Nymphomania & Satyriasis: A Psychological and Tantric Perspective

Nymphomania and Satyriasis are sex addictions; “incontrollable desires”-– the first term refers to women, while the second applies to men. These disorders are suffered by millions of people around the world and are often misunderstood or confused with mental illness; which although could be one of the causes, it is not the reason–hence it is considered a disorder.

In this article I will try to offer a brief explanation on both from a psychological perspective first and then from a Tantric perspective–although psychoanalysis and Tantric counselling have similarities, there are some differences on how the disorders previously mentioned are understood and approached.

Currently, nymphomania is simply called hypersexual disorder, although terms are also used to describe it as sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity, compulsive or out-of-control sexual behavior. The concept of hypersexuality is the most commonly used and is the one that replaces nymphomania in women and satyriasis in men.

Hypersexual disorder was proposed as a new diagnosis for the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), however, its inclusion was rejected; the reason: the diagnosis usually belongs to a subcategory of another psychological disorder, nymphomania and satyriasis present a high comorbidity with other disorders.

Nymphomania and satyriasis are characterized by increased frequency and intensity of sexual detrimental fantasies, sexual urges and sexual behavior. For women it tends to manifest with an obsessive need to get sexual attention and when they do get it, their interaction with the opposite sex tends to be based only on the superficial (mostly sexual talk and behavior). They tend to use sex as a response to dysphoric moods (bored, irritable, anxious or depressed) as such any stressful event can lead to sex. On the other hand for men, it tends to be more subtle, as men suffering of the above disorder tend to use pornography compulsively to escape reality. They also tend to gravitate towards women with the same disorder, hence their physical response tends to go towards what is raunchy (a natural response from using pornography) as pornography tends to blurred the lines between what is raunchy and what is sensual; what is unhealthy and what is healthy.

The feeling of not being able to control their impulsivity only leads to more problems; add to this a world which is so ill that often offers accolades for destructive behavior–women who expose pornographic content tend to get “rewarded” through superficial attention which they often confuse as genuine attention. Because they are unable to differentiate what is substantial and what is not (in other words, the next pornographic image will get as much or more attention) they equate this to be being accepted and likeable.

For men, the problem is often focused on the fact that other men don’t like to talk about the root of the disorder. If they talk at all, it mostly focuses on the symptoms; worst yet, many times the message sent among them is “it is natural” (regarding the use of sex as badges for the false ego or the overuse of pornography to escape life). In this way the disorders are erroneously validated and those suffering from it are left feeling even lonelier.

When it comes to a physical cause: the cause for most cases is unknown; although they seem to point out to some connection with bipolar disorder, alzheimers, overcosumption of alchohol and drugs.

Psychologically: it is much more complex and there is no established consensus. It is known both disorders can manifest themselves in people from dysfunctional households, people with low self-esteem who use their sex to feel better (“I am the man”/ “All men want me”), people who suffer from sexual dysfunctions or who have suffered sexual abuse in childhood. However, none of them is a determining cause.

What is more studied is that hypersexuality has a high comorbidity with other psychological disorders, some of the most related are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depressive disorder and anxiety disorder.

Tantra: Tantra sees most sexual related disorders as ramifications of childhood trauma and lack of sexual knowledge of one’s body, one’s sexual power and its connection to our mental, physical and spiritual plane.

Most people whose traumas go unresolved, tend to seek masks to cover them up. As such if a boy or a girl have been abused, they will tend to cover up the abuse with superficial things.

If a boy has been abused, he believes he needs to act overly “manly”, always trying to prove he is “the man” –this is due to the insecurity others might see past the mask and into the trauma–the abuse does not necessarily need to have been physical.

Other men tend to act shyly but escape to pornography because in real life they don’t feel lovable nor believe they could be accepted if all their history was reveled.

For women they tend to use and abuse their bodies in a desire to validate themselves as “worthy” of love but also in an effort to cover up the abuse. With that said, in our current society not every woman who acts in a pornographic way has been abused; the behavior could be the result of an oversexualized society that yo-yos between extremes (dogma/false liberation). A society so ill that has pretty much eradicated sensuality and normalized pornography–in other words the problem lies in lack of self esteem.

