If you tell someone that you’re regularly having sex with multiple partners, you may hear a few jokes tinged with a sense of admiration. However, I know firsthand that a hedonistic lifestyle isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds.
I’m a sex addict, and this is my story.
If you met me on the street, I would seem like a normal 29-year-old. I may not be the smartest, most handsome person in the room, but I’m studying for a graduate degree and working part-time at a local restaurant.
Over the past 10 years, though, I haven’t been able to maintain romantic relationships for more than a few months. Furthermore, many of my friendships fizzled out within a year. The reason? I grew bored with my sexual partners quickly and constantly sought new partners from within my social circle. As you can imagine, my sexual antics never went well, and they always ended with everyone blaming me and walking out. But somehow, I always absolved myself of responsibility and didn’t see myself as a sex addict.
However, I eventually learned that I used sexual activity to escape my problems.
I lacked self-esteem and never felt appreciated or loved. Although I constantly suffered in silent agony, I didn’t realize that I was in pain. After all, when I was in someone else’s (naked) company, I felt high. I mistook the vulnerability and excitement I felt when sleeping with others for acceptance, admiration, and love. Because sex consumed me, I acted impulsively and hurt many people. I cheated on romantic partners, hooked up with coworkers, slept with strangers, and even spent money seeking out prostitutes’ services.
One day I discovered that I didn’t have any friends to turn to because my sex addiction caused everyone to walk out of my life. It took a bit of courage, but I finally opened up to a therapist who diagnosed me with a personality disorder. Although I pushed myself towards recovery, I eventually relapsed.
But then I met the woman who I would eventually marry.
This strong-willed, beautiful, kind woman gently nudged me towards a less hedonistic, more committed path. I loved this woman so much that I finally decided to enter a proper treatment program. I took my medications and took my therapy appointments seriously. My lover supported me through years of sex addict recovery and celibacy. For most of that time, we remained just friends. However, she eventually caught feelings for me, too, and we recently tied the knot.
Although my wife and I trust each other, I still don’t trust myself. So we decided to experiment with a spouse-monitoring app called XNSPY. The app offers numerous features: such as call and text monitoring, multimedia and location access, and Tinder progress. Together, we can also add special terms to the XNSPY blacklist, so if I search for pornography or communicate with someone in an inappropriate way, my wife receives an alert notification. What’s more, the app is non-intrusive, so I often forget that I ever installed it on my phone.
I struggled with my sex addiction and underlying mental health issues for years, but I’m making progress every day. While my wife and therapist feel that I’ve recovered from my addiction, I still fear relapsing. It’s never easy to recover from sex addiction, but with love, kindness, and structure, addiction can change for the better. For many sex addicts, it’s hard to accept that something’s wrong. When they admit that they have a problem, though, it’s their first step towards the road to recovery.