Hypersexual disorder refers to a condition that involves recurring and intense sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors that are difficult to control. People with hypersexual disorder feel they are unable to reduce their sexual desires or pleasure despite the physical, mental, or social harm experienced because of their behavior.
Sexual addiction can be particularly devastating because you are unable to stop your behavior despite knowing that it is harmful.
The condition is not currently included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. It has been proposed for addition to this important reference text in the section on “Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders.”
Types of Hypersexual Disorder
There are different types of hypersexual disorders:
Excessive interest in sexual activities, which may interfere with daily life. If the person also experiences sexual urges that are difficult to control and that cause distress or interpersonal difficulty, then he or she may have nymphomania. As with most conditions, there is a spectrum of severity; some people experience only one symptom (for example, masturbation several times a day and/or having sexual relationships with several people simultaneously), while others experience many (for example, engaging in prostitution and exhibitionism).
Excessive interest in having sexual relations with men is a sin condemned by the church. Also called “effeminacy,” cupidity was one of the charges used against King David when Bathsheba became pregnant.
Excessive interest in sexual relations with women is considered a form of hypersexuality. The term satyriasis comes from the Greek god of sex, fertility, and nature: Pan. The condition was once called “satyrs.”
Excessive interest in having sex with many different partners, particularly if the person feels he or she needs to do so continually to satisfy his or her desire for sex.
Lustful sin is not listed as a disorder in the DSM-5 because it does not meet the criteria for one.
Causes of Hypersexual Disorder
There are different causes of hypersexual disorders
Genetic predisposition to behavioral disorders has been widely studied and documented. Genes play a prominent role in both hypersexuality and sexual addiction. Studies have shown that different causes of disorder stem from a variety of predisposing genes, which is a much higher occurrence than expected.
Recent studies have found that hypersexuality can be linked to neurological deficiencies and imbalances in the brain. For example, decreased activity in these areas may contribute to disorders such as depression and addiction. In cases where sufferers also have bipolar disorder, it can exacerbate the condition.
Dysfunction of the reward system
Other studies have shown that in some people with compulsive sexual behavior, there is a dysfunction of the reward system in the brain associated with compulsive behaviors. Pornography use has been linked to an imbalance of dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in parts of the brain related to behavioral control, learning, and motivation.
The stress resulting from poverty and exposure to violence during childhood has been linked to the development of deviant sexual fantasies in adulthood. These experiences may alter neurobiological factors which control sexual behavior, making an individual more likely to engage in acts of exhibitionism or voyeurism, for example.
Personality traits like narcissism, impulsivity, and sensation-seeking are often linked to high sex drive in the general population. These same traits may also make an individual more likely to engage in certain types of sexual activities that would not be considered conventional. For example, engaging in acts of voyeurism or exhibitionism.