10 Signs You Are a Sex Addict

Our friends over at Shave Magazine posted an interesting article today written by Dr. Debra Laino. It outlines 10 warning signs that you are a sex addict. Take a look. See whether you fit the bill and even if you think sexual addiction is a real disease (I happen to believe it’s just as real as an addiction to drugs or booze, but I’ll leave that to you to figure out):

  1. Leading double life
  2. Difficulty in personal relationships
  3. Guilt
  4. Obsessively seeking out sexual material
  5. Seeking out risky behaviors/adventures
  6. Getting in trouble with the law
  7. Overwhelming Euphoria with sex followed by intense negative feelings
  8. Intrusive sex
  9. Fantasy sex
  10. Not being responsible with sex

To read the article go here.

—Photo via AllAboutAddiction.com

About Tom Matlack

Thomas Matlack is a venture capitalist.


  1. The debates about whether sex addiction is real almost always stem from lack of information on the subject matter, though I agree it’s always a good idea to try concepts on to see if they resonate, especially regarding sexual matters.
    Despite the surge in articles that seek to debunk sex addiction as a myth (oh would that that were true) most articles are not using good research and data, all of which has been done extensively, mostly by recovering addicts themselves who then went on to get degrees in that field. Read anything by Dr. Patrick Carnes, himself a recovering sex addict with over 30 years of recovery (not to mention a brilliant man), and there are many others as well.

    From my observations working in this field, it appears that most debunking or debating sex addiction less than politely occurs due to two factors, primarily:

    1- Most people are very averse to anyone telling them ANYTHING about their sex lives; it’s too closely linked to our memories from childhood, possibly getting caught masturbating or having strict parents or church overly meddling or outright dictating sexual matters. Then, once we’re adults, we often become VERY sensitive to any intrusion into what seems like it should be a private matter.

    2-We read the articles and become secretly terrified that WE might fall somewhere on the continuum of compulsive sexuality. Then, instead of looking at that courageously, we default to name-calling, debunking and shutting down the conversation entirely. The point of conversation/ exploration is in part to dissolve so much of the shame inherent in this addiction, since we cannot embrace healing if we’re crippled by shame.

    On point #1- Since sex addiction carries the highest collateral damage to others (those we say we love) it behooves us to get honest about the very real effects our actions might have on them. In sex addiction, these effects are almost always decimating to partners. In that case, arguing that our sexuality is a private matter becomes a moot point.

    On point #2- Obviously, morality and ethics are always personal and subjective to the debater, thus not an empirically sound basis for drawing conclusions. Brain science, on the other hand, is very difficult to argue with. GMP has excellent research archived if you search under Gary Wilson and Marnia Robinson. Gary is an acclaimed teacher of human sciences and a professional colleague I respect immensely. They offer much better tests for whether you might be an addict or not, than that found on Slave.com.

    If you still need more information, feel free to check out PoSARC’s Resource Center at Books, Media, Articles, etc. http://posarc.com/resources/index.htm
    Still need help? We have a tab called “Ask A Sex Addiction Therapist” as well as “Ask An Addict in Recovery” where you’re invited to submit any questions. All of our information is free of charge, and if you wish to stay anonymous, there’s no need to sign in.

    Tom, thank you for being intrepid and brave enough to open up a much-needed conversation.

    And either the gods that govern sex addiction are feeling very generous by stuffing my Inbox full of e-mails every day from those who experience great suffering from this malady, or else there are just myriads of very bored people with nothing better to do than imagine their sexual activities are wrecking their lives and relationships, that they’re descending into ever-deeper pits of shame and have nothing but time to explore such exquisitely painful territory.
    I somehow think neither of these could be true.

  2. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Sex addiction is definitely real. There some who are so compulsive with sex it definitely ruins their lives. I think the problem is where to set the boundary between sex addiction and healthy sexuality. Sexuality can be a gift. But there can be a problem with overly heteronormative, restrictive models of normal behavior. Currently the normative model is, in my opinion, overly restrictive.

  3. Howard Roberts says:

    I attended S.A.A. (Sex Addicts Annon.) meetings for over 5 years sometimes 3 or 4 nights a week.
    I learned a lot about the 12 step program as it is based upon the AA model except members are not expected to give up sex permanently, just to eliminate the problems which are stated at the beginning of your article. There were people of every walk of life in the groups and were very unhappy with “not being captains of their own ship” in my opinion. Others were wearing ankle bracelets and were on probation.
    I believe that sex-addition exists as we become addicted to our own endorphins of our brains when we constantly seek or experience orgasms. One can get a hold of the addiction and change his or her life, if they want to. However, if “nothing changes (the behavior) then nothing changes”.

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