There is nothing wrong with having lots of sex. I repeat, there is nothing wrong with having lots of sex. If you want to do it all day long with your partner, or masturbate until the cows come home, then please feel free. But it is important to know that a super high sex drive can be unhealthy, at times, especially for those who have a sex addiction.
When your desire to have sex crosses into this realm, you might notice all sorts of unwanted side effects — problems at work, relationship issues, etc. There's also the fact sex is often used as a way to deal with uncomfortable emotions, which is of course not a sustainable or healthy way to live.
So, how do you know if your high sex drive has become an issue? "In general, if something is overwhelmingly intrusive in one's life and prevents [you] from achieving goals or living a healthy lifestyle on an ongoing basis, it can be considered to be a problem," says Laurel Steinberg, PhD, NYC-based sexologist and relationship therapist, tells Bustle. If you skip work to have sex, use sex to mask negative emotions, or if thoughts of getting laid swirl around in your head to a distracting degree, it may be time to seek help. Below are a few telltale signs to watch out for.
1. You Always Choose Sex Over Seeing Your Friends
If your high sex drive has become a problem, it might start taking precedence over everything else in your life, including going out and seeing friends. As Alexandra Katehakis, PhD, the clinical director of Center for Healthy Sex tells Bustle, you might feel preoccupied, miss out on fun plans,, or keep your calendar open with the hope of hooking up.
While it's obviously OK to do this occasionally, getting laid shouldn't be your one and only goal. As with anything in life, it's all about striking a balance, and being open to many different experiences. So if you find that you only have one goal (having sex) you might find it helpful to reach out to a therapist, and let them know.
2. You Feel The Need To Justify Your Sex Drive
When things get out of control in the sex department, you might start comforting yourself with thoughts like "I'm not hurting anyone" or "I'm just having fun!" And both of those things are true.
But keep an eye out for signs you need to constantly convince yourself that these thoughts are OK. While you never have to make excuses for yourself, constantly justifying your actions may be a sign your sex drive is too high, Katehakis says, and it means it's taking up just a little too much of your brain space.
3. Your Responsibilities Are Falling By The Wayside
Have you gotten fired because you left work to hook up? Or did you forget to walk your dog because you were too busy scrolling through Tinder? As Steinberg says, "Signs that a high drive for [sex] may not be healthy are if it prevents [you] from fulfilling all of [your] various roles and responsibilities."
Everyone drops the ball on occasion, so it's not a sign of a problem if you leave dirty dishes in the sink one night, because you decided you'd rather masturbate. It may be a warning sign, however, if things like this keep happening, of it's having a large, negative impact on your life.
4. You Use Sex To Deal With Tough Emotions
If you use sex as a way to numb your pain, or as a way to feel validated and loved, it may be worth a close look. As Katehakis says, sex can make you feel better in the moment, but it isn't a healthy way to deal with your problems in the long run.
Sure, it's one thing to go out looking for a fun hookup, as a way to spice up your life or perk up your mood. But if this is happening in place of other healthy habits, such as seeing friends, going to therapy, exercising, etc., it may mean it's time to make a few adjustments.
5. You Use It To Cope With Anxiety
Speaking of tough emotions, if you think you're having tons of sex as a way to cope with anxiety, take note. As Katehakis says, "The end game can also be about numbing out completely for life," so if it feels like that's your one and only emotion for having sex, it could be a sign it's no longer healthy.
While sex is fun, it's not always the best way to deal with unwanted or painful feelings. It can be a part of your life, but it'll be important to seek other outlets, too.
6. You Don't Let Feelings Get Involved
Sex doesn't always have to be about love and/or feelings. If you enjoy going out and hooking up with cute strangers, then keep doing your thing. (As long as you're safe.)
It may be time to rethink your ways, however, if that's the only kind of sex you ever have, or if you take great pains to keep feelings at bay. For example, as Katehakis says, it can be a sign of sex addiction if you have lots of sex without concern for whether or not the other people care about you.
7. It's Causing Stress In Your Relationship
While you can hope for a partner with an equally high sex drive, it's not guaranteed your desires will match up perfectly. When they don't, Steinberg says it can cause stress and arguments in your relationship, as one of you is never getting what they want.
Keep in mind, however, that the mismatch might also have to do with your partner's lower libido and not necessarily a sex addiction, so you won't want to jump to conclusions. If you're always the one pushing for more sex, though, it may be something to think about.
8. It's All You Can Think About
If you zone out at work with steamy fantasies playing through your mind, or if you constantly need to sneak off to the bathroom for some "alone time," it may be a sign you've crossed the line into addiction zone.
If you're addicted to sex, it'll always be on your mind, Steinberg says. Daydreams and fantasies are one thing, but you should be able to think about others things, too. If it's becoming difficult, check in with yourself to figure out whether or not it seems like a problem. There's a chance it isn't holding you back, and you just like to think about sex. And that's that.
But if you feel distracted, or keep leaving work unattended, you may want to let a therapist know.
9. It's All You Ever Talk About
While every group needs that one saucy friend, take note if everything you say is about sex, sex, sex. Maybe you have nothing else to share, except your recent exploits. Or just assume that's what everyone else wants to talk about, too, even though they keep trying to change the subject.
It can be a sign of sex addiction if you catch yourself talking about it "incessantly," Steinberg says. Of course, you should feel free to be sexual and have fun, be honest with friends, and chat about hookups. But it's not considered typical to be positively obsessed.
10. You're Constantly Scheming About Your Next Hook Up
It's certainly fun to plan hooks up and get excited for a hot date. But it may be cause for concern if that's the only thing you do with your spare time, or if you can't put your phone down lest you miss a Tinder connection.
If you have a sex addiction, you "may be overly-focused on scheming to achieve it, all the time, every day — and this often includes intercourse with several partners," Steinberg says. If it's negatively impacting your or if you want to stop but can't, consider it officially unhealthy.
11. You're Always Caught Up In A Web Of Lies
If you are going out of your way to lie to yourself and others in order to fulfill a need for sex, or if you sped so much time on it that it interferes with other aspects of your life, then there may be an addiction, Dr. Cristina Bosch and Dr. John Robinson, of The Hormone Zone tell Bustle, When that happens, it's a sign you subconsciously know your sex drive is a bit out of balance, and yet you're trying to make it seem OK.
Remember, your sexuality isn't anything to be ashamed of. You can have sex all day long. You can hook up and have multiple partners. And you can spend hours fantasizing and checking dating apps. It's only time to worry when it feels like an obsession, or if it starts to negatively impact your life. If that feels like the case, don't be afraid to talk with a therapist, and get some advice.