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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Hypersexuality describes human sexual behavior at levels high enough to be considered clinically significant.

Nymphomania was believed to be a psychological disorder peculiar to females and characterized by an overactive libido and an obsession with sex. In males the "disorder" was called satyriasis (for etymology of the words, see nymph and satyr). "Nymphomania" and "satyriasis" are no longer listed as specific disorders in the DSM-IV.

The threshold for what constitutes hypersexuality is subject to debate, and critics question if a standardized diagnostic threshold even exists. Sex drive varies widely in humans, and what one person would consider a "normal" sex drive might be considered excessive by some, and low by others. The consensus among those who consider this a disorder is that the threshold is met when the behavior causes distress or impaired social functioning.

Hypersexuality and physical conditions

Hypersexuality can be a symptom of bipolar disorder, and is generally associated with the manic phase of the disease. It can result in behavior that the manic person later bitterly regrets.

Hypersexuality can also be caused by Kluver-Bucy syndrome, a neurobehavioral syndrome associated with bilateral medial temporal lobe dysfunction.

Hypersexuality has sometimes been reported following brain injuries and diseases that cause dementia and loss of impulse control.

High levels of sexual activity combined with the attributes of addictive behavior is sometimes referred to as "sex addiction," or an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a sexual behavior regardless of its negative consequences. Sex addiction can include any type of sexual behavior, including sex with others, sex with oneself (masturbation), or sex involving pornography or non-human objects. Some definitions of sex addiction include thoughts and fantasies as well as behaviors.

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