Identifying Sexual Addiction — What’s NOT a Sign

There can sometimes be a line between what is sexual addiction, and what is someone’s sexual preference or sexual drive. Someone can have a high sex drive and be more interested in sex or pornography than another person; however, this does not mean they have an addiction. Like most addictions, sexual addiction or pornography addiction are defined as when these things interfere with someone’s life. For example, if your sex drive leads you to infidelity or cheating, it may have developed into a sexual addiction.

In our previous blog, we defined sexual addiction. However, if you’re still confused about some circumstances, here are things that are not considered sexual addiction:

  • Viewing pornography
    • Responsibly viewing pornography is not a sign of addiction. However, if your need to watch porn interferes with life, such as viewing porn at work or other times you cannot control, it may have become an addiction.
  • Sexual orientation
    • Identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or polyamorous does not relate to sexual addiction at all; in a broader sense, what turns your on or what you enjoy in sex does not constitute addiction, so long as it is consensual and respectful.
  • High sex drive
    • Some people enjoy having sex or relationships more than others. As long as their interactions with others are safe and consensual, and their sexual drive never leads them to cheat on a partner or hide their exploits, having a high sex drive is not considered an addiction. 
  • Having multiple partners throughout one’s life
    • Again, as long as the relationships are consensual, caring, respectful and healthful, having multiple sexual partners is not a sign of addiction. 

However, if at any time, these actions create shame or are abusive to one’s self or others, they may have developed into a sexual addiction.  In future blogs, we’ll continue to discuss what defines a sexual addiction and what might be a sign of sexual addiction, both in yourself or in your partner or spouse.

If you feel you or your partner may have an addiction to sex, reach out to a professional therapist to schedule an appointment to begin working toward recovery.