My Ex Was A Sex Addict—Here’s What It Was Like Dating Him

Sometimes people joke about being sex addicts, but it wasn’t until I dated a guy who really suffered with sex addiction that I realized how messed up and destructive it can be.

  1. I thought he was just a commitment-phobe at first. When the nice, sweet guy I’d been dating told me he was a sex addict on our third date, I nearly choked on my coffee. Of course, I stupidly thought he could switch off those impulses now that he was dating me. The truth was that he couldn’t deal with an adult, monogamous relationship and even though I hoped he would change for me, it just wasn’t that simple.
  2. He wasn’t a weirdo or perv but he did have an addictive personality. Contrary to the belief that sex addicts are weird or creepy people, he was really normal. In fact, he was a great guy and I didn’t want to leave him because of his addiction issues—turns out, he was also a recovering alcoholic and the addictions had sort of bled into each other. I didn’t run when he confessed to being a sex addict but in hindsight, I really should have.
  3. He had weird porn habits. I get that most guys like to watch porn and it’s not a big deal for me if they do, but this guy was watching it all the time. I’d walked in on him jerking off to porn more times than I could count, and it eventually started making me really uneasy.
  4. He suggested sex acts that I really wasn’t up for. He was insatiable, which meant that at first we really wanted to stay in bed all day long and have amazing sex. However, about two months into our relationship, I realized all that sex wasn’t about how smitten he was with me,  it was all about his pleasure. He thrived on trying new and often risqué sex acts. Once, he even suggested an orgy with his friends. WTF? He said he loved threesomes and had done them loads in the past.
  5. The more he wanted, the worse I felt. I felt like I wasn’t enough for him. The more sex he wanted, the less confident I felt about myself. Sometimes he’d enjoy the sex we had but then would become moody or silent for days, leaving me wondering if his feelings had changed. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for his addiction to take over and wreck our relationship.
  6. His solo play made it worse. The guy could masturbate after a hot sex session with me like it was the first time he’d gotten off that day. I started to worry that I was the problem. The truth was that he was just always looking for sex in any way he could get it. Honestly, he was always more interested in his own pleasure than he ever was about what I wanted in the sack.
  7. He betrayed me in ways he didn’t think was cheating. I didn’t think he was cheating on me, but he did confess to doing things I thought were shady. For instance, he’d gone to a strip club with his friends, which made me feel like he’d betrayed me because he was crossing a line. He claimed he hadn’t done anything wrong, but how could I believe him? He was an addict, for goodness’ sake!
  8. He was a hot mess. His life was always a disaster. Either people were pissed off with him, his boss was taking advantage of him, or something else was to blame for why his life was upside-down. It became really exhausting trying to help him with his problems while fearing that I was investing in a guy who’d end up relapsing or hurting me.
  9. He was broken. He tearfully opened up to me about how he felt that he didn’t deserve me and he couldn’t seem to make sex and love work together. That was really scary because I felt like he was slipping away from me and there was nothing I could do. I was no match for his addiction that seemed to take up so much of his life.
  10. His words never became actions. I wanted to be with him but I wanted him to seek help. Would he go see a psychologist? Would he try to limit his porn viewing so that it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable, especially when he always wanted to bring it into the bedroom? He said he would do both and more to keep me but it was all BS. He was seriously in denial, thinking that he didn’t need help or that he didn’t have a problem.
  11. His lies always won. He’d always promise to work on himself and be a better boyfriend but then he’d go off somewhere and I wouldn’t know where he was and I’d doubt if he was telling me the truth. He was leading two different lives and they were about to crash into each other.
  12. We hit rock bottom. One day, I walked in on him jerking off to what I assumed was porn but was actually a live video chat with some woman! I freaked the hell out, shouting at him and telling him our relationship was over. He tried to explain how he couldn’t control his behavior anymore but he’d get help because he didn’t want to lose me. I refused to stay a second longer. I felt pity for him and what he was going through, but honestly, love couldn’t heal him. I had to love myself enough to realize that and walk away.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.