My obsession with sex ruins all my relationships | Life and style | #facebookdating | #tinder | #pof


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I am a 29-year-old man. I spend too much time thinking about sex, masturbating or having sex. I masturbate three to five times a day, down from seven to eight when I was younger. Every time I start dating a new woman, I move quickly to a pattern of having sex two to three times a night, almost every night of the week. Although they like it initially, they often ask for a break after the second or third week, with complaints of soreness or not being in the mood. After a while, I start feeling rejected and move to end the relationship. I am a graduate student and sex and masturbation consume a large part of the time I allot for studying. I started masturbating when I was nine or 10; I think this may be part of the problem.

Masturbating in childhood – even much younger than nine – is perfectly normal. You must be feeling a lot of guilt and despair about your situation. There are those who would cast it as a problem of morality and excess, but your problem is not something you can easily change. Nor is it even a sexual issue in the main; sex just happens to be the way you express a broader psychological problem related to the way your brain works. You have sex compulsively. A person who is unable to resist being drawn to obsessive or repetitive actions in ways that cause significant problems in their lives – in your case, seriously interfering with studying and relationships – should seek help from a good therapist. Compulsiveness and obsessiveness can be treated, but if left unchecked they can become worse. Get help now; you deserve relief from the destructive treadmill on which you find yourself.

  • Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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