LGBT PLUS asks: Are you a Sex Addict or do you just like a lot of sex?
Stephen Hanscomb, Head of LGBT mental health service LGBT Plus, explores the ins and outs of sex addiction.
What is too much sex?
The addiction label is thrown around a lot these days, the jury is out over technical definitions of the word relating to sex, but at the end of the day it’s all about how the sex you have is affecting your life. If its having a detrimental impact to your health, wealth or wellbeing you might want to do something about it!
There is no ‘correct’ or ‘recommended’ level of sex to have each week, but if the quantity and/or quality of sex you have is impacting you negatively, its worth looking into how to manage your day-to-day sexual triggers and the deeper causes behind it. Whether its compulsive masturbation, sauna or sex club use, hook-ups with escorts, cottaging or clubbing, the ease of access to men from all backgrounds is available 24/7 with the phone you carry everywhere.
Addiction can creep up on us, what starts as a few minutes checking out a porn site, hook-up or sex app, can run into hours, days and months of wasted time online. Office use is wide spread and can impact your job security and income, relationships can easily be destroyed when trust is lost due to online sex activity. Long term friendships can be lost or discarded as your attention and quality time fall away in favour of the ongoing search for that perfect guy online.
Sex can be complicated enough sober, but when we add alcohol and introduce drugs into the mix we enter a whole new dimension of Chemsex. This is a complex merger of addictions that feed off each other, not being able to do one without the other leads us to a place where our whole world is overwhelmed with a dangerous desire to binge on drugs, lose inhibitions and have sex, taking risks we would not otherwise consider if sober.
When we look behind what drives any addiction, we often encounter feelings of loneliness and isolation, a disconnect with the people that matter in our lives, whether that be a relationship, close friends or family. Addiction takes over our life and leaves us craving more and more of the very thing that is destroying us.
Finding your way back takes a lot of focus, intention and help. Regular supportive therapy can help you work out who you really are and what you want out of life. This combined with group support will give you the strength when you’re down and tempted to go back to old habits. So individual therapy and a support network of friends are key ingredients to help you through. It’s often a long journey with bumps in the road, but with the right help, support and motivation you can do it.
If you would like to talk about sex addiction, contact me for a free initial consultation:
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