We talked to Ashley, an 18 year-old escort who knows what it's like as a bonafied sex addict …

Sex — you love it; you need it; it's part of who you are.

But, what happens when you can't live without it?

Sex addiction affects between 3 and 6 percent of adults in the U.S., but although there have been countless clinical examples of it, it's often written off as a null diagnosis given by therapists in order to propagate the social stigma of sex onto their patients. Makes sense — the more a patient believes there's something wrong with them, the more likely they are to stay in therapy.

However, for people like Ashley, an 18-year-old escort we met off the Denver Craigslist personals section, sex addiction is very real and very present. Insistent on bringing more awareness to her condition and inspiring empathy in those who think sex addiction is just a pathologized term for someone who likes to fuck, she takes us inside her day to day as a sex addict.

So, you like sex. Most everybody does. What makes you a sex addict?

I definitely would label myself as a sex addict. It's been in my family for a while. My mom used to go to SAA and my grandma has had a huge problem. It has to do with having really frickin’ high hormones I guess.

What’s it like?

You're just always horny. Like for me, it get so uncomfortable if I don't have sex. If I don't it hurts. I just get random orgasms. I just start going crazy and I start getting really desperate and I start getting easy because I need to fuck. I need to feel human touch.

What's the physical pain like when you can't have sex?

It eats you alive. Then you just get so horny all the time. Like everybody you see you just wanna fuck. The simplest things like chocolate or a shirtless man, give you these uncontrollable random orgasms. I get weak in the knees. I have to sit down when that happens.

How often do you need to have sex?

Let's see, probably three or four times a day at least. My ex's in the past, they could never keep up with me.

Does your body ever get tired of it?

I have to be very cautious because my body is my selling point. I’m an escort, so I can't go all out which is kind of hard because I recently got into bondage. I do some crazy stuff because I'm so sensitized.

When did your addiction start?

It started when I was three. I was molested. That definitely changes you. And so after that, I just started always wanting it. I remember being five years old, making out with my pillow, pretending it was Angelina Jolie. I was so into vagina that I started having sex with women when I was eight.

So would you say that in terms of when you are really horny, and you're craving it, is there any difference in pleasure you get from men vs women, or is it just the conquest itself?

It's a conquest, but there's different kinds of conquests. For women, I can make any girl squirt. I can make any girl go crazy. I like to get them wrapped around my finger. I have so many guys in love with me. It's a challenge.

So when you are craving sex, you're thinking about women?

Yeah. I focus on women, because women are beautiful. They're hot. Like vagina? Come on.

What part of sex are you addicted to?

The conquest, definitely. I usually don't get much pleasure. I was really ugly as a kid and I was heavily picked on for my looks. It got to the point where I thought, “If looks matter so much, then I'm gonna become pretty.” I lost tons of weight, I grew my hair long, I started wearing makeup and heels, and suddenly I had all this power. I had all this fucking power and control over everybody. Losing control is the worst thing in the world when you're a sex addict. It's insane how good it feels just to have that power. I mean, I'm never alone. And that's what matters.

Does sex ever get old to you? Are you ever bored by it?

Yeah definitely. I don't have sex with normal people anymore. Like I said, the bondage thing is nowadays the only thing that works. Normal people are just so boring. It's just so easy to make someone cum, I just don't care.

What’s your number?

I can't even tell how many women I've had sex with. And I can't count how many men anymore either.

When having sex with someone, does it matter to you what their personality and intelligence is like?

Yes. Definitely. There are so many people and there are so many options that, even though I can't stop having sex, I still have a choice of who I have sex with. Guys that are single minded and I can outsmart any day, they don't impress me. I decide by if they're modest or not. I like guys that don't usually get accepted in life, like gamers. Because they're usually wealthy too.

What happens after the sex?

It's not just sex for me. I have to get people to fall in love with me, too. That's a big goal of mine. I have to make them feel like I'm the one that's gonna be there for them, even though I'm not.

Do you feel like you love them back? Or do you just enjoy the thought that they're falling for you?

I don't know what love is. My closest friend just told me that I don't even know how to love myself. And I don't. I really don't. I just have to make everybody want me all the time.

How does it affect your relationships? Have you ever been in a romantic relationship that you were monogamous in?

No. I've had a long distance relationship, but even then there was phone sex and I was still fucking other people, they just didn't know. I've explored different things before. I think that was the closest thing I’ve had to a relationship. Monogamy never works for me because I give and give, but never get back if I'm in a relationship.

What advice do you have for other sex addicts that are dealing with the same type of stuff?

Masturbate like crazy. Just make love to yourself. Light some candles and put on some music. And you have to believe in some kind of higher power. People who don't have anything they believe in are never going to get better.

Does porn ever play into the equation for you, or are you over it at this point?

I have to watch it in order to get through the day, but it’s getting old. I’m a hardcore porn addict. I’ve gotten to the point where I've seen everything.

What's your favorite porn site? What kind of porn do you watch?

My favorite is Brazzers. Nowadays, the kinkier the better. So rough hard shit is best. My role model and favorite porn star is Christy Mack.

What kind of addiction is comparable to sex addiction?

Opiates. Or heroin. Ever heard of Krokodil? You know how an opiate addict will just do anything to get an an opiate, including do Krokodil which rots your insides if you quit? That's what it's like. You can't stop. It's kind of like having a child. You love it that much. It takes tons of your money and screws you over and you still love that child so much.

Has it ever kept you from going to work? When you get that turned on, do you have any other option other than to masturbate or get laid?

You know how with OCD people, it’s been shown that once they're at work, their OCD stops because they're so focused on work? I don't mix work with love. When it comes to work, it means so much to me, that I can control myself. I help manage a paint store. And I love sales. I love selling paint.

So when you're so focused on something and you're passionate about something else, then it soothes your cravings?

Yeah. It's still hard, but when it comes to work, that's my job. I'm also a really hard worker. I'm a workaholic. I have to work all the time. No matter what, I have to pedal.

Where's the craziest place you've ever gotten laid?

One time I got fucked in my ass drunk as hell on my roommate’s daughter’s car. Or anothertime at a retirement home in the parking lot.

What's something you wished people knew about you or other sex addicts?

You can't just stop. You’re dead wrong if you think that. Another thing, is that the media and TV display sex addiction, for women especially, like it’s awesome or something. It ain't easy, but … you know what? It sure ain't boring.