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Let's Get Real About Hypersexuality

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Let’s get real and explicit for a minute. Sex is one of my favorite things. There is nothing wrong with having consensual sex with whom you want, when you want. I believe everyone should be able to embrace their sexuality and enjoy sex as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Most of us love it, we crave it and it’s a natural part of life.

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But imagine thinking of it constantly, feeling like nothing else matters. Having this electricity that crackles under your skin, longing for it. A burning desire, an itch that can’t be scratched. A feeling of never getting enough and never being satisfied — because it’s not about orgasm. It’s not about falling in love or dating or finding someone to spend time with. It’s chasing a high like someone struggling with addiction. Welcome to the burden of hypersexuality.

It carries a lot of controversy in the world of psychiatry, but is generally seen as a period accompanying mania when a person’s sex drive is heightened. While it’s argued how you measure a person’s sex drive and what is classified as “too high,” it is somewhat agreed upon that this is a state of increased libido. But for someone who has a high sex drive normally, I can say that it’s a completely different feeling. It’s not even really about sex — or at least the climax of it. Definitely not about connection. The best way I have to describe it, is an inane craving to be touched and validated physically. Wanting to feel sexual and powerful. Wanted. Feeling like I have control of my actions when everything else internally is out of my control.

It ties in far too neatly with the mania symptoms you might experience. Poor decision making, lowered inhibitions, delusions of grandeur. This feeling like I am larger than life. No regard for consequences, and chasing a high you don’t feel you will come down from. You crave something dangerous, risky, sexy and exciting — almost like you’re living in a movie.

Now I am sure those who have been on the receiving end of one of these moods think it’s harmless fun. And don’t get me wrong — this isn’t some deep and meaningful feminist rant about how I have been taken advantage of. I enjoy most of these encounters and there isn’t anything sinister about this piece. But I also would be lying if I said something I sought out to feel validated and in control didn’t sometimes leave me feeling devalued and degraded. Not everyone has our best interests at heart nor the respect for you or potentially someone else in their life that they should. Like anything in life, it has consequences.

Now this isn’t all the time and doesn’t always result in a physical encounter either. It can be a flirtatious conversation with someone, sending a photo to an ex, simply impact the way you dress that day or make you jump onto a dating site hastily, or even question if maybe being a stripper would have been a much more fun career choice. It can be a simple thought that turns into a consuming obsession about being validated in that way. A feeling that keeps you awake at night until you figure out how to get that approval.

Now I’m not saying when I feel this way all I do is have sex and when I’m not I don’t like to be touched. I just finally have the courage to openly delve into how I really feel after years of experiencing these hypersexual states for those who feel ashamed or are questioning theirs. Whatever it may be, the point is not that it could lead to a questionable or casual decision — we are all adults here. The point isn’t about the sexual way in which it manifests. The point is that on some level it really makes you question your worth and the control you have of your life. And that is the hardest part to grasp. Because physically or emotionally, there is no one thing your value depends on. It’s a collection of everything you are and even the decisions you make. Good or questionable.

Getty image via Prostock-Studio

Originally published: December 10, 2020
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