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10 Signs Your Partner Might Be a Sex or Porn Addict

By: Korina Jochim, MA, MFTI
Addiction Specialist

As professionals treating sex addicts and their partners, we have observed that certain patterns over time are hallmarks of sexual addiction. We are often struck by the commonality of the stories we hear and in the interest of helping partners recognize some signs that may indicate there is a problem. We have outlined some “red flags” to watch out for below. If your partner consistently demonstrates three or more of these symptoms, he may be a sex and porn addict.

1 ) He pressures you to be sexual very early in your relationship; he also tells you he loves you and is intensely romantic toward you in the “in love” stage.

2)  Your every need is attended to, initially, and this person seems almost too good to be true. After a deeper commitment is made, such as an engagement or marriage, there is a period in which your partner withdraws from or criticizes you constantly.

3 ) He is very possessive of his cell phone and it never leaves his side; if you so much as pick it up, he rages at you. He has multiple phone numbers and email addresses.

4 ) When you ask him to participate more in your relationship and family life, he has a bevy of seemingly logical reasons why he cannot be available(i.e. “Honey, I’m busy working to support our family,” “I’m stressed out about money. With all the pressure that’s on me, can’t you give me a break,” etc.). You don’t feel heard.

5 ) Your sexual life tends toward extremes. He is either hypersexual and coercive (i.e. tries to get you to do things you don’t want to do, such as swinging or involved sexual role playing) or completely disinterested in sex; claiming fatigue or stress.

6 ) After rocky periods of moodiness and “projecting blame” onto you when you attempt to address problems, he is suddenly conciliatory. He might buy flowers and other gifts, help out more around the house, suggest vacations
or even couples’ therapy, but these “flights into health” are short-lived, and you begin to recognize this as a cycle.

7 ) He habitually comes to bed hours after you do, or gets up in the middle of the night for an extended period of time. When questioned, he might admit to Internet surfing, or complain of insomnia.

8 ) Unaccounted-for cash disappears from your accounts; he may insist on having sole domain over your finances.

9 ) If you confront him with suspicions that he is being unfaithful, he tells you that “you’re crazy and controlling.” He often describes former partners this way as well.

10 ) His time is often unaccounted for, and he is frequently unreachable by phone for hours at a time.

If you do suspect an active, untreated addiction, it is important to be direct but caring when voicing your concerns, and ask your partner to seek evaluation or treatment. Also, get clear on your own boundaries; can you stay with your partner if he continues to demonstrate these behaviors? Regardless of whether your partner seeks treatment, you can seek help for yourself. 12-step groups such as CoSA or S-Anon are good places to start for support and resources, or you can seek help from a professional.