What is “Hypersexual Disorder”?
The American Psychiatric Association (APA), recognizing the increasing public and clinical acceptance of the concept of sexual addiction, has requested and received extensive Tier 1, peer reviewed research data, along with an exhaustive literature review (Shout out to Dr. Marty Kafka of Harvard!) toward its consideration of a potential DSM-5Hypsersexuality Disorder diagnosis. While “Hypersexual Disorder” may not be the ideal term for a problem that more accurately involves the lengthy search and pursuit of sexual and romantic intensity rather than just the sex act itself, the proposed criteria as written do point to problem patterns of excessive fantasy and urges that mirror most aspects of what we have come to know more commonly as “sexual addiction.”
The proposed criteria for Hypersexual Disorder for the DSM-5 read as follows:
- Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent or intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, or sexual behaviors in association with 3 or more of the following 5 criteria:
- Time consumed by sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors repetitively interferes with other important (non-sexual) goals, activities, and obligations.
- Repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors in response to dysphoric mood states (e.g., anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability).
- Repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors in response to stressful life events.
- Repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control or significantly reduce these sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors.
- Repetitively engaging in sexual behaviors while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others.
- There is clinically significant personal distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning associated with the frequency and intensity of these sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors.
- These sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors are not due to the direct physiological effect of an exogenous substance (e.g., a drug of abuse or a medication). Specify if:
- Sexual Behavior with Consenting Adults
- Telephone Sex
- Strip Clubs
- Other: examples, prostitutes, strip clubs/adult bookstores