Gay culture is often associated with promiscuity, acting on sexual impulses and difficulty in controlling sexual impulses. We gays, call the promiscuous phase of our gay life as the “Whore phase.” This phase usually lasts for couple of years after coming out of the closet. Sometimes, this phase lasts longer for some gay men. Some gay men are sexually impulsive and compulsive.
Definition of sexually impulsive behavior and sexually compulsive behavior
Some individuals have a great deal of difficulty controlling their sexual behavior. They have frequent intrusive thoughts about sex and repeatedly engage in sexual behavior that can become out of control. This can result in numerous problems –
- sexually transmitted diseases
- exposure to human immunodeficiency virus
- legal consequences
- problems in maintaining a relationship or a marriage
- domestic violence
Sexually impulsive behaviors which can include “acting out” sexually in illegal or inappropriate ways can be seen as being influenced by environmental triggers such as a sights, sounds and smells. With sexually impulsive behaviors, there is an inability to resist an impulse, tension before engaging in the sexual behavior and a sense of release upon exhibiting the sexual behavior.
Sexually compulsive behaviors, or those behaviors that are sometimes characterized as hypersexual behaviors, can be seen as increased sexual thoughts and behaviors that can have negative or deleterious effects on an individual’s life. Rather than being triggered by environmental factors, sexually compulsive behaviors are often organic in nature.
Alcohol and drugs can sometimes be seen as catalysts for these sexual behaviors because, as a rule, they can lower inhibitions and, as such, can lead to an increase in sexually impulsive behaviors that can be harmful to an individual or to others.
The primary difference between those individuals who engage in sexually compulsive behaviors and those men who have active sex lives with multiple partners is that rather than thoroughly enjoying their sexuality and sexual activity on all levels, the individual is, instead, engaging in sexual behaviors to avoid feelings of tension and anxiety.
Types of Impulsive-Compulsive Sexual Behavior
Coleman has classified at least seven subtypes of impulsive-compulsive sexual behavior: compulsive cruising and multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive autoeroticism (masturbation), compulsive use of erotica, compulsive use of the Internet for sexual purposes, compulsive multiple love relationships, and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.
Coleman has identified seven types of impulsive-compulsive sexual behavior listed in Table 1 below. Click on image to enlarge.
Depending upon the circumstances driving the sexual thoughts and sexual behaviors, being either sexually impulsive or sexually compulsive are, in fact, two alternative ways to describe what is commonly referred to, in the nomenclature, as sexual addiction.
How does a person’s being in a steady romantic relationship affect sexually impulsive or sexually compulsive behaviors?
Because these hypersexual behaviors include a neurochemical reaction, the brain seeks ways to keep a steady flow of the neurochemicals that increase the very powerful sense of reward and pleasure. The sexual encounter that one would have with one’s partner or spouse cannot replicate the intensity and the duration of the neurochemical reaction that an individual would obtain from seeking sexual encounters outside the relationship.
Whether viewing hours of pornographic imagery, engaging in lengthy online sexual chats or cyber-sexual video-chats, perusing online personals or phone apps for potential sexual partners or driving to meet individuals for sexual encounters, the individual is receiving a steady flow of these powerful neurochemicals and, because of the immense feeling of pleasure and reward, the brain wants these chemicals to continue to flow.
Sexual addiction, therefore, is really about the “seeking” in that the brain is seeking a continuation of the neurochemical reaction for as long as possible. When we’re talking about sexual addiction we’re actually talking about an individual being addicted to their own neurochemistry.
- Coleman E. Is your patient suffering from compulsive sexual behavior? Psychiatr Ann. 1992;22:320-325.
2. Coleman E. Compulsive Sexual Behavior: new concepts and treatments. J Psychol Hum Sex. 1991:4:37-52.
3. Money J. Lovemaps: Clinical Concepts of Sexual/Erotic Health and Pathology, Paraphilia, and Gender Transposition in Childhood, Adolescence and Maturity. New York, NY: Irvington Publishers; 1986.
4. Bradford JM. The paraphilas, obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder and the treatment of sexually deviant behaviour. Psychiatr Q. 1999;70:209-219.
This article has been republished with permission from Deepak.
Please visit Deepak’s website to view the original post and more of Deepak’s works.