October 2, 2012

Seven signs you’re dating a sex addict



He likes a little porn, so do you. Maybe you even like to watch it together. Maybe she wasn’t exactly single when you met. He doesn’t care how many partners you’ve had; it’s all in the past. Or is it? To find out the answer, fall back to the fundamentals: identifying the addict is the first step. And when it comes to sex addiction, that first step is a doozy.

The list of behaviors associated with a sexual addict is so mundane, practically anyone can tick off at least a couple. Consistent use of pornography. Unsafe sex. Phone or chat-room sex. One-night stands, extra-marital affairs, GPS hook-ups, obsessive online dating. The list is long and gets darker the further down you go: compulsive masturbation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, prostitutes.

“If you’re married, your acceptable sexual behavior may be defined differently than if you’re single,” says Mike Weiss, a certified addiction therapist and founder of The Sexual Recovery Institute. “Sexual addiction follows a certain repetitive pattern; if you’d rather ask forgiveness than permission, that’s abusive.”

From serial dating to unsafe sex to unexpected STDs, here are some telltale signs your partner may have a problem

1. Consistently flaking out and running late. Sex addicts lose time to their addiction, becoming preoccupied with thoughts of sex and sexual material, and how to seek both out. Everything else comes second.


2. Financial fishiness. Prostitutes don’t take credit cards and fetish shops rarely advertise their businesses on sales receipts. Random, unexplained charges show up. Or he cashed his check and can’t explain where the money went.

3. She’s not over her childhood. Still talking about her daddy issues? She probably has daddy issues. If she attributes feelings of guilt and shame to, say, her Catholic upbringing, the watchwords are guilt and shame. Addicts feel shameful about their sexual behavior.

4. Unsafe sex. If a dude wants to slip it in without slipping it on, that’s a bad sign. He might not love you enough yet, but he should love himself enough. If he won’t, you can bet it’s not a first, and this could be just the tip of his thrill seeking when it comes to sex. Be wary when a potential partner is unwilling to delay sexual gratification in favor of the getting acquainted stage of a relationship.

5. Serial dating. He hasn’t spent any time in his adult life alone. He goes from one relationship to the next, often with a history of cheating.

6. Lying. Her excuses are inconsistent with the facts, like citing traffic problems on a Sunday morning. Many sex addicts lead a double life.

7. You’re questioning whether you’re dating a sex addict. Why are you asking? Are you prone to catastrophize situations or are you genuinely concerned that he’s given himself a blister due to excess masturbation? Again. No matter what the reason, if you’re uncomfortable with your partner’s sexual preferences, there’s no reason to withstand them. If you are dealing with an addict, eventually the lack of trust will erode intimacy, and the relationship will be compromised.
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