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A nymphomaniac is a person with an unusually high sex drive. Although it was once a common term, it has since been replaced with the terms sex addiction and hypersexuality. These terms describe individuals who have an addiction to sexual activities, particularly intercourse. Typically, a nymphomaniac has an unusual preoccupation with sex or an obsessive compulsion to have sex. It's not always just about the sexual pleasure either. Nymphomaniacs sometimes feel the need to have sex in an effort to numb bad feelings or simply kill time. More often than not, true nymphomaniacs suffer from other mental or emotional problems such as mood disorders.
Although today it's used to describe both men and women, the term nymphomaniac traditionally only applied to women. The word comes from the word "nymph" which is a beautiful and vivacious young forest maiden depicted in Greek mythology. The term "satyriasis" was used to describe a male with an unusually high sex drive. This term also has roots in Greek mythology, as it is based on the term satyr, which is a male woodland creature with the legs and horns of a goat.
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