There are exactly two settings on my dial: blow your mind and blow your brains out. I’m bipolar. We’re like that.
Not surprisingly, the sex mostly happens on the blow your mind setting.
Hypersexuality is defined as “exhibiting unusual or excessive concern with or indulgence in sexual activity”
(Such an unsexy definition I have never heard. Trust science to whittle an experience of cataclysm to a ripple in an antiseptic pond.)
Hypersexuality is generally associated with hypomania and mania and used to be known as nymphomania. (Although the terms nymphomania (for women) and satyriasis (for men) are still used by the World Health Organization.) It should be noted that the severity of hypersexuality runs the gamut just like all hypomanic /manic symptoms do.
I am a very sexual person in nature. I like sex. I like it a lot. When I write about it, words drip from the page. When I speak of it, my tongue lashes each word. When I engage in it, people on the street notice.
But this is not hypersexuality.
Hypersexuality is actually the excessive desire for sex or indulgent activities. Hypersexuality is about the needing, the craving of a release. Hypersexuality is feeling sex move across your skin, slip down the shaft of each hair, and settle deep within your core making all other wants irrelevant. Hypersexuality is driving force. Like eating. When you’re starving to death.
And while this can be rather fun in the right circumstances and perhaps even enjoyable to languish in, it’s not necessarily productive or adaptive.
Hypersexuality and Relationships
Hypersexuality can be a fun time depending on what you and your partner like and how available your partner is. You may be able to channel the overflowing sexuality into a glorious weekend or even week.
Or you might not.
Unfortunately, often hypersexuality results in the seeking of sex from any available source and sometimes this is outside the relationship. Yes, hypersexuality during mania can destroy relationships.
Hypersexuality and the Single Life
Hypersexuality might result in you dating more, picking up someone in a bar or possibly just writhing around on your living room floor. It depends on the person.
Effects of Hypersexuality
I am an extremely intellectual individual with excessive control over my behavior; so personally, I don’t have any serious ill effects from hypersexuality. However, this is not the case for everyone. If a person is prone to high risk sex with multiple partners this can be quite dangerous. It’s also worth noting that hypersexuality is often combined with a decrease in inhibitions, impulsive behaviors and impaired judgment, all leading to a perfect storm of destructive behavior.
What to Do About Hypersexuality
It simply comes down to knowing yourself and your life. This symptom is just like any other, if it is harming your life, then you should develop strategies to handle that. For example:
- Recognize hypersexuality onset
- Tell your partner
- Talk to your doctor for a possible med change
- See a therapist
- Create a network to help you handle the symptom without harming yourself or others
While you’ll likely have to just wait for the feeling to pass, the feeling alone won’t destroy your life, but your actions can.
Tracy, N. (2010, October 14). Hypersexuality Explained, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2010/10/hypersexuality-explained
Author: Natasha Tracy
Never been asked about this by a doctor. I'm actually asexual so don't jive with this aspect of "bipolar"...
"While you’ll likely have to just wait for the feeling to pass, the feeling alone won’t destroy your life, but your actions can."
Great conclusion, Natasha. And I learned a new word: satyriasis.
Anything that becomes obsessively compulsive deteriorates our self-esteem when we make impulsive and destructive decisions. Sex is fun, but sex out of control is dangerous. Good post.