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Perks
03-16-2010, 02:17 AM
Edit: I'm specifically interested in partners of hypersexual women, how they cope and the difficulties they have in reconciling the shallow social perception of how triumphant and smirky they should be at such sexual access with the reality of the situation. I'm not really delving into the psychology and diagnosis of hypersexuality.

I need to know about nymphos. Simmer down, though. This isn't an erotic novel. It likely won't even be sexually graphic. I intend to tread lightly and respectfully.

I'm outlining a new novel project and one of the story's main characters is a man whose wife is clinically hypersexual. His difficulties with her nature are pivotal to placing him within the plot.

I need some anecdotal information on female hypersexuality. (I didn't realize the term 'nymphomaniac' is no longer an entry in the DSM IV.) And I don't mean women who simply have strong sex drives. Specifically, I want to understand where the male fantasy of having a "nympho" crashes into real life practicality and issues of sexual satisfaction and the man's self-image.

Obviously, this could be a pretty sensitive subject, so if you're willing to go there, rest assured I will keep all confidences.

And please, keep it decent in here. I don't want my thread locked, you clowns! :)

padnar
03-17-2010, 09:08 AM
I just read in a magazine , who wanted sex with many men , though
she had a good position.
padma

Medievalist
03-17-2010, 09:15 AM
I need to know about nymphos. Simmer down, though. This isn't an erotic novel. It likely won't even be sexually graphic. I intend to tread lightly and respectfully.

The proposed revision to the DSM is a good start; note that multiple symptoms need to be present.

http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=415

Wayne K
03-17-2010, 09:19 AM
The real hyper sexual woman is annoying, to tell you the truth. It's impossible to keep up with, and I'm open minded, but her choice of partners was...Everyone.

I know guys think this would be great, but it was terrible. I feel bad for her now because I was young then, and I didn't understand that it was a mental illness

Perks
03-17-2010, 06:32 PM
The proposed revision to the DSM is a good start; note that multiple symptoms need to be present.

http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=415That's very interesting and in line with what I was thinking.

Perks
03-17-2010, 06:46 PM
The real hyper sexual woman is annoying, to tell you the truth. It's impossible to keep up with, and I'm open minded, but her choice of partners was...Everyone.

I know guys think this would be great, but it was terrible. I feel bad for her now because I was young then, and I didn't understand that it was a mental illness

This is the sort of thing I'm most particularly interested in. The truth of how awesome it really is (or isn't) to have a partner who can't get enough.

PGK
03-17-2010, 07:23 PM
It really isn't awesome at all. I have some personal experience with it in the past, but I also currently know of a marriage that is dissolving because of it.

In my past the woman wasn't a nympho in the sense that she wanted sex with anyone or everyone but she wanted sex with me all the time. Yeah, it's great as a fantasy but the reality is that when you really are too busy, or not feeling well, or in very public place, or there's children in the next room, or whatever the reason may be she got very aggravated and picked a fight till either I gave in or we parted for a while in tears. She used sex as a way of reaffirming her own self-worth and saying "no" to her was the equivalent of saying "you're ugly and I don't want to be with you." Even on days that started with sex and then had a round two a few hours later she would come looking for more and I just couldn't do it, but the result was the same. Then there's also the problem that when something is flaunted in your face all the time and with such little regard it tends to lose it's appeal. That same pair of breasts starts looking as sexual as her hands or ears (unless you have a thing for those body parts in which case imagine something else). By the end of it I was in a state of constant anxiety and worry because there were so many things I couldn't say or do without her taking it as a sexual innuendo. I couldn't comment on her new haircut, or dress, or eyes, or give her any compliment without her turning it to a chance for sex. I couldn't watch any show with her that contained any sexual matter (even if it was discrete or just a loving couple kissing each other) because that would fire her up again. Sometimes I couldn't even look at her for fear that she'd want sex again. Once I was sick with a high fever and laying in bed sweating. I made a quick comment about how sweaty I was and she took it as a hint for sex. The evening ended with her in tears because she was convinced that I started throwing up to avoid having sex with her.

