Is It Normal to Want Sex All the Time? How to Tell If You’re an Addict – AskMen

Posted: January 9, 2020 at 9:46 pm

Does Wanting A Lot of Sex Mean Youre Addicted? Experts Explain

You might be familiar with the statistic that claims men think about sex every seven seconds.

That statement has garnered plenty of skepticism from gentlemen thatve heard it, and not just because theres no research to back it up. After all, its difficult to see how someone could get anything accomplished if they thought about getting it on 500 times an hour (thats 8,000 times a day).

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So lets ask the question on everyones mind: Is it normal to think about sex all the time?

According to a 1995 survey conducted by the Kinsey Institute, 54 percent of men said they think about sex several times a day, and 43 percent said its on their mind a few times per week or just a few times per month. Only 4 percent reported thinking about it less than once a month. Its worth noting that the Kinsey Institute survey included men of all ages, meaning their sex drives varied.

But when it comes to thinking about sex, at what point do all of those racy thoughts become problematic, going as far to interrupt your regular day-to-day routine?

The line between a typical horny guy and sex addict can get pretty blurry. To figure this out, AskMen spoke with three experts to clarify the difference.

Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, asserts that sex drive can vary greatly among men, with age being one of the key factors that impact it. Still, even within the same age range, its very difficult to define whats normal.

Younger men (17-30), with more testosterone production on average will have stronger sex drive than older men, he explains. However, environmental and biological factors can impact that significantly. We see men in their 20s with moderate drive and men in their 50s with a strong drive. Sexual experience, social norms, learning history and expectations (i.e. how much sex theyve had in the past) all affect the degree of sexual drive.

Klapow also notes that life circumstances can have an effect on sex drive. For example, stress, grief, anxiety, and sleep deprivation can all come into play in terms of your sexual interest and activity.

Dr. Dawn Michael, clinical sexologist founder of TheHappySpouse.com, states that every man has his own unique sex drive.

Sex drive can be dependent on a mans pattern of masturbation and sexual release (orgasm), she says. If a man orgasms every day, his body gets used to that pattern.

Given that the Kinsey Institute study included participants within such a wide age range, its difficult to discern any norms for particular groups from the findings. However, Dr. Leslie Beth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert and author of Training Your Love Intuition, points at a 2016 study from Ohio State University as a more reliable source due to its focus on men between the ages of 18 to 25.

Researchers gave participants a counting machine, which they used to track their thoughts about sex. On average, participants had explicit thoughts about 19 times per day (or once every 1.26 hours). This may come as no surprise, but the men thought about food almost just as often (18 times per day).

In other words, even if youre thinking about sex about once every hour or two, youre right in line with the average for young men. How do you know if its becoming a problem? According to Klapow, if youre preoccupied with thoughts of sex to the point that they interfere with your ability to work, study, maintain relationships or have a social life, thats a red flag.

Experts agree that the definition of sex addiction is nuanced and delicate in fact, theres no official medical diagnosis for it.

We have to be careful to label someone as having a sex addiction, says Michael. The label sex addiction is very complicated and misused often. Some men are labeled sex addicts by their partners who may simply not have the same sex drive.

That said, there are some tell-tale signs that can suggest youre experiencing compulsive sexual behavior. Below, youll see some of the most common indicators of addiction via Klapow and Wish:

Wish states that sex addiction is often marked by a constant need to expand your sexual activities. Its not unlike a drug addiction, where you need to continually increase your dosage of the substance to experience the same pleasurable effects. For example, you might feel compelled to incorporate more elements of danger into your sex life for more of a thrill, or need to seek out increasingly hard-core pornography in order to reach an orgasm.

Our brain and body like variety, she adds. Imagine if you had to eat your favorite meal three times a day, every day. This loss of pleasure creates a compulsion for something new. Regardless of the next choice, that choice, too, most likely will stop being as satisfying, and, as a result, men get trapped in an endless cycle.

Even if some of the aforementioned signs sound familiar, all experts agree that sex addiction isnt something that should be self-diagnosed.

Wish points out that you could be overlooking a medical issue, such as a mental health disorder or hormone imbalance, at the root of your addiction. Additionally, Michael notes that past traumatic experiences may be contributing to this behavior, and those are best worked through with a professional such as a licensed counselor or therapist.

Ideally, consult a mental health professional who specializes in sexual addictions, advises Klapow. The key is to recognize that if you see yourself as having a sexual addiction, you are not likely to be able to modify your behavior on your own. Its important to contact a mental health professional as sexual addiction is not by itself a diagnosis and often is a problem that presents with other psychiatric problems (i.e. bipolar disorder, OCD, mania, etc.)

If you cant find a licensed professional who specializes in sexual addictions in your area, contact a licensed mental health professional, or talk to your primary care physician.

The bottom line? If your sexual thoughts and activities are negatively impacting your life in any way, then it may be time to figure out what you can do to address those compulsions. If they arent, take a deep breath and know that those frequent naughty thoughts are totally normal in fact, its just points at a healthy, active sex drive.

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Is It Normal to Want Sex All the Time? How to Tell If You're an Addict - AskMen

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