The need to have sex all the time does not mean you are ad­dicted to sex

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Bonolo Sekudu

THERE is a fine line be­tween want­ing sex all the time and be­ing ad­dicted to sex. It might some­times be tricky for you to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two, but there is a dif­fer­ence. Move! speaks to ex­perts who say there is noth­ing wrong with hav­ing a good sex­ual ap­petite and share in­for­ma­tion to help you con­trol your sex­ual de­sires in a way that doesn’t lead to you be­com­ing a sex ad­dict.


Dr Jeanne Aspel­ing, a sex­ol­o­gist based in Joburg, says all the hor­mones in your body play a very big role in your li­bido.

■ Testos­terone: When this is high (it usu­ally peaks be­tween 8am and 11am in the morn­ing), your sex drive will be higher.

■ Adrenal glands: Due to stress, your adrenal gland hor­mones, cor­ti­sol and de­hy­droepiandros­terone (DHEA), may be too high or low, which has an in­flu­ence on your li­bido.

■ Men­stru­a­tion: A fe­male’s hor­mones change through­out men­stru­a­tion and this can also af­fect your li­bido.

■ Brain hor­mones: Due to stress, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, these hor­mones can de­crease your li­bido, but some peo­ple find that sex re­lieves stress and would want to have sex when they are stressed.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Jeanne, there are medical con­di­tions or med­i­ca­tion that can af­fect any of these hor­mones and in turn af­fect your li­bido: ■ Some anti-de­pres­sants.

■ Some oral con­tra­cep­tive pills.

■ Some hy­per­ten­sion med­i­ca­tion.

■ Prob­lems with your thy­roid.

■ Psy­chi­atric con­di­tions.


Christa Coet­zee, a psy­cho-sex­ol­o­gist based in Pretoria, says sex­ual en­gage­ment means get­ting per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion, be it emo­tional and phys­i­cal or want­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence close­ness with peo­ple.

“It is im­por­tant to ex­plore what drives your sex­ual ap­petite. Only when you un­der­stand your be­ing and be­hav­iour will you know what you need to ad­dress to bring some func­tional bal­ance to your be­hav­iour,” she says.


Christa says it is im­por­tant to clar­ify what ad­dic­tion is. “Ad­dic­tion is repet­i­tive en­gage­ment that neg­a­tively im­pacts your work, daily liv­ing and re­la­tion­ships. Peo­ple are quick to la­bel be­hav­iour that is dif­fer­ent as ab­nor­mal or in some cases as an ad­dic­tion,” she says.

Dr Jeanne agrees that, “When you are ad­dicted to some­thing, it starts af­fect­ing your daily func­tion­ing, so a sex ad­dict will miss im­por­tant meet­ings, skip work and so forth to be able to have sex. The other way in which it af­fects your daily func­tion­ing is that your be­hav­iour can go out­side safe bound­aries, so you might even go to a sex worker if your part­ner is not avail­able.”

She adds, “You can’t think ra­tio­nally about it, if you want sex, you want it now and it does not mat­ter what the con­se­quences are. With a high sex drive, your daily func­tion­ing stays in­tact.”

If you are strug­gling with con­trol­ling your sex­ual ap­petite, Dr Jeanne ad­vises that you see a pro­fes­sional sooner rather than later.

“It is very hard to treat and con­trol your sex drive once it gets out of con­trol and be­comes an ad­dic­tion. You also don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to be a sex ad­dict to put your­self at risk. Use con­doms, go for reg­u­lar sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted in­fec­tion (STI) screen­ing and get vac­ci­nated against some STIs. It is ad­vis­able for women to also use con­tra­cep­tives,” says Dr Jeanne.

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