The marriage that is dissolving is pretty similar (though I don't have those type of details). From what I understand the sex is a routine he must adhere to every morning before work, a quicky during lunch break, and a goodnight lay before bed. From what the husband has shared with me the problem is more about his fear that she'll cheat on him if he doesn't put out like clockwork (apparently she threatens him with this all the time). Now that he's finally reached the point where he sees her like a piece of meat with little emotion behind it he doesn't care as much if she cheats on him so he's planning to file for divorce soon. Fortunately the kids are all grown up and out of the house.

Hope this helps.

Perks
03-17-2010, 07:27 PM
It really isn't awesome at all.Just for the record, I was being sarcastic. Hypersexuality, as a concept, is one of those things that seems to have fallen afield of the common sense aversion to "too much of a good thing" for people who don't know any better.

And this is absolutely exactly what I was hoping to learn about. Thank you so much for your candor.

GeorgeK
03-17-2010, 07:30 PM
In my vast experience of helping to take care of one nymphomaniac in my entire medical career (this was when it was the DSM3 and I was doing a psych rotation) I remember when doing the initial history and physical she insisted (as in going out of her way to insist) that she was not promiscuous. She only had sex with men to whom she was engaged.

I asked, "How many times have you been engaged?"

She answered after counting on her fingers, "37".

Perks
03-17-2010, 07:39 PM
In my vast experience of helping to take care of one nymphomaniac in my entire medical career (this was when it was the DSM3 and I was doing a psych rotation) I remember when doing the initial history and physical she insisted (as in going out of her way to insist) that she was not promiscuous. She only had sex with men to whom she was engaged.

I asked, "How many times have you been engaged?"

She answered after counting on her fingers, "37".Wow. That's a lotta diamonds and diaphragms.

Captcha
03-17-2010, 07:54 PM
I'm a little leery about this, if you're using it as a diagnosis in and of itself. I did a bit of reading, out of curiosity, and it seems like this is generally a symptom of a larger illness, often bipolar disorder? And it sounds like the woman in PGK's experience was also suffering from something larger, although I wouldn't presume to diagnose her - but it wasn't that she had an insatiable desire for sex, so much as she was incredibly insecure about herself and/or their relationship. Doesn't make her behaviour any less damaging, obviously, but again it seems like the hypersexuality is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself.

One of the reasons I'm leery is because I think there is a huge potential for double standards here. For example, I totally agree that the woman in Perks' example is unusual for having been engaged 37 times, but depending on her age and social environment, I don't think there is anything all that odd about having slept with 37 different men. And there is something unhealthy, I think, about her feeling the need, for whatever reason, to go out of her way to defend her actions. Double standard, society feeling ownership of female sexuality, medical 'diagnoses' being used to control female behaviour...all sorts of feminist alarm bells going off for me with this one...

Medievalist
03-17-2010, 09:34 PM
There's a reason that the DSM says multiple symptoms must be present.

Perks
03-17-2010, 09:37 PM
I'm a little leery about this, if you're using it as a diagnosis in and of itself. I did a bit of reading, out of curiosity, and it seems like this is generally a symptom of a larger illness...

The character I'm writing is actually the husband. The woman's diagnosis, although I'll be current on the research pertaining to it, will likely not feature prominently in the story, simply because she's not physically in the story. And I agree, it would probably be very rare for hypersexuality to be a stand alone diagnosis. It definitely seems more like a symptom or part of a syndrome. I will definitely tread carefully and I'm not passing judgment on any woman's tally of sexual partners.

