Liking sex, having a lot of sex (or sexual partners), watching more than occasional pornography, even engaging in non-traditional sexual or sexual fetish behaviors, does not make a person a sex addict. Like drug and/or alcohol addiction, sexual addiction has diagnostic criteria that needs to be met. Just like every person who has a drink is not an alcoholic, not everyone who looks at pornography or has an extra marital affair (even more than one) has a sex addiction.
When a person has a sexual addiction, having sex (with self or others) has more control over him/her than he/she has over him/herself and like other addictive behaviors. A person struggling with a sexual addiction develops a tolerance and experience withdrawal related symptoms when they stop or unable to have sex.
If you or your partner is struggling with a sexual addiction or concerned that you might be, Dr. Laura can help.