For people with sex addiction, sex comes to overshadow all other aspects of their lives. And yet, simply having a lot of sex is not the most significant or most reliable sign of sex addiction. Instead, it’s the things that go along with frequent sexual activity that suggest sex has gone from being a healthy desire to an irresistible compulsion.
There are six recognized stages of recovery for the partners of people with sex addiction. The first stage, known as the developing stage, comes before partners are aware of the presence of sex addiction, and it can last for years. During this time, the addiction causes quite a lot of harm as partners endure the extremely dysfunctional interpersonal relations that characterize sex addiction. Learning to recognize the key signs of sex addiction as early as possible can help partners avoid a lot of psychological damage.
People With Sex Addiction Are Masters of Lying, Secret-Keeping
If you suspect the presence of sex addiction, deception is one of the most important characteristics to identify. From outright lying to a host of secretiveness and sneakiness, people with sex addiction are constantly engaged in the struggle to maintain their secret lives.
People with sex addiction will lie frequently about where they have been, whom they were with and what they were doing. They may lie about their past history in order to disguise the fact that they have had a string of highly dysfunctional relationships or no relationships at all. Eventually, people with sex addiction become so accustomed to lying that it can become a compulsion, leading them to lie about things that don’t have anything to do with their disorder.
But lying isn’t the only way that people with sex addiction practice deception. They are also extremely secretive, especially when it comes to their activities on various devices. They will never leave their phones out of sight, constantly minimize or close screens on the computer and always log out of email and social media even if they are only stepping away for a minute.
As if their own deceptions were not enough, people with sex addiction are also extremely suspicious of their partners, accusing them of similar deceptions. When your life consists of so much lying and sneaking, it can be difficult to believe that other people do not behave in the same way.
Taking Charge in Bed and Controlling Through Manipulation
In many ways, people with sex addiction have surrendered control of their lives to their compulsive pursuit of sexual gratification. Nevertheless, they tend to be very controlling when it comes to their romantic partners.
First and foremost, people with sex addiction are in charge in bed. Some may be entirely focused on their own gratification, while others may be equally concerned with ensuring that their partners have a fantastic time. But either way, they are the ones running the show from start to finish. Furthermore, it’s not just a matter of one person naturally taking the lead most of the time—people with sex addiction have to be in control, and won’t tolerate attempts to share that control.
People with sex addiction also use manipulation to control their partners. When partners attempt to confront them about any of their questionable behaviors, they manage to make their partners feel as though they are the ones who should be ashamed for starting arguments or having suspicions. They also use their own suspicions to exert control by making their partners feel like they can’t make any missteps.