Shame and Sex Addiction: The Real Story

For most of us, sexual curiosity begins at a very early age. By the time we reach middle school, our understanding of this natural part of life is usually shaped by the things we’ve encountered already. And while parents and teachers try hard to help us develop a healthy sexual appetite, some of us still go astray because, let’s face it, sex is amazing.

On top of that, properly executed sexual activities can actually boost your wellbeing. Whether engaged in the normal act of lovemaking or having fun with masturbation, there are countless benefits to reaching orgasm often. In fact, modern-day science has discovered at least 10 things that become instantly improved in your body upon reaching climax.

Alternatively, achieving frequent orgasms through excessive sex and/or masturbation can have its downfalls as well. Commonly known as “sex addiction,” behaviors which put your sexual health at risk are generally frowned upon. But what is sex addiction, and why do so many people feel ashamed about having it even though sex is natural and healthy thing?

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is real, but it’s usually not life-threatening and it certainly isn’t something to be ashamed about. Moreover, addictions to sex and/or masturbation don’t have to control your life or reduce the quality thereof. It might make you feel better to know that more than 9 million people in America alone are said to have some sort of compulsive sexual behavior or addiction, which begs the question of whether sex addiction is a legitimate social concern or simply a matter of society’s inability to accept our own human nature for what it is.

Either way, the experts at the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health say that hypersexual behavior can have the same damaging effects on a person as drugs and/or alcohol, citing it as an epidemic and urging avid masturbators to seek professional help as soon as possible. Viewed as having a general lack of integrity, sex addicts are often shamed by others despite the fact that the so-called “disease” is experienced by people of all ages, sexes and genders.

Who Are the Most Common Sex Addicts?

The root of the word “shame” comes from a Latin term meaning “to cover up.” For that reason, people who suspect they have or have been accused of having an addiction to sex and/or masturbation aren’t usually open to discussing it. Not only does that make it difficult to offer help, but it also skews the statistics and makes it impossible to determine an average demographic.

On the other hand, the most common “victims” of great sex are typically males between the age of 40 and 50 years old, according to recent studies. However, there seems to be a growing population of women and young people joining that category as well. So, where it used to be only middle-aged dudes shamefully masturbating and/or seeking treatment for sex addiction, soccer moms, grandpas and college kids are getting in on the action these days.

And while there is no average sex addict for us to attack or shame anymore, mainstream media and modern-day society have done an excellent job of pushing the truly struggling perverts deeper into their hedonistic holes by making sex and masturbation seem taboo. Therefore, the question is not who the average sex addiction is, it’s who it could be.

The Bottom Line

Human sexuality is a tale as old as time, with people trying everything imaginable to achieve a decent orgasm with or without a willing partner. Ancient artifacts have recently been unearthed, revealing the fact that mankind has had an “addiction to sex” since prehistoric times. Perhaps it’s our perception that’s creating the problem, or maybe it’s because pornography and sex toys or more readily available than ever before.

No matter how you split it, though, sex and/or masturbation are both healthy and natural ways to experience physical, emotional and even mental stimulation whether by yourself or with a partner. However, excessive sensory expeditions (AKA: hypersexual behavior) can do more than cause a social stigma – it can actually decrease your overall health and make it difficult for you and/or your partner to reach orgasm normally. In other words: Please enjoy sex responsibly because it’s hard to close Pandora’s box once it’s open.

Tips for Battling an Addiction to Sex, Masturbation and Pornography

Researchers are now stating that over 9 million people struggle with sex addiction in the United States alone, with most of them being men between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. Those figures jump up to as high as 22 million on a global scale, with the numbers possibly skewed by the general public’s lack of acceptance and concern about this ever-growing issue, not to mention the average person’s desire to deny that there’s even a problem in the first place.

