Sex Addiction And Its Impact On Relationships

Written by: Anel Martínez

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Time to read 4 min


Have you ever felt the need to have sex compulsively ? Or have persistent sexual thoughts throughout the day without being able to concentrate on your daily tasks? These might be signs of sex addiction. 


Sex addiction, also known as hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior, is a condition that interferes with their daily life and relationships. Like other addictions, sex addiction can lead to negative consequences such as damaged relationships, financial problems, and legal issues. It can also have physical consequences such as sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and physical injury.  

 Did you know that 6% of the population suffers from sex addiction according to BBC News World? But how to know for sure if you are struggling with sexual addiction? 

Worried man in bed

Do You Have Sex Addiction? How to Tell


If you are concerned that you may be addicted to sex, there are a few signs and symptoms to look out for:


1. Preoccupation with sexual thoughts or behaviors: You may find that you spend a significant amount of time thinking about sex or engaging in sexual behaviors.


2. Loss of control: You may feel unable to stop engaging in sexual behaviors, even when you know that they are causing problems in your life.


3. Negative consequences: Your sexual behaviors may be causing negative consequences in your life, such as relationship problems, financial difficulties, or legal issues.


4. Continued behavior despite negative consequences: You may continue to engage in sexual behaviors, even when you know that they are causing problems in your life.


5. Distress or impairment: Your sexual behaviors may be causing you distress or impairment in other areas of your life, such as work, social life, or hobbies.


Disclaimer: these are some signs that may alert us to possible behavior, not a checklist for a diagnosis. If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it may be helpful to speak with a mental health professional who specializes in sex addiction or compulsive sexual behavior. They can help you understand your behavior and develop a treatment plan to address it.


So, these are some of the signs of porn addiction, but you’re probably wondering: where does this behavior come from? Why am I like this? 

Man in therapy talking with woman

From Fantasy to Obsession: Understanding the Progression of Sex Addiction


The causes of sex addiction are complex and can be influenced by a range of factors, including biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Some of the factors that may contribute to the development of sex addiction include:

  • Trauma: Traumatic experiences, such as childhood sexual abuse or neglect, can increase the risk of developing sex addiction.

  • Mental health disorders: People with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, may be more vulnerable to developing sex addiction.

  • Substance abuse: This can increase the risk of developing sex addiction, as it can lead to impulsive and compulsive behaviors. Some substances that can disrupt our behaviors can be:

    • Methamphetamine and cocaine: This powerful stimulant drug can increase sexual desire and reduce inhibitions.

    • Alcohol: While alcohol is a depressant drug, it can also reduce inhibitions and increase sexual desire, which can lead to risky sexual behavior and an increased risk of developing sex addiction.

  • Social and cultural factors: Social and cultural factors, such as a lack of sexual education or exposure to sexually explicit material, can also contribute to the development of sex addiction.

It’s important to note that sex addiction is a complex and multifaceted condition, and the causes may vary from person to person. The truth of the matter is that going through this could affect a person in many aspects.

Navigating the Challenges of Sex Addiction


Having a sex addiction can be problematic and have negative consequences for your physical, emotional, and social well-being. 


As mentioned before, sex addiction can interfere with your ability to form and maintain healthy relationships, lead to financial and legal problems, and increase your risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. It can also cause emotional distress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, it can lead to shame, guilt, and feelings of low self-esteem, which can further impact your mental health and well-being.

How does dealing with sex addiction can have a significant impact on your relationships?


Sex addiction can significantly impact an individual’s ability to form and maintain healthy romantic relationships. As a result of their behavior, individuals may engage in compulsive sexual behavior with multiple partners, which can lead to infidelity and feelings of betrayal in their primary relationship. This can cause significant emotional distress for both the individual with the addiction and their partner.

Blurred man looking for woman

In addition to infidelity, sex addiction can also lead to a decrease in sexual desire or difficulty achieving sexual arousal with a primary partner. This can negatively impact the intimacy and trust in the relationship and may cause the partner to feel unwanted or unimportant. The individual with the addiction may also feel ashamed or guilty about their inability to perform sexually, leading to further problems in the relationship.

But what if I am single and addicted to sex?


People who experience sex addiction can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to form healthy emotional connections and relationships with others. One of the core symptoms of sex addiction is a persistent and intense focus on sexual behavior, which can interfere with your ability to connect emotionally with others in a healthy way.


People with sex addiction may struggle with intimacy and trust issues in their relationships, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. This is because sex addiction often involves a pattern of compulsive sexual behavior that is pursued to meet emotional needs, such as a need for validation, attention, or self-esteem. However, the pursuit of sexual gratification may ultimately leave individuals feeling empty and unfulfilled, leading to a cycle of addictive behavior that can further undermine emotional connections with others. 

What can be done?

It may be helpful to work with a therapist or counselor to develop strategies for maintaining healthy sexual behaviors in your relationship. This can include developing communication skills, setting boundaries, and engaging in activities that promote intimacy and emotional connection.


Remember that recovery from sex addiction is a process, and it may take time to find a stable partner who is supportive and understanding of your journey. But with patience, commitment, and a willingness to seek help and support, it is possible to build a healthy and fulfilling relationship while in recovery from sex addiction. 


Anel Martínez

Author: Anel Martínez  (Sexual Coach at MYHIXEL)

Sexologist specializing in sex therapy and sex education, mental health and human behavior.


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