No longer confined to the shadows, sex addiction is becoming more common in the LGBT community. One area where there has been a dramatic spike in occurrence is in the gay male population with the prevalence of GPS-enabled hook up apps where people are doing PNP – “party and play.” Many therapists and counselors are beginning to recognize the impact of sexual addiction on not only the client but their partner as well. Are you wondering if you or a loved one is addicted to sex? How can you tell if your partner or loved one is a sex addict?
It is sometimes difficult to tell if someone close to you has an addiction to sex. Addicts often hide their addictive behaviors. Here are some behaviors and warning signs of sex addiction:
- Stays up late watching TV or using the computer, particularly behind closed doors
- Looks at pornographic material: magazines, books, videos, suggestive catalogs or online
- Does not inform loved ones of their whereabouts, has unaccountable time
- Is demanding about sex, particularly about time and place
- Is controlling during sexual activity
- Has frequent mood swings before or after sex
- Often angry or defensive if someone discusses or shows concern about pornography (always has a good reason for viewing pornography)
- Does not show intimacy before, during and after sex
- Avoids socializing with others, especially those who could intimidate them
- Has a large number of calls to 800- or 900- toll-free numbers
- Frequently rents or downloads pornographic videos
- Seems to be preoccupied in public with everything (and everyone) around them, roaming eyes, cannot maintain eye contact
- Feels depressed
- Is increasingly dishonest
- Hides pornography at work or home
- Unexplained charges or use of money, carrying large amounts of cash
- Lacks close friends of the same sex (if heterosexual)
- Frequently uses sexual humor, is overly friendly or flirtatious
- Cannot tolerate being alone, tries to replace lost relationships with new ones as quickly as possible
Are you concerned you may have an addiction to sex?
Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to gauge if you may have an addiction to sex.
1. Do you feel your sexual behavior is out of control?
2. Are aware of severe consequences if you continue your behaviors?
3. Do you feel unable to stop your behaviors, even knowing the consequences?
4. Do you continue destructive and/or high risk activities? Have unsafe, dangerous or illegal sex?
5. Do you use sexual fantasies or sexual activity to help cope with anxiety, difficult feelings or situations?
7. Do you find you need more of the sexual activities in order to experience the same level of enjoyment?
8. Do you suffer from intense mood swings before, during or after sexual activity? (For example, feel excited then depressed or ashamed?)
9. Do you spend increased amounts of time planning, engaging in, regretting or recovering from sexual activities?
10. Have you missed or otherwise neglected important social, job or family activities because of your sexual behavior?
It is not always easy to determine what are healthy sexual behaviors and what constitutes sexual addiction or obsession. The examples listed are warning signs that could suggest sexual addiction. Any one of these is not necessarily indicative of an addiction, however the more that apply show a greater possibility of sex addiction. There are more and more options for the LGBT community and their partners struggling with any addiction and in this case sexual addiction.
Man watching TV image available from Shutterstock.