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Don Juanism

Updated: JULY 11, 2017

Don Juanism is the common name for a condition which sees heterosexual men compulsively desiring sexual intercourse with many different female partners. The term is named after the fictional character on Don Juan, a libertine known to seduce women.

Don Juanism is sometimes called Don Juan Syndrome or Satyriasis. It is often thought of as the male equivalent of nymphomania.

More About Don Juanism

Men with Don Juanism become preoccupied with sexual pleasure and conquests. This can be detrimental for their personal relationships. They rarely have long-term sexual relationships, and sometimes find themselves in relationships where they exploit or objectify their partners for their own sexual gains.

There are several theories about why some men have Don Juanism. Carl Jung thought the condition was caused by a man subconsciously seeking out women reminiscent of his mother. Otto Fenichel linked Don Juanism to narcissism and a desire to achieve, in this case to achieve a great number of conquests. Others feel Don Juanism may be a symptom of depression, latent homosexuality, or feelings of insecurity about one’s own masculinity.

Don Juanism should not be confused with promiscuity, even though men with Don Juanism and promiscuous men both regularly seek out sexual encounters. Many academics believe Don Juanism is an illness that needs to be managed, while promiscuity is simply a preference for indulging in a lot of sex. A promiscuous person is also unlikely to commit crimes in pursuit of sexual pleasure, while someone with Don Juanism might. If Don Juanism does become a problem, therapy may be helpful in managing the condition.


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