In our society men tend to believe a woman who likes to sleep around must be good in bed; same argument could be said for women regarding “macho” men. In tantra, we recognize that the more a person abuses his or her body, the less that person actually understands the body; much less knows how to use it.

Their sexual activity; if “fulfilling” at all; tends to be more of a mental orgasm (based on detrimental fantasies–preconceived ideas, overfed desires that were there before the encounter took place) rather than a powerful orgasm. As such, after the second or third encounter, their sex becomes mediocre, empty and will often need to resort to more degrading ways to try to entice each other.

Please do not confuse what I just said, with me saying that sexual play is null or not needed, on the contrary when two sexually empowered (mentally mature) people use it, it is amazing. What I am trying to clarify is that anything within sexuality that leaves you feeling empty is detrimental and degrading to your self esteem and to your soul. Tantra, loves to explore and nothing really is off limits, so long as it is based on a loving connection, one that respects one another; not just using the other person to get off.

As a Tantric whenever I see a man or woman who abuse themselves as pieces of meat and nothing else, I am not looking at empowered sexual beings but misguided if not hurt children–and children have no actual power nor knowledge of their sexuality.

If most people were taught to see things this way, they would understand a “macho” man or a “nympho” are not people who will be good sexual partners; the sex will be mediocre at best. The reason these people seek so much sex to get “off” is actually a pretty good indicator, not that they like sex, but that they never experienced mind blowing, gratifying, pleasing, uninhibited and nurturing sex. This makes sense because to be uninhibited, you need to be raw, and you can’t be raw when you hide behind masks of fake personas, fake pleasantries and keep running away from your traumas.

As a Tantric I know, people who understand sexuality at a cognitive, spiritual level and who have experienced gratifying fulfilling mind blowing sex, don’t tend to disrespect their body by allowing everyone into their space. I am not talking about rigid attitudes here but balance. One can be wild and sacred. Being wild isn’t the same as “girls gone wild”–the term applies quite fittingly “girls”–people who have no idea what to do with their bodies and who spend most of their time faking orgasms so the other party may gratify a false ego.

Sensual empowered women are a whole other level because they know how to properly use their body and know what a mind blowing orgasm really is, they don’t need to fake anything–when one has experienced mind blowing sex, there is no desire to settle for an ordinary or at best mediocre orgasm.

What to do: Both psychology and Tantra agree, the traumas need to be worked on.

Where Tantra adds: While I focus on the root of the trauma, I also teach the person about the body–not just its anatomy but what it can do for self, how to embrace it and utilize once the mind is ready for it–in other words the mind first has to mature. Once a person for the first time enjoys a real orgasm; which means he or she were able to totally let go (mind, body, spirit) then that person will feel less need to be sleeping around. He or she will want a lover, not a fuck buddy.

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In our day and age we have confused what maturity is about. We have so many “mature” people; their maturity seems to be based on monetary “success” alone. They tend to have severed the connection with the inner child and adolescent; as such the magick, wander and idealism offered by these stages are often lost.

To be mature is not to severed our connection with our inner child and adolescent but to transition from one stage to another– all the while being connected.

The dysfunctionality we currently are experiencing in our society, produces men and women focused on material success alone; when they have it, they see themselves as “mature” adults; meanwhile their vices are controlling their lives–in other words we have children playing like adults. On the other hand we have those who believe being rigid and acting “serious” is being mature; different thing same result (both running away from facing shadow).

Every year we have younger and younger generations being taught about sex (animal orgasm) and we think we are empowering them, yet when their mind cannot handle the power of an orgasm, all it does is abuse their bodies–in other words, those providing such “education” at such early age, are not doing them a favor but rather abusing the mind and body of children.

Sexuality is something beautiful, sacred and natural, as such we need to stop thinking that “sacred” means rigid. Sexuality should be talked about openly, without taboos; however, the educated mind, the healthy sexual adult, knows when and how to express it in all its simplicity and splendor. To do otherwise, is not only ignorance but damaging.

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By Sofia Falcone

I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges, victories, hopes and learnings, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves!

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