Nymphomania is a term used to describe an unofficial mental disorder specific to women, including compulsive sexual behavior, hyper-sexuality, and sex addiction in women. The specific term for men for the same condition is satiriasis (exaggerated sexual desire in a man, where the symptoms are a compulsion to have sex with as many women as possible and an inability to have lasting relationships with them).

Using the term “nympho” has a negative connotation historically linked to attempts to control female sexual desire and the role of women in society. In modern times, people still sometimes use this term to describe women’s more or less uncontrolled impulses toward sex.

Compulsion to sex

This disorder is characterized by compulsive sexual behavior. Compulsions are unwanted actions or rituals, in which a person participates on several occasions without getting pleasure from them or being able to control them. In the case of nymphomania, compulsions refer to participation in risk behaviors such as promiscuity. Whether or not nymphomania is a true mental illness, it is often debated in the medical community, but evidence suggests that compulsive sexual behavior is a real and serious disease.

Origin and causes of nymphomania

Nymphomania can appear at any age, although it is thought to begin during early adulthood and is more common in homosexual women and men. In addition to compulsive sexual behavior, nymphomania can include thinking problems, repetitive unwanted thoughts (obsession), and feelings of guilt, shame, or inadequacy.

The underlying cause of nymphomania is not known. Nymphomania is a mental and emotional condition, and, as in many other personality tendencies or dysfunctions, recognizing the reasons is very complicated. For this reason, nymphomania can arise as a result of environmental events or be part of a hereditary or congenital tendency. It can also be related to a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Fundamentals of compulsive sexual behavior

The compulsive sexual behavior appears when there are thoughts or feelings that interfere in the normal capacity to maintain relationships, more or less stable work and be physically or mentally balanced. For some people, sexual behaviors represent the center of all their desires and worries, almost completely forgetting all other activities.

A nymphomaniac woman will always seek casual sex encounters, even if they interfere with her laboral duties

In some cases they even develop behaviors, actions or thoughts that violate social norms or laws. In general, a man or woman with compulsive sexual behavior only tries to pursue their sexual goals, regardless of the serious or potentially serious negative consequences that may affect their lives.

Even mental health professionals have a hard time separating healthy sexual behavior from those who go too far endangering their health. For this reason, compulsive sexual behavior has not been officially defined as a real disorder.

Causes of nymphomania

As it has been proven, both men and women tend to develop a compulsive sexual behavior as a strategy to cope with stress or serious anxiety, not as a response to a real sexual desire continued. Other factors involved that can potentially contribute to the onset of the disorder include: altered levels of brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin; altered levels of sex hormones in the body called androgens; and the presence of a medical disease such as Huntington’s disease.

In addition, some people develop the disease following certain treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Eventually, brain chemical alterations associated with hyper-sexuality can lead to long-term changes in normal brain function. In turn, these changes can lead to an addiction to the clinic that resembles other types of behavioral addictions, such as addictions to gambling or shopping.

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of hyper-sexuality include the presence of sexual impulses that cannot be controlled, participation in sexual activities that do not bring any real pleasure, and the difficulty to initiate or maintain an emotional closeness with another person, whether or not you are in a stable relationship.

Today, exhibitionist women often take selfies in front of a mirror; this technology allows them to share those pics through their social media

Other potential signs or symptoms include the use of sex to avoid unpleasant emotional states and continued participation in sexual situations that expose you to sexually transmitted diseases, job loss, legal consequences or loss of long-term relationships. Illegal activities related to compulsive sexuality may include pedophilia, exhibitionism, and voyeurism.

Treatment of nymphomania

Treatments for both women and men with compulsive sexual behavior include psychotherapy, participation in self-help groups, and the use of certain anxiolytic or antipsychotic medications, similar to medications used for other compulsive disorders. The most effective types of psychotherapy are usually group therapy, family therapy, couple therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy (which emphasizes greater self-awareness) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (which is based on learning of new behaviors in the face of stress situations).

Because compulsive sexual behavior is risky, people with nymphomania have a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases of all kinds, so it is something to consider within the treatment.