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Sexual Addiction

By Dr. Margaret Paul
February 28, 2008

Addiction to sex is like any other addiction: it is using something or someone to fill you up or take away your pain.

Addiction to sex

Sexual addiction, or using sex addictively, is like any other addiction: it is using something or someone to fill you up or take away your pain. Whether you are addicted to sex or using sex addictively depends upon the frequency with which you use sex to fill yourself up or take away your pain.

Are you addicted to sex or using sex addictively? Identifying with just one of these symptoms listed below may indicate an addiction to sex or a tendency to use sex addictively.

  • I (occasionally) (frequently) use sex to feel good about myself.
  • I (occasionally) (frequently) use sex to fill up the emptiness within myself.
  • I (occasionally) (frequently) use sex to take away my aloneness.
  • I (occasionally) (frequently) use sex to take away my anxiety.
  • My sexuality is my identity.
  • I think about sex most of the time.
  • I often have trouble concentrating on other things due to my preoccupation with sex.
  • I have an intense need for sex with my partner. If my partner doesn't want to have sex with me, I get angry or withdrawn.
  • I sacrifice important parts of my relationship for sex. My sexual needs are more important to me than the relationship needs.
  • My sexual needs and my reaction when I do not get what I want are interfering with my relationship with my mate.
  • I have a compulsive need for sex with many partners.
  • The pursuit of sex makes me careless of my own welfare and the welfare of others.
  • I am chronically preoccupied with sexual fantasies.
  • I am promiscuous.
  • I am a compulsive masturbator.
  • I have a compulsive need to masturbate while viewing pornography.
  • I am a voyeur.
  • I am an exhibitionist.
  • I feel controlled by my sexual desires.
  • The only time I feel powerful is when I am imposing sex on someone.
  • I am attracted to children.
  • I act out with children.
  • I force people to have sex with me.
  • Hurting others turns me on sexually.
  • Being hurt by others turns me on sexually.

Obviously, there are many different levels of sexual addiction. Addiction to sex, like all other addictions, comes from the ego wounded self trying to find a way to feel okay and it cannot be healed without a spiritually connected loving adult self. If you desire to heal your addiction to sex or any other addiction, you need to practice the Six Steps of Inner Bonding to develop a loving adult. Practicing Inner Bonding enables you to learn to fill yourself up with love from the inside, rather than turning to addictions to fill up your emptiness and take away your pain.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join IBVillage and receive compassionate help and support for your healing journey.

Photo by Olivier Miche


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If you shut down your feelings to avoid pain, how can you know what is right or wrong for you? Spirit often speaks to us through our feelings, so when you protect against pain rather than open to learning about what your feelings are telling you, you are shutting out the very guidance you need to feel safe.


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