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DOES A HIGH SEX DRIVE EQUAL A SEX ADDICTION?

by Jekaterina Gussarova July 26, 2022 4 min read

DOES A HIGH SEX DRIVE EQUAL A SEX ADDICTION?

DOES A HIGH SEX DRIVE EQUAL A SEX ADDICTION?

Is your sexual drive high, or are you addicted to sex? Do you want to know the difference? Learn more from this article.

This is a common question that most people struggling with sex drive or addictions try to ask themselves. Several clinical experiences reveal that although one who is a sex addict has a high sex drive, most of them are not. Many of these sex addicts claim that their sex drive is low, and they have to endure many years with low sex and sometimes no sex or relationships. Later, they will discover that the partner is a sex addict. Before we go further, here are a few definitions you should know more about.

Sex Drive Also Known as Libido

According to Lynn et al. (2019), libido is the overall sex drive or the urge to have sex with someone. People may have a high, average, or low sex drive. The degree depends on how often you desire to have sex.

What Is a High Sex Drive/Libido?

High sex drive or libido depends on personal perceptions. For instance, your partner may have a low sex drive, which may affect you to think that your drive is higher than theirs. Otherwise, you can also ask yourself the following questions, and the answers you get will help you know how high your sexual drive is:

  • What does normal sex feel or look like?
  • What's the difference between desires and expectations?
  • What's that feeling after watching porn, masturbating, and thinking about having sex?

A person's sex drive can be high, but it will not affect their lifestyle. Moreover, it doesn't cause harm to them or the people around them, meaning there is nothing wrong if your sexual drive is high.

Low Sex Drive/Libido (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder)

It describes low interest in engaging in sexual activities. It is common to lose interest sometimes. It may be a temporary or permanent effect, depending on your condition. Your libido can't always match that of your partner. You may have average libido, but your partner's sex drive is high. Therefore, you can't match, meaning you will take yourself as having low sex libido. According to Goldstein et al. (2019), low sexual libido may concern some partners and cause the relationship to crumble.

A low sex drive is signified by recurrent deficient erotic or sexual thoughts, desires, and fantasies. The symptoms can persist for at least six months and cause distress to one's partner.

What Is Sex Addiction? (Hypersexuality)

What Is an Addiction?

According to Chen (2016), addiction is a compulsive and chronic psychological and physiological habit or need for something, activity, or behavior featuring harmful social, physical, and psychological effects. These come with well-defined signs and symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, nausea, or tremors when you withdraw from the act for either long or a short time. Stahl (2010) described that low sex drive is also known as hypoactive sexual desire.

Therefore, sex addiction is featured by the following characteristics:

  • The tendency to be obsessed with sex.
  • Pursuing or having an impulse to go after all your sexual urges.
  • Sacrificing your professional, social, or any free time for sex.
  • Taking many sexual risks
  • Experiencing physical or mental pain due to your sexual behavior.

High Sex Drive & Sex Addiction: Are They One on the Same Page?

For most people, at least to some extent, sex addiction has more to do with high sex drive. The reasoning is simple, you can't be adducted to have sex or do sexually related activities if you have a low sex drive. There is no logic in being addicted to sex, but your interest in the same is low. However, although sex addiction and sex drive are not the same, we can say they are connected.

Traditionally, a component of sex addictions includes having multiple orgasmic sensations, and it is one of the criteria used to determine if one is addicted to sex or not. The cut-off point in this strategy is usually low-having seven orgasmic sensations per week, meaning at least you must orgasm daily. If we use this criterion and the cut of point, at least half of men and minor ladies are sex addicts.

However, evidence keeps striking hard that sex addiction has little or nothing to do with sex drive. For example, in one online survey done in 2014,  two thousand men aged eighteen to sixty reported their sexual drive (how intense was their sex intensity in one week and how long during that time did they spend engaging in sexual activities).

The population sample also commented on low sex drive. They used some screening tools based on their answers to addiction questions. How they coped with the negativity, feeling out of control of their sexuality, distress, engaging in sex regardless of any harmful consequences, shame and distress depending on their sexual behaviors. About three percent of the men's population in the maple were not the ones who reported high sex drive. Only four percent of men were in both groups. So, problematic sexuality results prove to be less active sexually compared to the high sex drive group.

The Bottom Line

Several clinical experiences reveal that although most sex addicts have a high sex drive, some of them do not. Many of these sex addicts claim that their sex drive is low and they have to endure many years with low sex and sometimes no sex or relationships. Later, they will discover that the partner is a sex addict, so, the two don't mean the same but can lead to another.

References

Chen, W. J. (2016). Frequent exercise: A healthy habit or a behavioral addiction?. chronic diseases and translational medicine, 2(04), 235-240.

Goldstein, I., Kim, N. N., Clayton, A. H., DeRogatis, L. R., Giraldi, A., Parish, S. J., ... & Worsley, R. (2017, January). Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH) expert consensus panel review. In Mayo clinic proceedings (Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 114-128). Elsevier.

Lynn, B. K., López, J. D., Miller, C., Thompson, J., & Campian, E. C. (2019). The relationship between marijuana use prior to sex and sexual function in women. Sexual Medicine, 7(2), 192-197.

Stahl, S. M. (2010). Circuits of sexual desire in hypoactive sexual desire disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 71(5), 2658

Jekaterina Gussarova
Jekaterina Gussarova


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