Hypersexuality refers to an excessive preoccupation with sexual behaviors, fantasies, and urges, which are difficult to control by humans. Also, the problem causes distress and affects various aspects of life in a negative way. These include job, health and relationships.
Hypersexuality also involves a few of the commonly enjoyable experiences related to sex. Common examples of the category are cybersex, masturbation, multiple sex partners, application of pornography and making payment to enjoy sex. Whenever the mentioned sexual behaviors become a focus in one’s life, they become difficult to control and are harmful or disruptive to individuals. Doctors consider these situations as compulsive sexual behavior.(1)
What Leads To Hypersexuality?
Even though none of us knows the exact cause of hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior, we may assume the following common causes of the disease-
Imbalance In Our Natural Brain Chemical: A few of the specific brain chemicals i.e. neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine help in the regulation of one’s mood. However, if any or all of these neurotransmitters reach high levels, they may result in hypersexuality.
Certain Changes In The Pathways Of One’s Brain: Compulsive sexual behavior may take place in the form of addiction, which with time may result in certain changes in the neural circuits of one’s brain, especially in the brain’s reinforcement centers. Similar to any other type of addiction, highly intensive sexual content combined with stimulation with time become essential with time to get relief and satisfaction.
Specific Conditions Affecting One’s Brain: Specific health problems and diseases, like dementia and epilepsy, may result in specific brain parts, which affect the human’s sexual behavior. Besides, a few people suffer from hypersexuality as side effects of dopamine agonist medicines prescribed during Parkinson’s disease treatment.(2)
Risk Factors Of Hypersexuality
Hypersexuality may take place in both women and men, even though it is common among men. Also, it may affect almost every individual irrespective of sexual orientation. However, there are a few of the major factors, which may increase your risk of suffering from hypersexuality. These include the following-
Easily Accessible Sexual Contents: With the advancement in social media and other latest technologies, almost every individual may easily access to intensive sexual imageries and related information.
Secrecy And Privacy: Most of the time, secrecy and privacy associated with hypersexual activities make the problem of an individual worse than before.
Along with this, you will find a few other people as dealing with a high risk of compulsive sexual behavior. These include the following-
- Problems related to drug or alcohol abuse
- Depression, stress, anxiety or any other type of mood disorder/mental health condition and addiction to gambling or betting activities
- Family members experiencing addiction problems and conflicts among family members
- A history related to sexual or physical abuse(3)
Can Hypersexuality Be Cured?
Similar to any other type of addictions, overcoming hypersexuality requires proper treatment. Accordingly, hypersexual disorder related treatment may give effective results in curing patients. However, the initial but the most difficult step associated with the treatment requires admitting that a person’s behavior is a severe problem and it has gone out of his control. As long as an affected person blames other people for the addiction or justifies the attempt or behavior to rationalize it in another way, treatment may not give any benefit.
The main treatment objective of hypersexuality is on four major aspects associated with one’s addiction. These are separating the person from various addictive activities, managing or reducing sexual urges, identification of underlying problems and triggers, along with addressing painful emotions related to hypersexuality. Here, painful emotions will include guilt, shame and unworthiness feelings. Along with this, doctors consider the prevention of hypersexuality relapse as an important step related to the treatment.(4)