What Is Satiromania?

Satiromania is the popular term for compulsive sexual behavior disorder in men. Let's see what is known about it.
What Is Satiromania?

Last update: 01 June, 2023

Satiromania is defined as ‘uncontrolled sexual behavior by men’. It’s the opposite concept to nymphomania, and also has its origin in Ancient Greece. Satyrs, in mythology, are semi-savage creatures that roam the forest; they’re lovers of wine and pleasure. As with the concept of nymphomania, it’s only used in informal concepts.

Indeed, in medical literature, it’s customary to avoid these types of terms because they are considered inappropriate. In this sense, compulsive sexual behavior is preferred and includes both men and women. We’ll now show you everything you need to know about it: characteristics, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Characteristics of satiromania

Satiromania is compulsive sex.
Sometimes satiromania symptoms aren’t relieved, even with frequent sexual intercourse. This is often a source of anxiety and frustration.

Satiromania is characterized by uncontrolled sexual behavior. That is, by an insatiable desire to have intercourse. It isn’t related to paraphilias, since there doesn’t have to be a deviation from normal behavior for it to be considered as such.

This term isn’t used in the medical literature as the preferred term is compulsive sexual behavior disorder. This is included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It’s also sometimes known as hypersexuality and, less commonly, sex addiction.

The use of the latter term isn’t without its controversy. Although some researchers highlight its similarity to other addictions, in reality the preference is to use the name stated in the ICD. Be that as it may, satiromania is understood to mean, as we have already said, a man’s uncontrollable desire to have sex. It is considered a sexual disorder.

Sexual behavior of this type should be treated by a specialist. Evidence suggests that sufferers risk contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. Given the intensity involved in consummating the act, the protocol for practicing safe sex is often omitted.

Symptoms of satiromania

Not all episodes of satiromania are the same. Also, keep in mind that not all men who experience a high libido are classified with this disorder. Age, hormonal changes, and other factors cause libido to fluctuate throughout life, and there are times of varying intensity without it ever being related to satiromania.

Once this is clarified, the main symptom of the disorder is that sexual behavior manifests itself repeatedly. As the researchers point out, there’s an inability to regulate this sexual behavior, which results in an uncontrollable desire to satisfy the sexual act. Let’s look at some of the warning signs:

  • Repetitive and intense sexual urges that are only satisfied by having sex (masturbation can sometimes relieve the urge, but not in the same way as intercourse).
  • Neglect of health, work, and social relationships by seeking ways to satisfy the behavior.
  • Unsuccessful efforts to reduce the frequency with which a person has sex (despite adverse consequences).
  • Anguish, anxiety, and tension due to not being able to satisfy the behavior through sex.

It’s very important to realize that all these four criteria need to be present in order to confirm that you suffer from satiromania. The sexual impulse by itself isn’t enough, it must be accompanied by a deterioration in various areas of the person’s life, as well as anguish and sexual anxiety when not being able to carry out the act, and repetitive ineffective efforts at stopping the behavior.

Diagnosis of satiromania

Given the ease with which satiromania can be misdiagnosed, a professional should always carry out the process. The sum of all the above criteria in the context of the patient will help the specialist guide the diagnosis of the disorder.

Some studies have proposed a scale to facilitate the identification of this type of sexual behavior. It’s based on a scoring model based on the criteria of control, prominence, relapse, dissatisfaction, and negative consequences. If the patient obtains a certain score during the test, it’s an indication that the man can be diagnosed with the disorder.

It’s also important to remember at this point that satiromania can appear as a consequence of a significant disorder. For example, there’s evidence that links bipolar disorder to behavioral addictions, among which is compulsive sexual behavior. In turn, researchers point out that this behavior may be a manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This is why a professional must carry out the diagnosis of satiromania. It could be a sign of a major disorder or it may only be a temporary stage of higher libido with no further consequences in the person’s life.

Treatment options

Satiromania has drug treatment.
In conjunction with psychotherapy, the use of some medication has shown some usefulness in treating the symptoms of satiromania. This is the case with antidepressants.

Satiromania treatment alternatives vary according to each case. No two are alike, and the intensity of episodes in patients is never the same. To contrast impulses, studies and research support the use of a pharmacological treatment combined with a therapeutic approach.

The pharmacological options used are naltrexone and SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), although these aren’t approved in all countries.

Depending on the context, mood stabilizers such as valproic acid and lithium can also be used. Different antidepressant and antiandrogen medications can also be used.

Regarding the therapeutic approach, the process of facilitation of the 12 steps, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy is usually used. The choice is made by the specialist according to the characteristics of the case and the disposition of the patient. Family therapy and couples therapy can also be helpful as a complement.

In short, this sexual behavior disorder is a real problem that can affect the quality of life of those who suffer from it. There are several options when treating it, which can be approached in different ways.

If you think you have this disorder, don’t hesitate to seek medical assistance. At all costs, avoid opting for self-medication or behavior control to stop the impulses.

  • Blycker GR, Potenza MN. A mindful model of sexual health: A review and implications of the model for the treatment of individuals with compulsive sexual behavior disorder. J Behav Addict. 2018 Dec 1;7(4):917-929.
  • Bőthe B, Potenza MN, Griffiths MD, Kraus SW, Klein V, Fuss J, Demetrovics Z. The development of the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder Scale (CSBD-19): An ICD-11 based screening measure across three languages. J Behav Addict. 2020 Jun 16;9(2):247-258.
  • Dutta E, Naphade NM. Hypersexuality – a cause of concern: A case report highlighting the need for psychodermatology liaison. Indian J Sex Transm Dis AIDS. 2017 Jul-Dec;38(2):180-182.
  • Efrati, Y., & Gola, M. Treating compulsive sexual behavior. Current Sexual Health Reports. 2018; 10(2): 57-64.
  • Edery, R. A. Is Sex Addiction an Addiction?. 2020.
  • Fong TW. Understanding and managing compulsive sexual behaviors. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2006 Nov;3(11):51-8.
  • Fuss J, Briken P, Stein DJ, Lochner C. Compulsive sexual behavior disorder in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Prevalence and associated comorbidity. J Behav Addict. 2019 Jun 1;8(2):242-248.
  • Varo C, Murru A, Salagre E, Jiménez E, Solé B, Montejo L, Carvalho AF, Stubbs B, Grande I, Martínez-Arán A, Vieta E, Reinares M. Behavioral addictions in bipolar disorders: A systematic review. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2019 Jan;29(1):76-97.
  • Walton MT, Cantor JM, Bhullar N, Lykins AD. Hypersexuality: A Critical Review and Introduction to the “Sexhavior Cycle”. Arch Sex Behav. 2017 Nov;46(8):2231-2251. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-0991-8. Epub 2017 Jul 7.

Este texto se ofrece únicamente con propósitos informativos y no reemplaza la consulta con un profesional. Ante dudas, consulta a tu especialista.