Of all of the types of addictions, sex addiction is one of the hardest to diagnose. After all, sexuality is an integral aspect of what it is to be human. Any amount of heroin use, for example, is clearly problematic, but there is nothing inherently wrong with sexual activity, even when it happens very frequently.
Being a sex addict doesn’t just mean having a lot of sex. Rather, an unhealthy obsession with sex and a compulsive need to engage in it are what makes someone an addict.
The Personality Of A Sex Addict
It’s not always easy to tell if you or someone you love is addicted to sex, but there are a number of common personality traits that most sex addicts share. Below, we’ll take a look at the five most ubiquitous personality traits that show the signs of a sex addict.
While sex addicts may be in the company of others when they are having sex, their fears of intimacy keep them from forming any close relationships. Sex addicts emotionally barricade themselves from others because they believe that if they are vulnerable with someone, they will end up hurt by them. Sex serves as a shallow replacement for deeper emotional connections, leaving sex addicts in a constant state of isolation.
Very often, the root cause of one’s sex addiction is childhood trauma at the hands of someone they loved. Experiencing either physical or sexual abuse as a child can leave deep emotional scars that carry over into adulthood. As a result, sex addicts are often jaded and pessimistic when it comes to the concepts of love and relationships.
3. Dishonest With Oneself
Sex addicts will often create a false narrative to justify their behaviors. They’ll reassure themselves with statements like:
- “I just have a large sexual appetite”
- “It’s just sex. It’s not like I’m hurting anyone”
- “It’s not an addiction. I can stop anytime I want”
- “If I ever meet someone I really like, I won’t be unfaithful to them”
Failure to confront the truth is a common trait among addicts of all types, but because sex isn’t always a problematic behavior, sex addicts are especially susceptible to self-deception.
Sex addicts may try to convince themselves that they don’t need a loving relationship to be happy, but the fact they continually seek out physical intimacy shows that something is missing from their lives. Because they aren’t meeting one of their most important needs, they constantly seek to fill the void through other means.
Sex addicts tend to be deceptive and dishonest for a number of reasons. For one, satisfying their addictions in secret is more exiting and dangerous, which results in a greater high. The other reason is shame. Sex addicts know deep down that what they are doing is unhealthy, and don’t want their friends and family to know the extent of their addiction. Sex addicts will often live a double life: one that they only acknowledge to themselves, and another that they present to the world.
Where To Go From Here?
If you recognize yourself or a loved one in the above descriptions, know that you are not alone. Through group support and professional therapy, sex addicts can begin to address the sources of their addiction, and then overcome them.