Answering “yes” to any of the questions below indicates that you might have a problem with sex addiction. The questions are adapted from “Don’t Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction” by P.J. Carnes (1991).

  • Do you regularly purchase sexually explicit magazines?
  • Are you preoccupied with sex?
  • Do you feel that your sexual behavior is abnormal?
  • Does your spouse ever complain about your sexual behavior?
  • Do you often feel bad about your sexual behavior?
  • Do you hide aspects of your sexual behavior from your partner?
  • Has your sexual behavior ever interfered with your family life?
  • Have you been unable to stop your sexual behavior even though you know it’s inappropriate?

Like those with other addictions, people addicted to sex are guilty of secrecy, denial and lying to cover up their behavior. In fact, addicts are capable of hiding their addictions from family or friends for long periods of time. When caught, they frequently blame their behavior on others or find excuses, such as stress or inadequate sex from their regular partners.

Mark S. Gold, M.D., and Drew W. Edwards, M.S. contributed to this article.