How Much Do You Know About Nyphomania?
Sexual desires are natural. As a matter of fact, a large percentage of things living on this planet are the end result of sexual activities. However, as ubiquitous as the concept of sex is, there is still no universally accepted view of people who have erotic feelings towards many people at a time.
Women are believed to have evolved to a level where they can deliberately control their sexual desires better than their male counterparts. The question, however, is does a never-ending desire for sexual pleasure make a woman a nymphomaniac? You'll find out as you read this article further.
A brief history of Nymphomania
The first descriptions of sexual addiction in women, or nymphomania first surfaced in the 1700s. However, as much as women dealt with nymphomania around the world at that time, it wasn’t until late in the 1800s that Nymphomania as a label was identified as a psychiatric condition and was made to widely apply to women who were overly active sexually.
Just like other mental health conditions, there was a need to identify the symptoms associated with nymphomania. The symptoms put together included lewd advances to men (or even women), sexual insatiability, and most loathed of all identified symptoms, the practice of self-pleasure simply by masturbation.
We can blame patriarchy for this as the male side of the mental diagnosis, tagged satyriasis, was hardly ever applied. The reason being that it was difficult or even impossible to imagine men needing sex to an extent where it was considered too much.
Nevertheless, it appears that the powerful sexuality of women who were nymphomaniacs seemed to have posed a threat to civilization.
What were the treatments for Nymphomania?
In different places around the globe, including in the African continent, the treatment for nymphomania was harsh and very severe. The practice of female circumcision in Africa began as a method of putting a woman's sexual desires in check. Africa, however, wasn't the only place where circumcision was practiced.
In Germany and some other parts of Europe, women who were tagged nymphomaniacs were treated with the use of leeches, forceful bed rests, cold baths and even removal of their ovaries and clitoris.
Exercise has also been considered a medium for keeping hormonal imbalance in check. That may suffice as the reason why Dr. Theophilus Parvin, in 1886, recommended a regular exercise, vaginal application of cocaine, as well as a vegetarian diet for nymphomaniacs.
In 1856, a 24-year-old woman, identified as Mrs. B got a threat that she would be sent to the asylum because she "greatly" enjoyed coitus with the man she married. She allegedly had sex with him up to there or four times per night. The said woman also has lascivious dreams and was excessively excited about sex.
To avoid incarceration, Mrs. B had to give up some of life's pleasures such as brandy, meat, reading novels, and of course sex. Other things included in her treatment were nightly enemas as well as vaginal swabbing with the substance called borax.
Today, borax is no longer used as a treatment for any condition, but as a substance for clearing drains.
Though the treatment methods were unfair, they helped the patient's physician achieve her ultimate goal. Mrs. B’s personal doctor, Horatio Storer, was very excited about the result of her treatment. The young woman could no longer make any excessive sexual demands from the man she married and she had also assumed what was tagged a “chaste” demeanor.
What were/are the troubles with female sexual addiction?
Time is the only thing that runs and carries with it the power of evolution and change. Time has changed what nymphomania was, and has quite caused a turn of the tables when it comes to what is sexually right or wrong.
In 1980, Nymphomania, oral sex, homosexuality, and even masturbation, finally were taken out of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). A change that revolutionized the understanding of pleasures and sex.
This massive change or sexual revolution had made to be normal, behaviors or acts that were once considered to be deviant. Also, women finally could express themselves sexually as they were no longer expected to be chaste, whether single or married.
In today's world, the nymphomaniac is the perfect wife, while the woman who doesn't enjoy sex or is less active is likely to get a psychiatric diagnosis.
The DSM now describes “inhibited female orgasm” and “female sexual arousal disorder” as psychiatric diagnoses for females who are sexually unresponsive. These are the same class of women who would have been considered perfect wives in the eyes of 19th-century husbands, physicians, and society at large.
Men in the 21st century would rather get married to a porn star than getting into a relationship with a woman who isn't interested in sex as much as she should.
Does this mean the term "nymphomania" is still acceptable as a description for women who are excessively sexually active and have uncontrollable sexual desires? the answer is no.
For women who fall into this category in today's world, what is now applied is the diagnosis of hypersexuality, sexual compulsion, or addiction.
The above-mentioned method of categorization isn't restricted to women. This had made the ratio of men who are diagnosed with hypersexuality, sexual compulsion, or addiction, higher than women.
It is still difficult to accurately measure how much sex is too much, and also find a means to recognize when a person's sexual urges or desires are out of control.
Since sexual addiction is now used in replacement of nymphomania, can we say it is an accepted label, or does the society still find it offensive?
Seeing how easy it has become for women to openly claim to be sexual addicts or even go all the way to tag themselves nymphomaniacs, I dare to say that the society has reached a point where the tag no longer matters. As long as the sexual desires are satisfied, the term nymphomania may just come in handy in court just in case a woman gets involved in any sex-related trouble.
In conclusion, for a woman to be accused of having insatiable sexual desires, it has to be that her partner is unable to meet up to her sexual demands. Same woman may find a different partner who has a bigger sex appetite, and her diagnosis of nymphomania becomes faulty.
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