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Hypersexuality is a clinical diagnosis used by mental healthcare professionals to describe extremely frequent or suddenly increased libido. The terms nymphomania and satyriasis were once used to describe the condition, in women and men respectively, but are no longer in general medical use, although the former is still used colloquially.

Hypersexuality may be a primary condition, or the symptom of another medical disease or condition, for example Klüver-Bucy syndrome or bipolar disorder. Hypersexuality may also present as a side effect of medication such as drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease, or through the administering of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen during hormone therapy. Clinicians have yet to reach a consensus over how best to describe hypersexuality as a primary condition, or to determine the appropriateness of describing such behaviors and impulses as a separate pathology.

Hypersexual behaviours are viewed variously by clinicians and therapists as an addiction, a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or “OCD-spectrum disorder”, or a disorder of impulsivity. A number of authors do not acknowledge such a pathology and instead assert that the condition merely reflects a cultural dislike of exceptional sexual behavior.

Consistent with there not being any consensus over what causes hypersexuality, authors have used many different labels to refer to it, sometimes interchangeably, but often depending on which theory they favor or which specific behavior they were studying. Contemporary names include compulsive masturbation, compulsive sexual behavior, cybersex addiction, erotomania, “excessive sexual drive”, hyperphilia, hypersexuality, hypersexual disorder, problematic hypersexuality, sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity, sexual dependency, sexual impulsivity, “out of control sexual behavior”, and paraphilia-related disorder.