Out of Control Sexual Behavior in Men
November 5, 2023
Have you ever wondered what is considered normal when it comes to sex drive? Truth is, it is not a black-and-white issue as different cultures have differing norms regarding sexuality for both men and women. What's considered normal can vary from both person to person and culture to culture. So, there is no best answer but a men's health specialist can help.
While some acts may be deemed acceptable or not acceptable by different individuals, the concept of what is considered normal sexual desire can differ greatly depending on personal opinions and social influences. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that many people’s sex lives are actually quite different from what was commonly believed to be normal.
When it comes to a man’s sexual desire, feeling different can cause a lot of anxiety, shame, and fear. And just like facing any health issue, it's only natural to want to label it and find a quick solution. However, in the medical field, this would be similar to visiting your doctor with alarming symptoms and wanting an instant diagnosis and treatment regimen.
Personal and social sexual norms....
Different people have differing social norms regarding sexuality, and what is considered normal can vary greatly. In other words, it is a spectrum of opinions on sexual desires that are acceptable and do not involve sexual perversions. In fact, in the western world, there are some who have challenged traditional definitions of normality. Some believe any consensual sexual practice (that is not considered perverted) to be normal and tend to view most levels of sexual desire to be more accepted or less accepted.
Hyperactive versus Hypoactive Sex Drive
Currently, it's common in medical literature to use the term out-of-control sexual behavior (OCSB) to describe problems associated with compulsive sexual desire - although it's important to note that this is only general term and not a clinical diagnosis or classification.* But, it is used to discuss a man’s lack of control over his sexual urges, desires, thoughts, or behaviors.
Both overactive and underactive sexual desire can create an internal struggle due to conflicts with learned values or a commitment made to maintaining an intimate relationship. Discussed below are some common complaints:
- Compulsive sexual behavior – When a man’s libido seems unusually active or a sudden increase in sexual desire results in compulsive thoughts, it is often referred to as hypersexuality.
- Sexual addiction – Sexual addiction can affect both men and women where physical, psychological and emotional causes result in intense focus on sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors.
- Intrusive thoughts – Men seldom mind a passing thought about sex. In fact, most men have daytime erections. But, unwanted sexual thoughts, fears about one's sexual orientation, or immoral imagery can have numerous causes.
- Loss of sex desire – When you are not interested in sex and it bothers you, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is another common sexual problem with many culprits, such as low libido or hormonal imbalances.
It's important for anyone concerned about their sexual behavior to understand that none of the terms (discussed above) represent categorized clinical disorders. The term sexual addiction is commonly used when discussing OCSB, but the American Psychiatric Association is proposing a diagnosis of hypersexuality to better address the multiple symptoms, causes, and consequences of this problem.
*NOTE: Experts encourage individuals who have concerns about regulating their sexual behavior to avoid rushing to label themselves with terms like sexual addiction or hypersexuality, as the undiagnosed cause can be as simple as a conflict with one or more medications.
Taking Care of Your Sexual Health
The majority of individuals who experience out of control sexual behavior are men. Studies have shown that male infants have a slower achievement of emotional stability and are more invested in the material world with less inner processing. Risk factors include disruptions in sexual development, such as early puberty, body image issues, lack of sex education, or the discovery of unconventional sexual preferences that cause shame or stigma.
While sex addiction is not officially recognized as a diagnosable condition, research suggests that excessive sexual behavior can develop in a similar way to chemical addiction. Men with hypersexuality often feel a compulsive need for stimulation. Furthermore, untreated mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, drug addiction, and alcoholism can play a major role. Beware, any self-diagnosis could be influenced by your cultural or religious beliefs.
As is the case with any male sexual issue, the first step is to schedule an appointment with a men’s sexual health physician to rule out many of the potential causes. After a private discussion of your concerns and a thorough men’s sexual health exam, a doctor can usually identify the culprits and recommend the most appropriate treatments and/or therapies. Also, any identified triggers should be avoided and you should consider engaging in physical exercises, relaxation techniques and improving lifestyle habits that have been proven to help manage one's libido.
Dr. Earl Eye and his Jacksonville team work one-on-one with patients to enhance their sex life by providing accurate diagnosis and treatments for sexual issues. Every man is unique and his overall sexual performance should be considered based on symptom severity and burden to the individual, including recommendations for conservative, pharmacological, therapeutic and surgical treatment options. To schedule your appointment today, call 904-500-5500.