What it’s really like to be in a relationship with a sex addict.

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When you first fall in love, you have a lot of sex.

It’s euphemistically referred to as ‘staying in bed all day.’ What it means is having sex twice, maybe three times, until you’re both exhausted. I would say for most couples this lasts a few weeks and it happens when they see each other on the weekend.

Before I met my sex addict boyfriend, I used to think I was a pretty sexual person. When we fell in love we stayed in bed all day for an entire year. We didn’t have sex two or three times a day. We often had sex up to five times a day, every day. If you count non-penetrative sex, the number would be more like eight to ten times a day. I’d leave his house after these extreme sessions, and feel physically exhausted and emotionally confused. He would text me not long after I’d left telling me he’d been jerking off.

So what really happened in that year? Here’s what it’s like to love a sex addict.

sex addict
"We often had sex up to five times a day, every day."
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You will get over your sexual hang ups. Whether you want to or not.

Before I met the sex addict, I used to consider myself a pretty open minded person. I very quickly learned that I was a serious novice. I hated having sex with the light on. That changed on the first night. Turns out there were a lot of things on my I-Would-Never-Do-That list. Sex addicts love I-Would-Never-Do-That lists – for them, it’s a list of your boundaries and a guide book of how to break them.

When it came to sex, there really was nothing my partner hadn’t done. Early on in our relationship, we shared how many sexual partners we had both had. I sheepishly muttered that mine was somewhere in the vicinity of 15. The number was actually much lower – I’d always been in relationships. He told me, without much hesitation, that he had slept with ‘about 450 women.’ As the year wore on, I’d find out so much more. He’d engaged in threesomes. Orgies. Group sex. He’d hired prostitutes. Porn stars. He’d been with men. He’d used every toy under the sun. He’d even been married.

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Dopamine is addictive and oxytocin gets you hooked on your partner. You will probably become a sex addict, too.

Sex and orgasms are just like drugs. When individuals have orgasms, their brains are washed with high levels of dopamine. If you’re having a lot of sex and a lot of orgasms, it makes sense that you would become slavishly addicted to the high. It’s the exact same kind of rush that is achieved through taking drugs. It’s slightly more complicated for women, because every time you have an orgasm, a woman’s brain is also rushed with oxytocin – the love hormone.

This is problematic for women because not only can you become addicted to the dopamine rush, but the more orgasms you have, the more deeply you will fall in love with your partner. Listen up women, be careful who makes you orgasm. You cannot help those love feelings – and you really cannot control this! If you’re having sex all day every day, that’s great, but consider that you may be compromising your decision making faculties and bingeing not just on sex, but on brain chemicals that are powerful enough to cloud your logic.

sex addict
"If you’re having a lot of orgasms, it makes sense that you would become slavishly addicted to the high."

This goes a long way in explaining why I put up with a lot of… craziness. A small study from Cambridge University found that individuals with highly compulsive sexual behaviour, when stimulated with pornography, had reactions very similar to that of drug addicts.

My sex addict boyfriend had a long string of ex-girlfriends who were all very lovely, talented, normal, accomplished women, but in his presence they treated me, his new girlfriend, with confusion and occasionally, misplaced disdain. They would flutter their eyelashes and put their hands on him while he had conversations with them, subtly negging them. I tolerated this ever present and adoring harem at the time because I was very in love with him. I felt very ‘lucky’ to be mainlining him, like he was a drug. His posse of possessive ex-girlfriends really only served as proof to me that sex was so important. I know this is crazy, but I had become, well, an addict too.

You will push your body to the edge.

Did you know that your vagina has its own bacterial flora, much like your gut? After a month of dating the sex addict, I had clocked two urinary tract infections. I had never had a urinary tract infection before. These would go on to become so common that I would at times have them twice a week – I lived in constant fear of the onset of symptoms. The sweating and the difficulty urinating. It’s commonly called Honeymoon Syndrome by doctors. I became so obsessed with preventing these painful infections that I started drinking diluted Apple Cider Vinegar every morning and bathing in it at night. I also stopped using soap.

I also got used to working around my partner’s various self-inflicted injuries from his chronic sex and masturbating. He would often have blisters on his hands… and his junk; but abstinence would never be an option. He’d employ condoms, gloves, band aids, medical tape and massive amounts of lubricant while his wounds healed during these times.

You will learn that you are sexy all of the time.

Just woke up with bad breath? Hot. Have you had too much to drink at a work function? Hot. Feeling sad and stressed out? HOT! Driving to a weekend away in your trackpants? Hot. Angry at your partner for something and want to actually talk? REALLY HOT!

I vividly remember one particular day when I was strung out and exhausted from work and walked into his house crying. It was one of those days where the world has broken your spirit and all you want to do is weep and eat pizza. My then-boyfriend put his tongue on my face and licked my tears. I could go on and on about the things that happened between me and my then-boyfriend, but there was something very unsettling about this particular incident - having my pain leeched out and fetishised had me feeling like I wasn’t in a loving relationship, I was in a fantasy. And it was somebody else’s fantasy.

sex addict
"Just woke up with bad breath? Hot."

Like any kind of drug, you will lose your potency.

Falling in love with a sex addict was undoubtedly one of the most dramatic and enthralling romances I’ve ever been in. I am a writer and a romantic, and I tried my very best to see the best in a very bad situation. But as my taboos slowly got broken down, I became less and less appealing and more of a drag to him. Twelve months passed and I was becoming a girlfriend, not a fetishised creature any longer. I started wanting more than just the dopamine rush. My boyfriend would roll into my home, get his rocks off and expect to roll out again. ‘I want you to stay for dinner!’ I would yell, night after night. We’d been together for an entire year. I felt completely ridiculous, nursing probably my 300th urinary tract infection.

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