In its basic and natural form (if there has not been physical or emotional damage along the way) human sexual contact feels good, touching feels good, having an orgasm feels good. This is normal and wonderful. Your innate desire for sex and sexual pleasure is not an enemy.
Your natural sexual impulse can guide you to finding closeness, connectedness, and intimacy with a partner. However, when sexual urges get misdirected they can become addictive or compulsive, and instead of leading to pleasure and connection, your natural sex drive can lead to suffering.
To determine if you might have a problem with sexual addiction ask yourself these questions:
- Are you preoccupied with sexual thoughts, impulses, or desires?
- Are your sexual behaviors getting in the way of having the intimate connection you want to have?
- Are your sexual behaviors getting in the way of work or causing financial problems?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it is possible that sexual compulsivity is an issue for you. At the very least, you can assume that sexual compulsion is creating problems for you in your life or with your relationship. Look at it this way, if your sexual expression is self-defeating, then you have a problem. If your sexual behaviors are getting in the way of the intimacy you desire, then you have a problem.
When you are caught by sexual compulsion, the pleasure that is inherently present in orgasm or connection with another gets co-opted and is used as a balm, an escape, a distraction, rather than being enjoyed for what it does offer. The problem with soothing yourself with sexual behavior is that the soothing is momentary. You may feel ashamed, too, because you are probably aware that your behavior is out of your control. You can’t get enough of what won’t satisfy you. An internal war is going on. Your life is not working.
More and more women are feeling that they are out of control around their sexual expression. If you suspect this might be you, ask yourself:
- Do you feel desperate for sexual connection?
- Do you feel less than women who have a partner?
- Do you think about sex a lot?
- Do you look for a sex partner in a bar, on the internet, in personal ads, in line at the store, everywhere?
- Do you watch porn?
- Do you masturbate to: porn, dating sites, movies and/or television programs?
- Do you feel guilty when/if you say no to sex?
Just because you like to masturbate or have sex doesn’t mean that you are a sex addict or that you have problem. However, if your sex life is keeping you from the connection you want to have, if you feel out of control in your sexual expression, then it may be time to reach out for some help. To understand how sex addiction has become a problem, it helps to understand the impulses and motivations that are driving your behavior. Gaining understanding about these influences, it is possible to work with the urges and impulses as they arise. With help and support you can find a way to the natural pleasure and connection that your sexuality offers.
If you still are wondering, take our online quiz.
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