Is Your Sex Out of Control? Is It Leading to Sex Addiction?
Sex is great. Everyone loves it, right? But is your sex out of control?
Let’s talk about that idea for a few minutes. When does sexual behavior cross a line? When does it get out of control? When does it start to negatively impact your life and become a sex addiction?
Here are nine signs you can watch to make sure your sexual behavior is not getting out of control.
Take a look at your sex life and see if you can relate to any of the follow signs. If you feel like you or someone you know may have a problem, there is hope and help.
1. Using Sexual Obsession or Fantasy as Your Primary Copying Strategy
This first sign involves using sex as a primary coping mechanism in your life.
Your sex could be out of control if you turn to sex or sexual behavior with yourself or others as a way to deal with loneliness, pain, past trauma, or other things. You can use this sexual escape to keep yourself inebriated by not wanting to feel other things or deal with other things.
This can directly lead to sex addiction and sexual dependence because you need that sexual obsession or fantasy to function. You feel lost without it.
2. Organizing Your Life Around Your Sexual Behavior
This next sign involves the way you plan out your daily or weekly life.
Your sex could be out of control if you find yourself planning your schedules, travel, or outings with windows of opportunity for sexual behavior, flings, or hook-ups.
If this describes you, you know exactly what I am talking about.
You know when you add a few hours here and there in your schedule to visit a strip club on your next upcoming trip.
You know when you plan times to be alone by yourself so you can go online to those websites or chatrooms.
You know which routes you take home from work on Fridays so you can visit that one area of town or see that person.
If you find yourself preoccupied with sex, get help. Don’t let it become a sex addiction and take over your life.
3. Spending Large Amounts of Time Looking for Sex, Having Sex, or Recovering from Sex
The third sign involves how much time you spend affected by sex.
Your sex could be out of control if you spend large, inordinate amounts of time looking for opportunities to have sex, engaging in sexual behaviors, or recovering from those behaviors.
For example, you might spend an hour having sex with someone, but spend three to five days feeling guilty about it. That is a lot of time. That much time impacts your life and takes time away from other things.
You might also spend time developing relationships with people in places, cities, or countries you frequent or travel to so that you will have a partner there.
These are signs that the way sex affects your life is getting out of control.
4. Engaging in Sexual Behaviors Beyond What You Intended
The fourth sign is the difference between what you think will happen or intend to happen in a situation or relationship and what really happens.
This usually affects two different aspects in your life. Unintended outcomes that happen with your habits and in your relationships.
In your habits and behaviors, it could be something like getting online to take a quick look at some porn and unintentionally spending hours and hours seeking more.
In your relationships, you could think, “Oh, I’ll just flirt a little bit with this coworker, groom a friend, or just go this far” only to end up hooking-up later or acting out with them sexually.
If your sexual behaviors have unintended consequences, this could be a sign your sex is out of control.If your sexual behaviors have unintended consequences, this could be a sign your sex is out of control. Click To Tweet
5. Severe Mood Shifts Involving Acting Out Sexually
Number five involves the rollercoaster that is connected to the sexual chase.
This rollercoaster is made up of the relationships between your mood, sexual habits, and emotional wellbeing.
There could be potential problems if you experience drastic up and down swings in energy levels and emotions from talking about sex or having sex. These levels of energy and emotions drop with disappointment if the sexual discussion ends or if you end up not having sex.
This applies to the chase of pursuing sex, having sex, or the after-sex experience. If you experience these mood shifts, your sex could be out of control.
6. Escalating Patterns of Increasing Amounts of Sexual Behavior
The next sign relates to escalating patterns of sexual behavior.
If you struggle with this then what used to be enough doesn’t feel like enough anymore.
You feel like you need to experience a higher level of activity to get the same high from the sexual behavior.
The monthly visit to strip clubs can turn into multiple visits in a week, or going online to look at porn happens more often than it used to.
You can also feel the need to find new sexual behaviors and experiences. Some of these might involve multiple partners, higher levels of sexual activity, fetishes, or doing things that you would have never approved of years ago.
7. Overwhelming Sexual Desires That Are High-Risk or Self-Destructive
The seventh sign continues the pattern of escalating behavior.
Your sex is out of control if you begin taking your sexual behavior to such a high-risk level that it has consequences. These can include being arrested or losing your job if you were caught doing them.
For example, if you look at porn on the company laptop or flirt and groom at work, you know you will probably get fired for it.
These behaviors usually happen because you are overcome with feelings that what you currently have isn’t enough to meet your needs sexually.
So, you lie to yourself. You tell yourself that engaging in the high-risk behavior will be enough when the truth is it will never satisfy you. You will always need more.
8. Failing at Attempts to Stop or Being Unable to Limit Your Sexual Behavior
The eighth sign of out of control sex is being unable to stop or limit your sexual behavior.
Have you tried to stop your sexual behavior? Have you promised yourself or others that you will stop? Do you keep acting out sexually and finding yourself in the same place over and over again like you are stuck in a giant loop or hamster wheel?
I have heard of people who have gotten rid of all of their porn stashes out of guilt only to end up collecting even larger amounts again when the guilt fades and their old urges return.
Other people say they will never set foot in a strip club again, but they keep saying that every time they go back time and time again.
Being unable to stop your behavior is a common sign of sex addiction. If you cannot stop, it is time to ask for help.
9. Inability to Stop Your Sexual Behavior Even in the Face of Bad or Severe Consequences
The ninth sign of out of control sex is when the sexual behavior leads directly to negative consequences and you still cannot stop it – no matter how hard you try.
When something bad happens. Our natural response is to not do it again. If you walk across a busy street and almost get hit by a car, your natural response is to get out of the way, keep yourself safe, avoid getting hit, and not walk in the street.
Extreme out of control sexual behavior leads to consequences over and over again. It is self-destructive behavior that is like getting hit by cars repeatedly from walking across the busy street and yet you continue to do it.
So, take a look at your life. Are you not able to stop your sexual behavior?
There is definitely a problem if the behavior has led to negative consequences in your life such as losing your job, family, relationships, or freedom and you still cannot stop it. This is a sign of sex addiction in your life.
If this sounds like you, know that you are not alone. Stopping out of control sexual behavior and sex addiction is a seriously hard task. It is rare that you can permanently stop it on your own.
Fortunately, there are resources and support groups which can help fight sex addiction. They include the sex addicts anonymous support groups, specialized counseling for sex addiction, sex addiction treatment options, and Sexual Freedom Classes.
10. Making Attempts to Hide or Conceal Your Sexual Behavior
Before you go, here is one last bonus sign that your sex is out of control.
Watch for things like making attempts to mask or hide your sexual behavior from other people.
Using things like secret email accounts, phones, or credit cards is a sign that you don’t want others to find out what you are actually doing.
Why would you try to hide normal behavior? You wouldn’t because you wouldn’t be ashamed about it or be afraid to answer questions about it.
Understanding Out of Control Sexual Behavior
Out of control sexual behavior creates a cycle that gains momentum and keeps growing bigger and bigger until it consumes everything in its path. It can wreck, destroy, and ruin everything in your life and everything you love.Out of control sexual behavior creates a cycle that gains momentum and keeps growing bigger and bigger until it consumes everything in its path. Click To Tweet
It usually leads to an unhealthy dependence on sex and eventually to sex addiction.
If even you have one of these ten signs, you could be in trouble.
If you have several or more of these signs, seek professional help.
Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. is the founder of the Sexual Freedom Class and author of the Lust Free Living book. He is the president of the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy. He is also the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs.