8 Symptoms of Sexual Addiction

Below are 8 symptoms of sexual addiction. To make this article more personal, I’ll provide examples from my history and how it applied to my flavor of sex addiction. That being said, please keep an open mind and try to draw parallels with other forms of sexual behavior. Behaviors might differ for different people, ranging from online pornography to sex with prostitutes and other illegal acts. Underlying symptoms, however, remain the same.

1. Using sexual behaviors to escape stress and other problems of life

I remember when I was in college and active in my addiction. I would push myself really far to try to get the best grades I could. I would stay up long nights attempting to study for my exams. In reality, however, I would hit a point every night where I would snap and go into countless hours of pornography and masturbation.

2. Returning often to a particular sexual behavior and seeking more intense experience

Another symptom of sexual addiction is adaptation to current sexual behavior and seeking out more intense ways of sexual stimulation. In my experience such escalation happens much faster with online pornography than other forms of sexual acting out.

My pornography use began with mildly erotic videos. They, however, quickly became boring and I moved on to more violent and stimulating videos. In the worst part of my addiction I would spend many hours each day watching some of the dirtiest and sickest pornographic videos that I could get my hands on, and still all of that pornography would not be enough for me.

Once even the sickest forms of pornography has stopped to produce a desirable result for me, my mind began to wonder towards other ways of sexual acting out, such as anonymous hookups and hiring a prostitute.

3. Lying to family, co-workers, friends and others to hide your sexual activities

My addiction began to take so much time, that I was constantly running late for things such as family dinner, classes or work, forcing me to make up all kinds of lies and excuses for my behavior. I constantly felt like I was always living a double life.

4. Constant preoccupation, can’t stop thinking about sex

I remember one day my wife was getting ready to leave for work at 6am on Saturday morning. Instead of helping her get ready, or getting up to say goodbye, I pretended to be asleep. I couldn’t contain my excitement, because I knew that after she’ll leave I’ll have 8 hours of unrestricted acting out.

When I caught myself thinking that and got really scared by my feeling. Unfortunately, such feelings were very common for me. Everything else in life seemed to fade away compared to the excitement I felt when I thought about acting out.

5. Seeking out sexual activities for longer periods of time and more often than intended

I don’t know how many times in my past I have told myself that I am just going to visit an adult site for 15 minutes to take a break, only to find myself at 2am still browsing for pornography, wondering what just happend.

I also had many experiences where I would go to a strip club with some friends, and once there I would lose any sense of time and would always feel a strong pull to stay there for just “one more dance” feeling that next girl could be “the one” act that I was looking for all night.

6. Trying and failing to limit or stop a particular sexual behavior

There has been hundreds, if not thousands of times that I swore off particular behavior. For example, I would tell myself I would never watch certain kind of hardcore pornography, only to find myself visiting all of my “favorite” sites a week or two later.

7. Discomfort and irritation when trying to stop a sexual behavior

Whenever I realized that I had a real problem, and tried to stop, I found myself feeling very irritated. I’ve quit smoking before, and the feeling was very similar, but actually stronger. It felt like a very important part of my life was missing. As a result I felt very grampy and would often snap at my loved ones and other people close to me.

8. Crossing accepted boundaries or committing illegal sexual acts

Up to this point, I mostly shared stories related pornography use. Unfortunately, pornography was not my only ways of sexual acting out. I did try to control my addiction, by only acting out through pornography. I was successful at it for the most part, but sometimes I ended up cheating, having unprotected sex, and performing sexual acts in public, risking getting arrested.

Thankfully I realized that I had a problem and got into recovery. There is no question in my mind that if things went on the way they did, me getting arrested for some sort of illegal sexual behavior was just a matter of time.


If you find yourself identifying with many of these symptoms of sex addiction, I would highly encourage you to look honestly at yourself. It is not about putting labels on people, but rather about finding help, if help is needed.

If you would like to learn more about sex or pornography addiction make sure to check out our free recovery course.

Start Reading

In any case, thank you for reading, and please let me know if you have any feedback in the comment area below.

Call (916)259-3827 For Professional Help

P.S. Recommended Resources:

  • Sex Addicts Anonymous
    I cannot imagine my recovery without this program.
  • Mindful Habit Course by Coach Craig
    Great advice from a great person.
  • Free Podcast and Mini Course from Candeo Can
    I owe my first 90 days of continuous sobriety to this program and highly recommend it.
  • Internet Accountability Software
    Using this software allowed me to get truly honest with my internet usage for the first time in my life. For some reason knowing that my every step was being observed and reported on, made it really easy to use internet only in a healthy way.
  • Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B. Skinner Ph.D.
    I have read over 15 books on Pornography and Sexual addiction and this truly is one of the best books on the subject. The reason is I recommend this particular book is because it is full of excellent actionable steps. Other books do a good job describing the problem, but don’t really offer a realistic solution.
  • Your Sexually Addicted Spouse – How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens Ph.D.
    I know that about half of visitors to our site are spouses of people who might be suffering with pornography and sex addiction. To the best of my knowledge this book is one of the most helpful books for the partners.
  • Free Consultation from Coach Craig
    Coach Craig has been a good friend and supporter of this site since January 2013. He has worked with people from all over the world, including famous musicians and other high profile individuals. Yet, he is only a phone call away and would be glad to give you a free consultation. Call him anytime, with any question you might have, and I am know he will be extremely happy to help in any way he can.

Relavant Keywords:sex addiction symptoms, sex addiction signs, what is sex addiction symptoms, sex addict symptoms, symptoms of sex addiction, signs of a sex addict, sex addiction symptoms in men, sex addiction in men, symptoms of a sex addict, sexual addiction symptoms


  1. Bob says

    A few weeks ago i was arrested for indecently exposing myself. I did it – i masturbated intentionally in front of a 17 year old girl walking her dog – however my lawyer directed me and told me to say i was urinating in the bushes – which i did – and i was let off.

    However, the following week i went to visit a prostitute and had unprotected oral sex (she sucked me off) then i went to her again 1 week later. I now have a slight burning sensation in my penis. I have been to an std clinic – initial results negative – now i have to wait for 5 more days for full chlymidia and gonorrhea results – then its a further 3 months for conclusive HIV results.

    I have 3 beautiful young children who i love dearly – i am married although not perfectly (even though she is a good woman). Why do i jeapardise all of this for a cheap, quick thrill?………..because i am a sex addict……..pure and simple…….wish i could stop myself but i can’t :-(

    • Alex says

      I would suggest getting yourself into a 12 step program as soon as possible. Your time is running out fast. It can only get worse, unless you’ll proactively do something to make it better.


  2. Tyler says

    hello everyone, I recently realized I was a sex addict. I know this because in my mind sometimes I don’t want sex but my body will do it anyways, I can’t seem to get enough of it. Even when I have just had sex sometimes and its quite embarrassing, I resort to masturbation. sometimes the sex goes on for hours and a few hours later I want to do it again, and its like this everyday. I don’t know what to do about it and if there is even treatment available, but yes, it feels good to let it out with no judging I hope.

  3. David says

    Remember me, the sex addict that was keeping track of the number of “smudges” (or sexual climaxes) I do? Well, my addiction continues to grow worse. Why do I keep giving into my addiction? Because I have chronic health issues, poor sleep, depression, and high amounts of stress on a near-daily basis.

    A while back, I saw a YouTube video that explained about what I am going through. According to the video, I am feeling BLAST.

    B = Bored
    L = Lonely
    A = Angry
    S = Stressed
    T = Tired

    It’s a constant struggle for me because, no matter how hard I try to stop, the urges overpower me. I know that if my chronic health issues, depression, and stress would go away, I would sleep much better and have more energy to go outside and do normal things, thus reducing the addiction significantly, even if it never actually stops.

    By the way, I’m up to 159 smudges for 2013 so far. That is 12 more than I had for the entire year of 2012 (147 smudges).

    Part of my chronic health issues involve an enlarged nasal polyp that blocks mucous from flowing normally. This results in cold-like symptoms that last year round. Add asthma to the mix on top of everything else and it’s no wonder I’m still struggling with this addiction. I thought of possibly having the polyp surgically removed, but I read online that it only grows back even bigger than it was before. So, surgery is out of the question for me.

    I’m one who is really stuck with this addiction because of my other problems I’m dealing with.

