There is no area of your life where sex addiction can’t cause harm. Sex is an important part of a person’s life with many beneficial aspects. It’s a part of who we are and how we express ourselves sexually means a great deal. When a person has a healthy sex life it can lead to an overall sense of happiness. But when our sex lives and experiences become corrupt an equal and opposite reaction can occur. Sex addiction doesn’t get better over time on its own, as many who think they may be addicts would like to believe. It would be nice if it did, as recovery is a long, difficult process, but the alternative is worse. It’s important for sex addicts mulling over treatment to know how bad it can be, if they haven’t experienced it already.

We can look at the areas of life affected by sex addiction in terms of broad categories: Social, emotional, physical, legal, financial, and spiritual.

Sex addiction hurts you emotionally
Sex addiction itself is an endless loop of seeking a sexual high to deal with an emotional low. Following the high come feelings of guilt and shame, and the cause of the original problem have not left so there’s that, too. Being caught in this cycle can make an addict feel frustrated that they can’t escape and the behaviors they engage in often must be kept secret, leading to anxiety and stress plus the fear of discovery and consequences.

Your social life suffers
Being in emotional turmoil makes a person difficult to be around. Sex addiction behavior also leads a person towards isolation, as the main goal in life becomes sexual gratification. Connections between spouses fray and break, and friends and family become distant acquaintances pushed away by the addict’s behavior and perhaps their own ignorance of the problem.

Physical health deteriorates and is put in jeopardy
For sex addicts, sex isn’t about love or anything else, it’s about the chemical rush in the brain they get from sex acts which they may confuse for deeper emotions. That rush isn’t a bad thing, but when it’s all there is an addict can lose their desire for other things. Pornography addicts can become dependent on porn for arousal. Masturbation addicts can loose interest in intercourse. A person may only be able to perform sexually with their spouse, or with someone else, but doesn’t enjoy it.

Safety also takes a backseat to feeding the addiction, leading to diseases and in some cases unwanted pregnancy. If a person frequents prostitutes they may have to go to unsafe areas of town, or in the case of “love addicts,” put themselves in dangerous situations.

You can get into legal trouble
When a sex addict needs to resort to more extreme behavior for a thrill it can put them on the wrong side of the law. While all sex offenses are serious, these can start from a relative low point -like sexual harassment- to a middle point -such as voyeurism or exhibitionism- to severe -rape and child molestation.-

Financial debt becomes a concern
While a lot of online sex material is free, the porn industry makes a lot of money every year, and it makes it from somewhere. Many addicts report accruing thousands in credit card debt from porn sites or phone sex lines. Prostitutes can be expensive, too, as can trips to strip clubs. Sex is big business and can absorb money in many forms. Most of it is via card, so sex addicts don’t feel the money leaving their possession as much. Debt can follow a sex addict their entire lives and ruin those they care about such as spouses and children.

You suffer as a person
A person’s spirituality tends to be personal and unique to them, but sex addiction can damage this side of a person regardless of their creed. Many religions have clear rules on sexuality and the affects of sex addiction on that can be obvious. Less obvious is the damage it can cause to a person’s sense of themselves and their individuality. Being a slave to one of their urges at the expense of other things one found fulfilling is a terrible situation. No one likes not being in control of themselves and suffering the problems mentioned above can bring out the worst in a person and make them look back on this period of their life as a lost one.

All of these harmful effects can influence one another and in turn perpetuate the addiction. It’s crucial a sex addict realize this and seek treatment as early as possible.