Sexual addiction is very common. In this article, you can go through a checklist to determine if you are sexually addicted or are using sex addictionally.
Addictions fall into two categories: substance addictions – such as food, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, and process addictions – such as TV, compulsive exercise, anger, obsessive thinking, controlling behavior, and sex. Sexual addiction, or using sex addiction, is like any other addiction: using something or someone to fill you up or take your pain away. Whether you are sexually addicted or use sex addictive depends on the frequency with which you use sex to fill yourself up or relieve your pain.
Compulsive sexual behavior
Are you sexually addicted or are you using sex in an addictive manner? Identifying only with one of the symptoms listed below could indicate sexual addiction or a tendency to use sex addictions.
- I (sometimes) (often) use sex to feel good about myself.
- I (sometimes) (often) use sex to fill in the gaps in me.
- I (sometimes) (often) use sex to take away my solitude.
- I (sometimes) (often) use sex to take away my anxiety.
- My sexuality is my identity.
- I think about sex most of the time.
- I often have difficulty concentrating on other things because of my preoccupation with sex.
- I have an intense need for sex with my partner. If my partner doesn’t want to have sex with me, I get angry or withdrawn.
- I sacrifice an important part of my relationship for sex. My sexual needs are more important to me than relationship needs.
- My sexual needs and my reactions when I don’t get what I want interfere with my relationship with my partner.
- I have a compulsive need for sex with multiple partners.
- The pursuit of sex makes me careless about my own well-being and the well-being of others.
- I am chronically preoccupied with sexual fantasies.
- I am promiscuous.
- I’m a compulsive masturbator.
- I have a compulsive need to masturbate while watching pornography.
- I’m a voyeur.
- I am an exhibitionist.
- I feel controlled by my sexual desires.
- The only time I feel strong is when I force sex on someone.
- I am attracted to children.
- I acted with children.
- Hurting other people turned me sexually.
- Being hurt by other people turned me on to sexuality.
- Obviously, there are many different levels of sexual addiction. Sexual addiction, like all addictions, comes from a wounded empty part of ourselves.
The ego part of ourselves – our wounded self – learns throughout childhood and adolescence the various ways to try to have control over getting love and avoiding pain. Many teenage boys, when they begin to masturbate, learn to use some form of sexuality to calm their fear of rejection. Girls may learn to use their sexuality as a way to get love, as well as to avoid rejection. When a substance or behavior works to fill in a void, relieve loneliness, get attention or avoid pain, it often becomes additional.
Love Addiction Test
If you identify with any of the above, you may want to consider using sex to avoid personal responsibility for your own feelings. While it may make you feel good in the moment, in the long run it lowers your sense of self-worth. Anything you do to calm yourself down rather than take responsibility for thinking and behaving in ways that increase your positive feeling of Self, is abusing yourself and leaving yourself alone. It would be similar to telling a child to watch pornography or masturbate when the child is feeling bad, rather than attending to the child’s real needs. When you use addiction to calm your painful feelings rather than present them, you leave yourself – your inner child.
Next time you want to act sexually, you may be willing to pause and listen to how you feel. Do you feel sad, alone, empty, depressed, rejected, abandoned, anxious, scared, or angry? Instead of calming yourself down with sex, you may want to pay attention to what you tell yourself and how you treat yourself that causes you to feel bad and want to act. You may want to learn how to bring a source of compassionate spiritual love and comfort to it fill the emptiness and solitude. You may want to study the Inner Bonding process we teach to start healing your addiction.