The Telegraph. Such a person’s preoccupation with sex will greatly interfere in his or her life.
Lead a double life
More often than not, sex addicts tend to lead a double life and lie about their sexual activities. Although not all cheaters have sexual addiction but most sex addicts end up cheating on their partners when their insatiable needs are not met.
Being financially reckless
As partners of sex addicts may not be able to satisfy their unreasonable demands for sex, they might start spending money collecting porn, going to strip clubs and even paying prostitutes. Overspending on such sexual escapades could even lead to addicts losing their jobs and savings.
Risky sexual behaviour
Like most addicts, those suffering from hypersexuality addiction may not really care about the potentially deadly consequences of their actions. For example, a sex addict may not consider the risk of contracting an STD when having unprotected sex with a prostitute.