Modern-day society would have us all thinking that raunchy pornography and incessant masturbation are the new norm, but that’s simply not the case. Sex addition is a very real problem with serious consequences. So, while tooting your own horn or experimenting in the bedroom are perfectly acceptable, there’s a fine line between what’s healthy and what’s compulsive.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Usually defined by some sort of compulsive sexual behavior, sex addiction is characterized by a noticeable and uncontrollable participation in sexual activity despite the consequences thereof. And since it’s typically categorized as an umbrella term for any type of hypersexual disorder, sex addicts are said to engage in a wide variety of activities that involve excessive amounts of intercourse and/or masturbation solely because of their inability to control related urges, thoughts, appetites or behaviors.

An addiction/compulsion to hyperactive sexual activity is shared by more than 9 million people in the United States alone, with culturally inspired names such as “erotomania” and even “Don Juanism” being the most commonly accepted alternatives. Generally speaking, however, sex addiction is not a life-threatening state of mind that can be treated if the right approach is taken. However, untreated sex addiction may lead to certain health issues and/or situations that are potentially dangerous.

Can Sex Addiction Be Treated?

Taking control of your sexual urges and breaking the chains of sex addiction is not always easy, but it’s possible when you use the right tools. As always, a general knowledge of yourself and your sexual behaviors is the first step to recovery. Start by answering the following 10 questions as honestly as possible to determine the severity of the problem at hand, if any:

  1. What things do you struggle with in terms of your sexual appetites and behaviors?
    1. Pornography
    2. Masturbation
    3. Fantasies
    4. Magazines
    5. Other
  2. What sexual behaviors, if any, do you have that are unwanted or potentially dangerous?
    1. Sexting
    2. Internet chat rooms
    3. One-night stands
    4. Hookup websites
    5. Singles bars
    6. Strip clubs
    7. Hookers/Escorts
    8. Massage parlors
  3. Are your sexual habits negatively affecting your personal and/or professional lives?
  4. Do you feel like you’re living a double life?
  5. How often do you call up pornographic mental images while having sex with a partner?
  6. Do you ever experience fatigue, impotence and/or difficulty maintaining an erection as a result of your sexual compulsions?
  7. Are your relationships short-lived and/or confusing because of your sexual behaviors?
  8. Would it be accurate to say you think about sex, porn or masturbation while trying to focus on other, more important, activities or tasks?
  9. About how much money have you spent on pornography, sex or masturbation?
    1. In the last week
    2. In the last month
    3. In the last year
    4. Over the course of your lifetime
  10. Have you tried to quit before but failed?

The next and most obvious step in overcoming sex addiction is to prepare yourself for the changes ahead. Usually, if you feel like your behaviors are what’s preserving your “best self,” then you’re not ready for treatment. However, if you tired of how things are going and you’re convinced that you have a problem, now is the time to act. As such, you may be asked to engage in controlled orgasms, restrictive sex games, and/or abstinence until you regain fortitude.

It’s important to understand that sex addiction can be extremely damaging to your body and livelihood if it’s not handled correctly. In many cases, an untreated addiction to sex, porn and/or masturbation has been known to get in the way of otherwise perfectly functional families, relationships and careers. It can cause impotence over time too, plus it could make normal, socially acceptable orgasm achievement a thing of the past.

If you or someone you love is battling an addiction to sex, porn or masturbation, seek treatment for it as soon as possible. Please note that some of the most popular professionally-lead treatments for sex addiction can include the use of over the counter (OTC) and/or prescription pharmaceuticals. However, certain BDSM games can also “break the chains,” so-to-speak, and none of those options require special medications.

Is All Sex and Masturbation Bad?

Obviously, sex and masturbation are both natural parts of a healthy, satisfying life and are therefore not wholly negative activities to engage in. The fact of the matter is, modern-day scientists have actually determined that ample orgasms have at least 10 different benefits, including things like lowered blood pressure, boosted mood, increased interpersonal bonds, improved sleep patterns, more efficient digestion, and even pain relief (including migraine headaches).

Overall, sex addiction is not the desire to simply have sex frequently – a habit that’s generally considered a good indication of a properly functioning libido. Sex addiction is, however, the compulsive desire and unchecked willingness to do so even when it disrupts your life. By enjoying your appetites responsibly, you should never have to worry about seeking treatment for sex addiction.