For my purposes in understanding this character I'm writing, though, I am interested in a male partner's feelings and reactions to this sort of scenario. The dread and discomfort in PGK's reporting is in direct opposition to the shallow fantasy of how terrific it would be to have a woman who's "good to go" all the time.

emilycross
03-17-2010, 09:49 PM
Perks, I have anecdotal information from sharing a house with a girl that had to be a nympho. I agree with Kate_sherwood though that in this case it was part of something bigger. I don't think I can give you infor about the her BF's pov, as we weren't allowed to talk to him.

Feel free to pm if you want.

PGK
03-17-2010, 10:11 PM
I'm a little leery about this, if you're using it as a diagnosis in and of itself. I did a bit of reading, out of curiosity, and it seems like this is generally a symptom of a larger illness, often bipolar disorder? And it sounds like the woman in PGK's experience was also suffering from something larger, although I wouldn't presume to diagnose her - but it wasn't that she had an insatiable desire for sex, so much as she was incredibly insecure about herself and/or their relationship. Doesn't make her behaviour any less damaging, obviously, but again it seems like the hypersexuality is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself.

One of the reasons I'm leery is because I think there is a huge potential for double standards here. For example, I totally agree that the woman in Perks' example is unusual for having been engaged 37 times, but depending on her age and social environment, I don't think there is anything all that odd about having slept with 37 different men. And there is something unhealthy, I think, about her feeling the need, for whatever reason, to go out of her way to defend her actions. Double standard, society feeling ownership of female sexuality, medical 'diagnoses' being used to control female behaviour...all sorts of feminist alarm bells going off for me with this one...

In my opinion there is a clear distinction between enjoying sex and being clinically troubled. Sure having 37 partners is nothing to indicate a "problem" (I once met a girl who told me she was competing with her friend to see who could sleep with the most guys in one year, I was number 57 for her).

I think the distinction making a woman a "nympho" or "hypersexual" versus simply enjoying sex more openly than her peers is if the behavior causes problems in her life. My brother for example likes to gamble. He's been accused of being a compulsive gambler in the past, but since he's not spending beyond his limits, he knows when to quit (and he does when needed), and it's not interfering with his life in any negative way, he's fine.

I think most men want their "chosen" female partner to be pure and clean (as though sex defiles them for some reason) and that's probably where the "S" word starts coming into play. Unfortunately that bleeds into daily life for women and causes them to start labeling themselves (or each other) equally.
I would apply the "S" word (or possibly nympho, or hypersexual) to Tiger Woods considering what I've heard about him lately. I wouldn't do it because of the number of partners he's had, but because of the toll that took on his marriage, career, and life in general.

For me bells start ringing when we feel the need to justify the sexual appetite as a symptom of something larger. Sure, in my case it probably was, but I can also see an addiction to sex as being the main problem instead of a symptom to another problem.

Then again, what do I know? I only spent two years majoring in psych before I moved on and that hardly qualifies me as being able to form any sort of scientific opinion or diagnosis.

Perks
03-17-2010, 10:19 PM
I just read a quick article about a study out of Vanderbilt University on psychopaths (http://wellness.blogs.time.com/2010/03/15/driven-toward-reward-without-regard-for-consequence/?hpt=T2). It seems perhaps that for the psychopath, the dopamine and corollary reward systems in the brain does something for them that it might not for "normal" people. Enough to vault them past the fear and empathy that inhibits what the rest of us do.

I wonder (not that it would be pertinent to this particular story I'm writing) if, for some people, sex does more than the standard thing for their chemistry? That perhaps what we all feel in satisfaction and neurochemical glow from sex is somehow hardwired for more urgency and more importance in some cases.

It's terribly interesting, but I also recoil from the idea that bad-to-horrible behavior will ever be excused because "they just can't help it".

dolores haze
03-18-2010, 02:27 AM
I've worked with people with various diagnoses for over twenty years and have only come across hypersexuality three times. Two were women with severe intellectual disabilities who had spent most of their lives in institutions and were (or had become) chronic masturbators. And I mean 'chronic' in the sense that they would continue to masturbate even after causing injury to their own genitalia. They had to live in specially designed clothing that restricted access to their own bodies.

