- Sex & Drugs
- 13 Oct 16
In terms of our understanding of the human mind, it is important to remember that we are only ever getting there. Not so long ago, after all, a woman who enjoyed sex was likely to be branded as a nymphomaniac.
When I was seventeen I had an acquaintance called Amelia who claimed to be a nymphomaniac. Amelia told me she had had sex with 35, 42, 54 men - the number varied wildly - and that her notches included wealthy strangers, her father's friends, and even her psychiatrist.
It was only many years later that I realised two things. First, that Amelia had almost certainly been lying, or at least exaggerating, to get a reaction from me. I was an uptight, virginal convent girl, and although I had shed the Catholicism, I had yet to slough off the bonus gifts of guilt and repression. Secondly, there is no such thing as nymphomania- or rather, nymphomania is the result of a social factor and not a physiological or psychological one.
It is true to say that mental health and sexuality are intertwined. Anyone who has suffered from depression, anxiety, or stress can find their desire for sex diminishing. The same thing can happen after the death of a loved one; or alternatively, grief can stimulate the libido. Our satisfaction, or lack thereof, with a relationship, a job, or indeed life in general, can all affect the desire for sex too.