from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Classification according to ICD-10
F52.7 Increased sexual desire
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

The nymphomania (from Greek  νύμφη nymph "bride" and μανία manía "madness", "Rage"; see also nymphs ) is the name for increased demand by women after sexual intercourse . As a rule, one speaks of nymphomania only if the desire for sexuality is accompanied by promiscuity , i.e. frequent partner changes.

In men, this phenomenon is called satyriasis (after the Greek satyr , the male opposite pole to the nymph, often represented ithyphallically ) or "Donjuanism". Scientifically, the term nymphomania is considered out of date. “Clitoromania” is also used as a synonym, extremely exaggerated nymphomaniac behavior is also known as “metromania”, while “ erotomania ” is also used as a gender-neutral term .

Conceptual problem

The term nymphomania or nymphomaniac is usually used today as a derogatory description and is dependent on cultural values ​​and customs , in particular on current, historically changeable sexual morals . It is questionable which sexual behavior should be viewed as "normal" and which as "enhanced".

The term nymphomania is rarely used in the human medical literature, although more neutral terms such as hypersexuality are controversial due to the problematic content. In ancient times the term was used differently. The oldest evidence can be found on a plaque from the Melissani grotto on Kefalonia , an ancient cult site of the shepherd god Pan.

The term is still in use in veterinary medicine and describes a symptom of various disorders of ovarian function .

Psychological dimension

Despite the cultural relativity of the term, what one tries to call nymphomania actually refers, at least in some cases, to psychological problems of the affected people from which they subjectively suffer. From a depth psychological point of view, a fixation of inter-sex (or same-sex) behavior on the level of sexuality is often an expression of a deep-seated fear of attachment , which tries to live out the need for closeness in a bond reduced to the sexual aspect of a relationship, the deeper partnership bond is avoided. Sexuality then becomes an addiction and substitute satisfaction for real love , comparable to other addictions such as alcoholism or drug use . Psychotherapy can help to understand the causes of such addictive behavior and to change them therapeutically.

In psychiatry , an excessively increased sex drive is regarded as a symptom or, in the axial assessment in the ICD and in the DSM-IV , as an indicator for the diagnosis of various personality disorders . The “nymphomania disease” has now been removed from the DSM-IV, but it is listed in the ICD-10 .

In the social discourse, the question of the connection between nymphomania and mental disorder is controversial and often an expression of different moral values . So tend conservative people to see here a connection, while more likely to liberal -minded people sometimes nymphomania as an expression of emancipation interpret.


In the field of prostitution and pornography , the term is used as a kind of advertisement. Prostitutes often expressly refer to themselves as nymphomaniac in advertisements, and advertisements for telephone sex often refer to this term literally or in the same way. Numerous - allegedly - sex-hungry women are featured in magazines and on the Internet.


  • The feature film Black Snake Moan has, among other things, nymphomania on the subject.
  • The film drama Nymphomaniac tells the life confession of a nymphomaniac woman.


  • Helen Singer Kaplan: Sex Therapy for Sexual Desire Disorders. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-13-117972-4 .
  • Peter Fiedler: Sexual Orientation and Sexual Deviation. Beltz PVU, 2004, ISBN 3-621-27517-7 .
  • Brigitte Vetter: Sexuality: disorders, deviations, transsexuality. Schattauer Verlag, 2007, Chapter 11.1.1 Increased Sexual Desire, ISBN 3-7945-2463-2 , pp. 128/129.

Web links

Wiktionary: Nymphomania  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wilhelm Gemoll: Greek-German school and hand dictionary. Munich / Vienna 1965.
  2. ^ Maria Gazzetti: The love attack: "il dolce assalto": of nymphs, satyrs and forests. In: literary magazine. Edition 32, p. 46, Rowohlt Reinbek 1993.
  3. Nymphomania. In: The Merck Veterinary Manual. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  4. Helen Singer Kaplan: Sex Therapy for Disorders of Sexual Desire. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2006, Chapters 6 and 7 (Study II Determination of the etiology and treatment I Patients with appetite disorders - Theoretical aspects ), ISBN 3-13-117972-4 , pp. 83 ff.
  5. Helen Singer Kaplan: Sex Therapy for Disorders of Sexual Desire. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2006, Chapter 4 Diagnostic Criteria and Clinical Features, ISBN 3-13-117972-4 , p. 37 ff.