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Monday, September 21, 2020

Nymphomania – A Medical Condition or Lifestyle?

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Nymphomania is thought to be a medical condition. Is that really what it is, could it be a stereotype or simply a lifestyle?

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All living things were created to reproduce their kind through different mediums. For humans, natural reproduction happens through the medium of sexual intercourse but there’s more to sex than procreation.

At the dawn of puberty, our hormones begin to reveal our ability to have sexual desires and even push us further to have the urge to satisfy these desires.

People often talk about self-control as a means of curbing the urge to satisfy our sexual desires as young adults, but not every human is capable of controlling their sexual urges in this manner.

They could try but the urge just won’t go away so they feed it and realize the experience is beautiful. One of three things can happen to people at this point; get addicted to sex, have sex when you get the chance, or control the urge still.

Welcome to sexual addiction as understood in the Victorian era. The concept of nymphomania can be traced far back to the Victorian era where nymphomania was treated as a medical condition. Women in this category were believed to suffer from over stimulation of the genitals or loss of control of their minds over their bodies.

Characters that led to the branding of a woman as a nymphomaniac in that time included masturbation, reading novels, having a child out of wedlock, eating chocolate, having mood swings and craving sex from any man in sight.

Because history tells us about the existence of gender oppression during the Victorian era, it won’t be far from the truth if we assume that these women had no medical condition in the real sense of it but were simply victims of oppression.

The Victorian era at least had the decency to look out for the above character traits in a woman before tagging her a nymphomaniac and going further to treat her case as a medical condition. Some other societies took other terrifying measures to prevent the existence of any of those characters in their women.

Some decades ago in some African culture, young girls were not given the chance to experience, know, explore or even enjoy the satisfaction of sexual desire. This way, they prevented the existence of women with raging sexual urges in their society through genital mutilation.

The practice of female genital mutilation in African cultures was majorly a means to curb sexual activity in females.

With the knowledge of the fact that the clitoris is a source of erotic stimulation, it became the target of female genital mutilators who were people with no medical background or any knowledge of the human anatomy. Women who are victims of genital mutilation may never experience an orgasm in their life time.

Till date, nothing has been pinned down to be the exact cause of nymphomania, but it is believed that factors like life experiences, childhood sexual abuse, chemical imbalance in the brain, and heredity have been traced to be possible causes.

The Modern Idea of Nymphomania

In contemporary times, the idea of Nymphomania has been embraced with open arms and young men and women who love to have sex do not see it as much of a big deal.

The average sexually active guy between the ages of 18-30 would not mind having a young lady who is always ready to offer as much sex as possible to him without any form of emotional commitment.

Women with “over the hook” sexual desires are more open about it these days and do different things to satisfy their desires. However, the characters that classifies a sexually active woman as a Nymphomaniac has increased with the passage of time.

New character traits include; addiction to pornography, masturbation, having cybersex, phone sex, recurrent sexual fantasies, having random sex with consenting adults or paying for sex, attending orgys and frequent visits to strip clubs.

These characters listed above can be seen as pointers to sexual addiction. And like other addictions, a victim can become uncomfortable and socially dysfunctional if the urge is not satisfied. Also, nymphomaniacs do not have sex for pleasure sake only.

They see sex as a way to unwind, deal with stress and pass time or get their minds off their worries. Some schools of thought claim that before a sexual behavior can be classified as an addiction its symptoms have to be monitored for a minimum of 6 months.

The symptoms include persistent sexual urges, Sexual fantasies, and behaviors like masturbation with plenty of time spent on each of these activities. But still, the idea that there is such a thing as sexual addiction raises serious arguments.

Nymphomaniacs mostly play a dominant role in their relationships with their preys. This explains why they find it easy to move from one sexual partner to another in a short space of time without remorse.

In cases where a Nymphomaniac gets married, they either resort to using sex toys or masturbating to avoid cheating on their partners who might not be available to satisfy their sexual desires at all times, or they go all out and cheat.

This is why most Nymphomaniacs are either single or divorced. Ironically, some religions see Nymphomania as a celebration of marriage and a plausible route to redemption.

Other problems Nymphomaniacs tend to face include: high risks of contacting sexually transmitted diseases, incurring debts, depression, inability to have and maintain a stable relationship because they get dumped easily, loss of reputation, and development of a sense of self-pity.

Nymphomania as a pathology has been rejected by the medical community thus you cannot be diagnosed with it. You can however be diagnosed with a health problem if you do not enjoy sexual relations or even have sexual urges.

Nymphomaniacs mostly seek a constant partner but may not want the emotional aspect of a relationship because the sex is all that matters to them. Thus, having friends with benefits is more important to them not a lover who wants more from a relationship.

Nymphomania could easily pass as a stereotype because people think all sexually hyperactive females are public sex objects when in fact some of them just happen to sleep with a particular person a lot.

As the cause of this sexual lifestyle cannot be hooked on just one particular thing, so also is the cure. There is no way to prove that a cure is needed for sexual hyperactivity as its status as a problem has become relative to individual and religious beliefs as well as subject to what is seen as an acceptable behavior in different societies.

Furthermore, it is an obvious fact that everyone has a right to their sexuality and should not be subjected to the struggle of living their lives based on someone else’s idea of morality, as long as their sexuality does not pose any form of threat to anyone else’s mental or physical well-being.

Emmanuella Oluwafemi
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.
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