What is Sex Addiction?
Sexual addiction, also known as compulsive sexual behavior or hypersexuality disorder, is characterized by the compulsive need to engage in sexual practices and the inability to exercise control over sexual desires and sexual cravings. The sexual and addictive symptoms and experiences mentioned in this quiz may resonate with a sex addict, however it is important to speak to a licensed professional to get the help you need for any sexual concerns or addictive behaviors after this sexual addiction test.
People who experience these addictive sexual behaviors have an abnormally high libido and are obsessed with everything related to sex or sexual experiences. As you can imagine, social interactions are especially tricky for people with hypersexuality since their intrusive and obsessive thoughts related to sexuality can prevent them from behaving as one may expect. A sex addict may remove themselves from certain social situations because of a deep sexual desire.
Recent studies indicate that, from a physiological and psychological perspective, a sex addict is experiencing symptoms very similar to any other addictions. In other words, hypersexuality is characterized by the activation of the same reward system that prompts other addicts to engage in destructive behaviors, sexual or not.
Although sexual addiction isn’t a clinical condition, nor is the term: sex addict, per se, intensive research is still being carried out by experts from different fields in hopes of gaining a better understanding of compulsive sexual behaviors and sexual thoughts that may be intrusive. With the help of this research, those who resonate with this quiz may be able to control signs and symptoms of sexual addictions.
Signs of Sexual Addiction
Diagnosing this, with a sexual addiction test or not, can be quite challenging since some of the symptoms that characterize this condition can also point towards problems like OCD, bipolar disorder, or adult ADHD.
Some of the most common signs of hypersexuality seen in a sex addict are:
- Intrusive and obsessive thoughts related to sexuality
- Recurring sexual fantasies
- Compulsive sexual behaviors (e.g., compulsive masturbation)
- Need to increase the frequency and intensity of sexual acts
- Tendency to use sex a way to avoid emotional distress
- Inability to control obsessions and compulsions related to sex
- Excessive consumption of pornographic and sexual material
- Desire or need for several sexual partners
- Risky sexual behaviors (e.g., unprotected sex, sexual encounters with strangers)
- Bizarre and deviant sexual preferences
- Feelings of shame and guilt after sexual intercourse
- Addictive sexual behavior
- Inability to form intimate emotional relationships with other people
Without proper treatment, sexual addiction can lead to severe mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders, as well as other addictive behvaior, sexual or not. However, for any sex addict out there, there are tools, including this quiz, that can help you manage sexual addictive behavior. With the help of a licensed professional, you may be able to control any unwarranted sexual thoughts or sexual behaviors mentioned in this quiz, that a sex addict may experience.
How are Sexual Addictions Treated?
Although men seem to be more likely to develop it, sexual addictions can affect anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
There are no standard treatments for this condition, but a licensed counselor or therapist can help you learn how to keep your compulsive sexual behaviors or sexual thoughts in check. Although it is normal to have sexual thoughts or sexual desires, if they become intrusive, treatment to control some of the sexual desires may be beneficial.
Psychotherapy is the only tool with which mental health professionals can target the symptoms of sexual addiction to support a sex addict. Individual and group therapy encourages people with hypersexuality to explore the origin of their condition and keep their sexual addiction and sexual behaviors under control.
Depending on the therapeutic approach, counselors and therapists can tackle this problem from multiple angles and skill someone with the right tools to understand their sexual desires.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help the patient identify the triggers of sexual impulses, cultivate healthy coping strategies in sexual situations, and avoid compulsive sexual behaviors. It is a structured, goal-oriented approach that focuses less on client history and more on practical solutions to sexual behaviors.
Another popular approach is psychodynamic therapy which places a strong emphasis on the client’s history; especially on childhood experiences.
Psychodynamic therapy promotes the idea that emotional and behavioral problems are the result of unresolved internal conflicts and painful past experiences, this may or may not include past sexual experiences.
To discover the source of the problem, the therapist takes the client on a journey of self-discovery. In other words, by exploring defining moments from the client’s past, the therapist can identify various factors that could have led to hypersexuality.
The 12-step program
Designed initially for Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12-step program is highly adaptable for any similar condition that is addictive, including hypersexuality.
The 12-step method is built around a set of guiding principles that help addicts put together a personalized action plan to overcome their sexual problems.
By following this popular program, sex addicts benefit from a safe environment where they can talk about their problems without having to worry about the stigma associated with this condition or their sexual behaviors.
Support groups that focus on the 12-step program encourage addicts to support each other in controlling their urges and celebrate the small victories.
In time, and with enough professional and social support, a sex addict who may resonate with this sex addiction test can discover that life is more than just hooking up with strangers, engaging in sexual behaviors, having an ‘impressive’ sexual record, or using hours of their life browsing the web for addictive pornographic material.