Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have a problem with sexual addiction?

Pornography and other sexual addictions are powerful, similar to a seductive drug. Compulsive sexual thoughts and/or behaviors lead to increasingly serious consequences, including severe depression, often with suicidal ideation; low self-esteem; shame; hopelessness; anxiety; loneliness; contradictions between ethical values and behaviors; distorted thinking; remorse; and self-deceit.

Answer these questions to assess whether you may have a problem with sexual addiction:

  1. Does your sexual activity cause you to have a secret life hidden from significant others?
  2. Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
  3. Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality, such that you avoid touching your body or engaging in sexual relationships? Do you fear that you have no sexual feelings, that you are asexual?
  4. Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
  5. Do you frequently want to get away from a partner after having sex? Do you often feel remorse, shame or guilt after a sexual encounter?
  6. Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines or other media?
  7. Do you have or have you had an extensive collection of pornographic material?
  8. Does each new relationship have the same destructive pattern that prompted you to leave the last relationship?
  9. Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
  10. Have you ever been arrested or are you in danger of being arrested because of your practices of voyeurism, exhibitionism, prostitution, sex with minors, indecent phone calls, etc.?
  11. Have you violated your marriage or other relationship by having sex or affairs with others?
  12. Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your beliefs or development?
  13. Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion or violence?
  14. Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless, alienated from others or suicidal?
  15. Have you been told by someone that your sexual behavior is excessive, inappropriate or out of control?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you are encouraged to seek more information or help from the sources listed below to further assess your needs or the needs of someone you care about.

There are many 12-step groups that are helpful to sex addicts and their families. Please use the list below to find the locations of meetings in your area or to obtain additional information:
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA)
Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA)
Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA)
S-Anon International Family Groups

Just talking about your problems sometimes leads to new solutions. If you or someone you know needs information, guidance or help, call our Respond program at 1-800-366-1132. Respond offers confidential, caring assessments and referrals for individuals dealing with problems related to mental health issues and substance abuse. If you or a loved one are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 immediately.