  4. OMG I think i am a SEX ADDICT!!! says

    Hi everyone, my name is ……. and i think i am a sex addict, throughout my life i have always looked at sex as a means of connecting with people i desired, and as a way of feeling desired, a year ago i started using coccaine recreationaly and with coccaine and alcohol the urges to have sex became even worse, i would sleep around with anyone that was willing to sleep with me, even homeless people *whipes tears of face* and it would be unprotected sex, i masturbate constantly and i am really into black men, they just turn me on so much, I need help, i wanna stop. i am too scared of taking an HIV test, coz i have been around so much! i feel like a mess at times, and to be honest i never trully am satisfied after the sexual relations. I am considered to be a really attractive male by many, and yet i still feel dirty and have sex with any random person.

  5. Untitled says

    I always thought everyone was doing it as much as I was. I can’t remember when it started, but for as long as I can remember it was one thing I had paid major attention to. When I see someone I am attracted to I imagine how they’d be in bed. There are other things like what kind of person they are etc, but mostly I want to sleep with them. At some point in my teens I realized that I might be doing it a lot more than the average person when peers started speaking about it, but at some point it stopped bothering me and I just never stopped. I have never been in a relationship for more than 11 months. If I am seeing someone and we separate all it takes is sex with another to get over it or temporarily forget about them. But there is once thing and I really do love my ‘sexcapades’. I cant get enough of it. I love to be f****d and do it at least 5 days out of 7. I’m looking for love like most people, but I don’t know how to get this under control.

  6. annonimous says

    i am a woman of 22 years old and i think im addicted to sex because i just dont get enougth of it. my man always makes sure that i am sexually setisfied but no i just can..he is every womans dream with a big cock and i love it and i enjoy our sex and we do it almost everyday but i dont get enough.by the time he lives for work in the morning i go to internet see videos of porn then i will do it on my own and i do comme and i dont get tired i can do it until he is back from work and i still want him too when he gets home but what worries me the most is that i am taking ARV

  7. TARA says

    I had a relationship with a younger man… I was in love with him. We had so much in common. When I was with him I did not have sexual urges towards other men… but eventually we broke up because he wanted children. Not long after he met a younger woman. I was devastated.. I thought it was cause I was not good enough. So now I seek attention from other men… I cant stop thinking about sex… and want it all time time. I will go to any extreme to get it and yes there are times I do not use condoms because men have problems getting an erection or ejaculating making the sexual experience not enjoyable. I am not going to stop cause I actually get off on it..I generally choose men that are nice but up for it!! I am concerned about contracting STD/Aids or getting a reputation…. am I normal?

      • Rich says

        Jason, I don’t think you are in the position to judge that Tara is ‘normal’. She comes here for advise and help and in my honest opinion she needs constructive feedback. Especially regarding unprotected sex! Not a narrow minded sentence with no value.

    • Raj says

      Dear Tara,

      I am also in this position like your, I am thinking all days about sex, I am also not going to stop my self for become sex addiction, if you are intersted to meet or chat, than you are most welcome any time.

      I am live in India, Delhi

  8. Ms.Leading says

    I always joked around and told close friends that I was a sex-aholic, but after having a small breakdown and a quick self evaluation at work today. I realize I am a sex addict. I withheld from sex until after I graduated from high school and got my own place at the age of 19. That was six years ago and I’ve had over 80 partners, and I used condoms with less than 20 percent of them. I’ve been blessed because I haven’t caught anything serious or untreatable. I now realize that I do have a lot of stress in my that needs to be addressed… but I don’t want to stop having sex as often as I do, it relaxes me so much!
    I’ve had these sexual urges and masturbated since I was nine years old. I fear tjat if I don’t get ahold of my urges I’ll never be able to have a meaningful relationship with a man based on more than sex.
    How do you stop? How do you retrain these bad habits and urges?

  9. Anonymous says

    Wow. I’m a sex addict. I’ve always wondered if there was something wrong but I kept checking off every box with every sign. The hardest part is my family. I’ve cheated numerous times and sex to me is almost like a drug that I need. Lately my wife has wanted to have aex but I find myself now thinking about other people and not finding the sex as exciting. I fake orgasms and masterbate or fantasize about a potential conquest or escapade. I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure therapy would work for me. I talk to people for a living. I feel as though I have this hunger that I have to feed. The only thing that helps me is trying to make myself feel bad about what I’m doing to my family. Yeah. Fucked up. It’s a vicious cycle. Sometimes I think I met the perfect woman in a mistress and then I want more. I constantly feel guilty and never satisfied. Why?

  10. Maybe sex addict says

    Sex addiction is serious in the world of singular, extra marital affairs and one night stand. I recently came to tears after my addiction led me down a part of depression and anxiety. I didn’t know that I had underlying mental issues with my mother (queen sex addict) and my relentless need for attention by older guys. I’m about 20 partners in and shaking my head as to why I’m like this and most of all why do I attract men with little effort. It isn’t like I want to but my mother had that Grace and Secretive way about her that would cause her to have children with 7 different men. She also has a dominant personality with owning real estate and businesses very young that attracted the men to her in the first place. She was not charming to her children and very cold to us by putting men ahead of her offsprings. My father hated her lifestyle and so left and married a person to start a church. My mother was eventually killed by one of her lovers who stalked her and beat her to death. My issues lies with the sex addiction not the latter. I have over came the death issue but not my sex addiction. Why, given I now have offspring of my own and terrified I might repeat her behavior.

    • Alex says

      Wow, what a powerful story. I would highly recommend you check out a number of 12 step groups. I think Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous(SLAA) will be a good place to start, it attracts a good number of women and I think a lot of them will relate a lot to your story and will be able to help. I am really happy you came to this site, but don’t stop there. I really believe that will have the help that you need.


  11. Worried says

    Thank you for creating this website. I believe my dad (age 68) and my brother (age 42) have a sex addiction. I don’t know how to make them become aware of it. It’s already destroyed my family. My dad constantly cheated on my mother and after 30 years of marriage she finally left him. He is now with 3 children under 10 years of age with 2 different women and always broke after owning multi-million dollar companies. My brother is heading down that destructive path…hurting his family and becoming penniless. How can I open his eyes? Thanks for the help.

    • Alex says

      Hi Worried,

      I think the best thing for you is to schedule a free 30 minute call with our coach Craig, he will help you asses if there is anything you can do to help you.

      I wish I could help more but there are no easy answers, especially when it comes to trying to help others.


  12. Vkat says

    I am 25 yrs old and a sex addict. I was married young and have a 5 yr old son. I have never been faithful in any relationship even my marriage. I have been divorced 2yrs and serial dating. I cannot form any lasting relationship and I’m always chasing after “better” sex. At my worst I was having sex with 5 different guys a week. I was consumed by thoughts of sex and could not focus on my life. I have spent massive about a of money on appearance and sexual ventures that I am in financial ruin. I have sought help though so there is hope. I was diagnosed with bipolar rapid cycling with OCD and the medication has tamed my racing sexual fantasies. I am still sexually active but not to the extent I was. I’m still having problems with forming relationships though but I’m working on it in therapy. Would love to hear from anyone who is or has suffered.. I’m a good listener and non judgmental and can help…. Because I’ve been there

    • Anonymous says

      Im been single all my life, but found myself unable to have a healty relationship. Always buying sex, atempting to have a relationship with prostitutes, middle age and found myself alone cauz all my youth years i was pleased with this ligestyle, at first tougth i had control, now i realize i dont have any healthy relationship, the girl i think im interested in is in drug rehab, figthing herself to get the custody of her daugther, her dad just did pass away, her mom was killed, and the thing is im sure im not the guy for her, but feel the necesity of a relationship even this one, in other hand i know best for her is been focus on her rehab, but me, how can i be the man i want to be, i dont have any relationships, other than prostitutes, i know a bunch and between them they know me cauz their addicted to crack, or money, or whatever, so where do i look for help plz?

      • Alex says

        I would highly recommend working with our coach Craig, if you can’t afford it I would recommend checking out a 12 step program such as Sex Addicts Anonymous.

        In any case I am happy that you are becoming aware of your feelings and what you truly want in life.


  13. TEN says

    i`am a busy man who is working hard to keep my family going financial.my problem is my wife she is addicted to sex.when ever i`am at home she wants to have sex if i`am not in the mood,she stats a fight.sometimes i pretend as if i reach the climax

  14. unknown says

    hi iv been sexually active since i was 12,before 12 too but i wouldnt go out and sleep with ppl iwould just masturbate,im 20 now, i got pregnant at 13 and im stil with the father witch is now my husband, but the whole 6yrs we been together,ive been having a problem going behind his back making profiles on adult sites flirting with guys&girls.cybersexing, i have tried to stop but everytime my husband and i make love i have to think of something else to get into it or i have to secretly watch porn before we do it,every time he is here im always on him wanting to have sex sometimes he never wants and i get really that i start fighitng him or i go to the restroom to masturebate, when i was in middle school&high school i would ocasionally go to the restroom just to masturebate,when hes working i watch porn and masturbate 5 times a day, im always thinking about sex!latley its been getting worse im talking to two diff guys and debaiting if i should meet up with them&im pregnant! i really dont know what to do! i cant stop looking at attractive guys&girls without thinking of having sex with them :/ ,i cant stop flirting with ppl!

  15. Bear says

    I have a prior addiction and it has affected me physically due to my mental reorginization of things that are important to me. I have to say that your imigination can do wonderful things to trick you into acting out the compulsion to make you feel better, but after you have your episode what do you have to show for it but more lonlieness. There are some things you feel good about doing, and after you do them you suddenly feel bad? How does that work? Technology is a mere tool of communication to better understand something, and I feel it is a learning expierence to better understand yourself. I also feel that it provides a disassociative behavior pattern that providdes you a learning tool of what to do and things you don’t need to do. It makes you think of the want need aspect of your life and it rearranges, your thought process. With knowing the possibility is out there, but hesitating trying to aggange the physical from the imaginary is the biggest challenge I get from it.

  16. Don says

    I don’t have a addiction problem but my wife’s aunt does at 62 year old she has several sexual partners,a secret love nest and has torn her own family apart.My wife has spoken to her about help.Her children are shunning her and her husband who is very I’ll is leaving her…10 years ago we had invited her and her husband to our mountain retreat….and somehow we got into a discussion about sowing our wild oats.I married in my 40s for the first time but was more interested in career until I met my wife….So I’d told her that my days for that were over..She looked at me and said well mine aren’t.At the time we were in the living room.My blood ran cold.I got up and walked outside and sat there in shock..so my wife came out and I told her what had happened..We made up an excuse my mother waentvwell and they would need to leave do to us traveling……Sexual addiction to me is no different then any other.It ruins lives,relationships and divides families….Please get help if you love your family,..We are witnessing an implosion and its so ugly and hurtful.I hope this sharing will help someone.

  17. says

    In my career as a working girl I have come across many lovely men who are also sex addicts. It can be debilitating. I’m glad there is a form of therapy available to them.
    Violet Ivy, Author, Lucky Girl – How I Survived the Sex Industry

  18. Anonymous says

    My husband is a sex addict and continues to this day his with prostitutes everyday all hours of day and he just won’t leave me alone we have children and grandchildren this site helped me understand a lot I’m not with him anymore but he continues to harass me everyday and he denies he has a problem

    • FTRW Coach Craig says

      Welcome to the pack Yule. I have some ideas for you.

      1. Read everything you can on this website and watch the videos. It has some great links to other resources as well.

      2. Follow each step of the course and complete the exercises – here is a link http://www.feedtherightwolf.org/porn-addiction-recovery-course/

      3. Make sure you are taking care of the fundamental five: sleeping 6-8 hours a night, eating healthy, drinking 8 glasses of water, meditation, and exercise. Each mission critical to a happy healthy life, especially if you are struggling with porn addiction.

      4. Take Action. Action got you here only action is going to get you out.

      Coach Craig
      Feed the Right Wolf

  19. mehran says

    Hi ,

    what can I do about this ?

    I can’t make my mind what kind of physical charasteristics in women pleases me the most ? every now and then I come acros a woman on street who looks more attractive than the last women I thought could be the most attracting woman I would ever meet , and this goes on and on ….

    I’m sure I’ll not be happy if I get into serious relationship with a woman soon as I see a more beautiful womrn .

    thank you to guide me via reply e-mail what is wrong with me .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.