Facing a Sexual Addiction

by Dr. Lorin Bradbury

Question: How do I know if I am a sex addict?
Simply put, if your sexual behaviors create legal, relationship, career, emotional, or physical consequences, yet you continue to engage in those sexual behaviors anyway, then you likely have an addiction.
If your sexual behaviors take up more time, energy, and focus than you would like, or if they result in you to persistently acting out sexually in ways that go against your underlying values and beliefs, then you are likely a sex addict. By making those statements, I am providing you with no moral guidance, but I am giving you a boilerplate definition of sexual addiction. Sex addicts, both men and women often find themselves thinking, “This is the last time that I am going to…” yet they ultimately feel compelled to return to the same or similar sexual situations, despite previous commitments to change.
If any of this applies to you, I urge you to get professional help because sexual addictions of any kind eventually result in harm to self or others, and many lead to diminished self-esteem, disease, destroyed relationships, destroyed careers, divorce, and legal troubles.
If you are a man and you find yourself visiting massage parlors, calling escort services, and using prostitutes, and after the event, you hate yourself for your behavior, GET HELP! If you are a woman and you find yourself returning to drunken, abusive relationships out of need for sex, GET HELP! Help is available. Stop blaming others for your situation. Take responsibility and get professional help. Life is too short and you are too valuable to allow yourself to continue down the path. But like any other addiction, you have to admit you have a problem. Even if the other person has a problem, acknowledge that you have a problem and need help.
Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected].