This intriguing trifecta – sex, food and money, are three of the most sought-after pleasures life has to offer. Yet, we’ve all suffered the extremes of having too much of a good thing – when longing becomes lust and increasing stress and anxiety are the result of obsession.
There are warning signs that we may or may not choose to listen to, such as are nagging little thoughts or outrageous behaviors that become hard to ignore. These warning signs indicate perhaps seeking help is a good idea, around about – now.
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In this first of three articles, I’ll address sexual addiction and reveal how you can develop awareness and mindfulness into your behaviors and take the first steps towards a healthy, loving, fulfilling sexual relationship. 4 Things You May Not Know About Sex Addiction
1. Awareness of When the Healthy Becomes the Unhealthy
Like other addictions, sexual addiction is difficult to address until one accepts that there’s a problem and becomes aware of how their behavior may be affecting their everyday life.
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Sadly, it’s often a major event such as a breakup over an affair or a health crisis that signals to an addict that it may be time to seek help. So, learning about various types of sexual addiction becomes key.
Dr. Patrick Carnes, a noted sex addiction expert and author of “Don’t Call It Love” outlines a number of problematic sexual behaviors that can indicate addiction:
- Fantasy sex involves an obsession with a fantasy sex life that’s so overwhelming that one stops having genuinely love sexual relationships.
- Seductive sex involves manipulating and charming others into numerous sexual relationships and affairs.
- Anonymous sex involves feeling aroused by strangers to the exclusion of forming personal relationships.
- Paying for sex and trading for sex are two forms of business arrangements that preclude an emotionally healthy sexual relationship.
- Voyeuristic sex involves becoming aroused by watching other people have sex through pornography or secretly watching people have sex.
- Exhibitionistic sex involves flashing parts of ones body in public, posing for photos or having sex where other people can see the sex taking place for the purpose of causing shock or disapproval.
- Intrusive sex and exploitive sex involve touching others sexually without their permission; often in relationships in which one person has authority over another.
- Pain exchange sex or S & M involves associating pain with sexual pleasure.