The definition of “sexual addiction” flatters its owner. However, as with any disorder, it does harm to the person and the relationship. See if it provokes your partner’s infidelity.
What Is Sexual Addiction?
It is so tempting to give a preachy advice or a chastity belt to people with a high sexual appetite. While others suffer from serious illnesses, a lack of money and other difficulties, sexual addicts just can’t get enough.
However, as found by scientists at Cambridge University, sexual addiction is like drug addiction: the same region of the brain is involved. It is connected with the release of neurotransmitters (dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, serotonin and others) associated with feelings of pleasure.
Over time, the addict learns to abuse pleasant neurochemical reactions, in order to cope with anxiety, apathy or life troubles. This way, a man or a woman is not interested in the pleasure, but searches for a possibility to hide from the emotional discomfort and psychological trauma (alcohol or psychoactive substances play the same role). In this sense, the search for new contacts is not a sign of hypersexuality, but a compulsive need associated with the desire to ease the burden of problems.
If your partner often insists on physical intimacy, watches a lot of porn and secretly or openly cheats, then what is the reason for this behavior? Scientific American points out the six characteristics helping to differentiate between infidelity and sexual addiction.
6 Signs of Sexual Addiction
Do you like sex? Great, it is important for wellbeing to the same extent as food and a sense of security. Even if you frequently change partners, finding them on Tinder, or spending money on intimacy and male striptease, but it does not affect other areas of your life, there is no dependence.
Addiction is when sex occupies most of your thoughts, time and effort. Like a starving person, you are constantly concerned about getting satisfaction. As a result, your relationships, career, hobbies and your health suffer.
It can’t be controlled
You’re not thinking about the consequences. A lack of contraception, risk of reputation, risk of injury — you disregard everything in the pursuit of immediate pleasure. At such moments, you feel like you fall into a trance or alienation. Even if you are trying to restrain yourself and make promises to the loved ones, they fall flat.
It distorts sensuality
Addiction always leads to abuse. Occupations that are occasional for most people have become your daily routine: lots of masturbation, frequent erotic video viewing, reading erotic books and fanfiction. You agree to have unprotected intercourse with strangers, practice exhibitionism and frotteurism, experimenting with different subcultures (such as BDSM or swing) without thinking, which of them you actually like.
Despite high sexual activity, you don’t always achieve orgasm. You develop a tolerance, so you always need the thrill — extreme sex. In order to achieve emotional comfort, you gradually increase the dose, as alcoholics and drug addicts do. If you are not able to get satisfaction, you get overwhelmed with irritation, anxiety, worry, or anger.
It leads to confusion
You equate sex to what it is not: to happiness or self-worth. You feel your self-significance only in the arms of others, so a lack of intimate contact invokes a feeling of loneliness, fear or sadness.
It creates an emotional void
Sexual addiction differs from other types because addicts need their partner’s presence. However, you treat him like a toy or thing, not caring about the relationship. In the end, after the sexual act, you feel indifferent or disappointed.
Sexual addiction needs treatment
If you have noticed at least three of the above-mentioned signs, you may need to see a sexologist or a psychotherapist, because such addiction is just the body’s response to distress. A number of studies names the causes: depression, bipolar or anxiety disorder, being subjected to violence or parental neglect. It is impossible to find a solution of this problem yourself.