The other women was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. She would stop taking her meds, and when she was at the top of her cycle, she would seek out sex with whomever she could find. She disappeared one day. I still don't know if she just moved on or if something terrible happened to her.

Sad, sad, sad.

Captcha
03-18-2010, 02:29 AM
For me bells start ringing when we feel the need to justify the sexual appetite as a symptom of something larger. Sure, in my case it probably was, but I can also see an addiction to sex as being the main problem instead of a symptom to another problem.

I'm the opposite of this - my alarm goes off when people think they can understand or judge ANY behaviour in a vacuum, without considering the rest of the personality involved, the society in which the behaviour takes place, etc.

I'm not saying that all behaviour should be given a pop-psych label and treated as an illness rather than a mistake, but given that we're already USING a psychological term to define the behaviour, I think we should look at the rest of the psychology involved.

Medievalist
03-18-2010, 02:43 AM
Perks

Go to the library and borrow everything written by Oliver Sacks.

He doesn't write a lot about hypersexuality, but he does write about neurological issues from a human perspective (he's a neurologist).

dolores haze
03-18-2010, 02:45 AM
Adore Sacks. Brilliant writer.

Linda Adams
03-18-2010, 02:52 AM
Maybe you could try looking at it as an addiction. Many, many years ago I did know someone who was addicted to sex the same way someone would be addicted to alcohol. She would have sex as a way of avoiding dealing with how she felt. She knew she shouldn't be doing it--she was having health problems because of it, and this was before AIDS. But every time a problem came up, she turned to her version of the bottle.

Perks
03-18-2010, 04:53 AM
I'll definitely look into Sacks. I'm sure I would find that fascinating.

I'm not going to be writing the character of the hypersexual woman, only her husband.

This whole idea for the character was sparked by a conversation with a woman who told me that her sex drive was causing problems in her marriage. Three times a day isn't enough for her. She told me that her husband has asked for them to go to counseling. I also know her husband, so I can only observe and interpret a little, but it's not like I can ask him about it.

My character is not this man, but his predicament gave me the idea.

ajkjd01
03-18-2010, 06:53 AM
Have you tried contacting the Kinsey Institute? They might have information, at least on how prevalent this is, or what it might actually entail as self-reported by someone with such a diagnosis.

Gretad08
03-19-2010, 09:43 PM
I don't know if this will give you a different angle, but recently I saw a show (one of the major cable networks TLC, A and E, Discovery but not sure which one) about people who are almost constantly aroused.

It's an actual physical condition as opposed to a psychological one that creates the need for relief either through sex or masturbation all the time. It was pretty sad really. They had a woman who remained anonymous for the show, but spoke about her condition and she sounded miserable.

Paul
03-19-2010, 09:59 PM
I'm not trying to be funny here (honest) but can men be nymphos? Cos I have this friend see...



Course with us it's 'sex addiction' - always with the addiction

AKA DOM syndrome

Perks
03-19-2010, 10:01 PM
Hypersexuality comes in both flavors, but I think there's a higher threshold before a man would be concerned that he was a clinical case, because many men seem to claim arousal as a default state.

Paul
03-19-2010, 10:08 PM
Hypersexuality comes in both flavors, but I think there's a higher threshold before a man would be concerned that he was a clinical case, because many men seem to claim arousal as a default state.

Claim?
What are you implying?

:D ;)

Perks
03-19-2010, 10:11 PM
Lol! I ain't claiming nothing. It's just such an odd concept to me. I can't imagine how anything except pregnancies would ever get done.

Paul
03-19-2010, 10:14 PM
Ahem, em, have you ever heard of Catholicism?

Medievalist
03-19-2010, 10:16 PM
I'm not going to be writing the character of the hypersexual woman, only her husband.
.

If your library has access to JStor or Muse you can search for medical and psychological studies. The Journal of Human Sexuality is a good place to start.