Any addiction out there has “triggers”, usually something that causes someone to engage in their addiction. Think of an even less obvious addiction, internet addiction. When we’re without it or unable to use it, we become anxious, impatient and scared. Feed this addiction with the click of a button and all our worries disappear. Heart rates decrease, and we instantly become happier. Sex addiction, better known as hypersexuality or nymphomania, is a lesser-known addiction than alcohol or drug addiction.
Types of sexual addiction
What few people realise is that sex addiction takes on many forms. Pornography, masturbation, sadistic/masochistic behaviour and a range of other excessive sexual pursuits. However, when is something recognised as being addictive? When it disrupts our day-to-day lives; when our dependency on it becomes responsible for moods, productivity and mental well-being.
Take for example pornography. Someone that watches it maybe once a day isn’t necessarily a sexual addict. However, when the same person starts neglecting work or social activities because of it, then it becomes a problem.
Signs and symptoms
Again, any addiction can easily be identified by its dependency and impact on your life. An emotional symptom is poor relationship choices and a lack of boundaries, either staying in a toxic relationship or being unable to fully commit to just one person. However, a poor character cannot be blamed on sexual addiction as a means of a scapegoat. Identifying triggers for certain behaviour, and why this behaviour was chosen (lonely, trying to feel “accepted”) is the only way to understand and identify sexual addiction or rather poor life choices.
Mental and personality disorders, along with early exposure (moulded to it being the norm) to sexual content are all psychological symptoms of sexual addiction while higher levels of testosterone/oestrogen which affects libido can be rationalised biologically. Frustration, irritability and impulsiveness are evident physical signs of an addiction to anything from sex, alcohol, drugs or our phones. Whether social, subconscious or psychological, rejection and social isolation can also influence sexual addiction.
Dealing with the cause
Understanding our behaviours and recognising them for exactly what they are, bad behaviour is the first step in overcoming any addiction. Rather combat it with something that’s good for you and will inevitably help you to grow. One relapse or one use won’t kill you, but poor self-control could lead to overuse. Once again, everything in healthy moderation.
Enjoyed in the right doses, for the right reasons and the right times, sex remains a wonderful thing. When doing it for all the “wrongs”, sex loses its speciality and you lose well-being. A better understanding of not only our partners but more importantly ourselves stands to be both the prevention and the cure.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It’s important to seek professional medical or psychological care if you have any form of addiction.