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Addicted to Love? Exploring Hypersexuality

Image depicting two lovers in black & white.

Hypersexual or just a horny bastard?

I know I'm not alone when I say that masturbation is one of my favorite hobbies. I can do it any time of day and almost anywhere. After flicking my bean feverishly for a number of years I've gotten pretty good at making myself cum in record time and can even now even bring myself to have multiple orgasms. Now don't get me wrong, as much as I love masturbating I'd be a liar if I said that there weren't a couple of times in my self pleasure journey where I wondered "Am I addicted to this? I've cum 3 times today. I should probably stop...". But unfortunately for me, orgasms are one of the strongest drugs around and the more you have, the more you want.

Today with technology making face-to-face interactions less common and with the recent pandemic, camsites & porn tubes have seen a massive surge in traffic from both users and models. People have also been having far more sex during this pandemic simply do to the convenience of being at home and having the free time. For many, this brings their often suppressed sexual appetites and fantasies to the forefront of their minds. With the immediate satisfaction that orgasms bring it is not surprising that many use sex as a coping mechanism for a multitude of stressors. But at what point does this coping mechanism become a vice? Or better yet, an addiction? At which point do your cross over from "just super horny" to being defined as "hypersexual"?


What is Hypersexual Disorder (HD)?

* Hypersexual disorder (HD) is not formally listed as a diagnosis within the DSM-V; however the proposed diagnostic criteria includes the following:

A.  Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior in association with four or more of the following five criteria:

1.  Excessive time is consumed by sexual fantasies and urges, and by planning for and engaging in sexual behavior.

2.  Repetitively engaging in these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior in response to dysphoric mood states (e.g., anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability).

3.  Repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior in response to stressful life events.

4.  Repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control or significantly reduce these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior.

5.  Repetitively engaging in sexual behavior while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others.

B.  There is clinically significant personal distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning associated with the frequency and intensity of these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior.

C.  These sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior are not due to direct physiological effects of exogenous substances (e.g., drugs of abuse or medications), a co-occurring medical condition, or to manic episodes.

D.  The person is at least 18 years of age.

What Behaviors Are Associated with HD?

  • Masturbation

  • Viewing of pornography

  • Cybersex

  • Telephone sex

  • Adult entertainment venues/clubs

  • Soliciting sex through escort/prostitution services


These behaviors are all components of healthy sexual expression and can be incorporated into healthy sexual relationships. The listed behaviors become an indication of HD if the frequency of said behaviors begins to interfere with social, occupational, and other important aspects of life. For example, if you choose to skip work to watch porn all day or neglect your financial responsibilities due to sex related expenses this could be cause for concern. On their own these behaviors are not an issue. However, like most addictions they are not considered to be so until the behavior in question begins to negatively affect one's life in multiple areas.

Other Issues?

*HD has been found to be comorbid with a number of disorders including but not limited to:

  • Mood Disorders (Major Depressive Disorder, etc.)

  • Anxiety Disorders (Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, etc.)

  • Psychoactive Substance-Abuse Disorders (Stimulant addiction, Opiate addiction, etc).

  • ADHD


Need Help?

* If you believe that you may be struggling with or exhibiting symptoms of HD or other sex related disorders help is available. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsleors & Therapists (AASECT) provides a directory of licensed sex therapists, educators, and counselors in your state.

Locate a Professional | AASECT:: American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists

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