Obsession and Escape
If you’re a sex addict, you’re dealing with an escalating, obsessive preoccupation with sexual fantasy and behaviors. This means that fantasizing about sex, looking for sex, and engaging in sex have become a primary life focus. Over time, probably slowly and almost unnoticeably, you have lost control over your involvement with porn, strip clubs, prostitution, affairs, hookup apps, sensual massage, anonymous sex, casual sex, etc. As a result, you’ve damaged your romantic relationships, career, education, friendships, finances, and other life priorities.
If you’re a typical sex addict, you use the intensity of sexual fantasy and behaviors to escape (to avoid feeling) emotional discomfort – stress, anxiety, loneliness, depression, shame, boredom, and the like. You use sex to escape from life the same way drug addicts and alcoholics use substances. This means that sex addiction, as we see with alcoholism and drug addiction (and other behavioral addictions), is less about the actual behavior and more about emotional stability, self-soothing, and escape.