Sex can be considered one of the primitive human behaviours. The primitive human behaviours are those behaviours that we develop instinctively. We do not do so much to learn them, they are natural things we grow to appreciate.
The primitive behaviours have sometimes been described as those behaviours are controlled by the primitive brain, a part now referred to as the limbic system or archipallium
, comprising of the brain stem, medulla, pons, cerebellum, mesencephalon and other specialised structural areas in the brain.[Wikipedia
These parts of the brain function control instinctive human behaviours and coordinate the reflexes. Talk of these instinctive behaviours and human reflexes, we have the following;
- Breast sucking at infancy
- Response to hunger
- Urge for sex
- Instincts for sexual behaviours, like acts of sex itself
- Flight response to danger
Lower animals live their lives solely by their primitive brains but we, humans, have further evolved to a higher level of sophistication, with our brains now possessing higher centres for memory, conscious non-reflexive behaviours, and rational thinking. These higher centres are represented in the part of the brain called the neocortex or just the ‘cortex’ for short. The cortex or ‘cerebral cortex’ as medical scholars puts it, is specialised for controlling the lower/primitive centres and is sometimes referred to as the higher centres of inhibition. This is because these higher brain centres give humans the power to send inhibitory signals to the primitive brain or primitive cortex. Such that, humans become superior in terms of behaviour and thinking, to the lower animals whose mode of behaviour is solely through reflex control and instinctive action.
What Is Normal Sex Urge/Drive?
It is not an absolute thing when it comes to what is considered a normal sex urge or drive. Every year, scientists, public relations reps and journalists concoct numerous surveys aimed at revealing how the average person feels or does during sex.
But these subjective feelings and actions vary across the human population. The scientific and the medical society have not defined the extent of normal libido from too less or overt libido. This means there is no absolute normal when it comes to your sex drive and how often you might want to have sex.
So, when does sexual urge become a problem?
No matter how often you always want sex, this itself may not be a problem. However, sexual urges become a problem in the presence of certain other feelings. If you have a high sex drive and you are able to get the satisfying sex you crave without guilt or shame, then you might actually be okay with it.
But if you experience any or more of the following, then you may need this guide on how to control your sexual urges and sex drive;
- You are not able to achieve satisfaction, no matter how much sex or masturbation you have
- You are not able to get the amount of sex you desire
- You are troubled by ceaseless sex fantasies
- You perceive the act of sex as a stigma when you do not have a legal partner
- You often sacrifice work, social connections and sleep time for your sexual urges
- Sore genitals from excessive sex or masturbation
- You regularly seek out unsatisfactory or risky sexual exploits
- Unsatisfactory that your sexual satisfaction from random people prevents you from having a stable relationship
Years ago, in 2012, a woman by the name, Rim Ramsey, a nurse from New Jersey, was reported by The New York Post to have hundreds of sexual orgasms a day – in cars, at the laundry, when buying food in a supermarket, etc. Orgasms come anytime and anywhere for her even in the absence of conventional sex arousal stimuli.
She had once recalled a recent train ride home that she said left her shaking. “Every jerk of the train of vibration made me more aroused”, she said.
She noted that her orgasm problems began four years prior after she had sex with a new boyfriend. She had constant orgasms for four days, almost non-stop. Thereafter, a diagnosis of a very rare medical condition was made. This was known as Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder, a disease condition that makes any pelvic movement trigger an orgasm.
Doctors believed that Ramsey may have come down with the condition when she developed spinal cysts after falling down a flight of stairs earlier in 2001, but it remained dormant until her marathon sex session with her new boyfriend seven years later.
Following the criteria provided in the list above on when sexual urge can be considered a problem, sometimes your own assessment about your sexual urge may be different from what people around you may think. You may think you are fine and satisfied with your sexual life but your boss, your colleague, partner or mates might fear that you are spending too much time in the pursuit of sex.
In these scenarios, one of two things is true. It’s either those people do not understand you enough or you are in denial about your problematic urge for sex. It is therefore important to do some self-analysis at this point, to determine whether or not your sexual urges and drives have become uncontrollably abnormal or not.
What Causes High Sexual Urge/Drive?
A high sex drive is perfectly normal for young people who are experiencing hormonal surges. At the teen ages, young people are just beginning to fantasize about what sex would feel like. But are yet to explore it. Being exposed to the influence of these hormones for the first time in their lives, you would expect that they might find it hard to suppress them on their own. Such that, their sexual urges is expected to go to very high levels. At these ages, special attention is paid to these young individuals so that they do not destroy their lives or contract an STD trying to explore sex.
In other individuals, on the other hand, other different external factors impact the sex drive or desire for sex. These may include work, schooling/academics, access, and previous exposure. In any case, sexual urges always have their perfect timing when they would be at their peak. And it will be important to learn more ways to control your sexual urges and suppress them below what you consider more important at the moment.
Almost every adult have what they do to control their normal sexual urges already but there are always times when the sexual drive becomes overwhelming. Some important causes of high sexual urge or drive include the following:
- Associated symptom with certain medical conditions, e.g, medications, Parkinson’s disease, brain and spinal injuries, mania, hormonal imbalances, thyroid diseases, Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder.
- Psychosocial causes, e.g, grief, anxiety, unresolved trauma (emotional, sexual trauma, etc), distorted beliefs around love, sex and intimacy, lack or loss of self-esteem.
- The shame surrounding one’s sexual preferences, experiences or body image
- A lack of fulfilment over one’s life
- Boredom and idleness
- Inability to process one’s emotions
- Feeling stuck in a relationship with someone who wants less sex
- Medications for other illness
If an underlying medical condition is associated with the high sex drive, or there is a current history of medications, seeing a doctor would be a wise thing to do. This would also be the best step when you experience an unexplained change in your libido that exceeds levels you consider abnormal for yourself.
After all said, let’s look at how to control your sexual urges. Sexual drives can sometimes be described as a wild dog. You need to devise mechanisms to put them in check so that they do not interfere with your productive life, at least. Here are some comprehensive ways to control your sexual urges or drives.
How To Control Your Sexual Urges
- Talk about it
- Do something else
- Think about your goals
- Channel your energy
- Look for satisfying sex
- Avoid pornography
- Identify your triggers and avoid them
- Settle issues in your relationship
- Take medications or see the doctor
Talk About It
If the issue is about not getting adequate sex with your partner, then you need to talk to someone about it. Talking therapy, as it is sometimes referred to can help you offload burdensome thoughts and also open you up to other great solutions, especially if the listener is an experienced therapist in such matters. The listener doesn’t have to be a therapist though.
By talking about your sexual urges with someone, it helps you to let out some thoughts and desires, establishing what you want from your sex life and then working out realistic ways to get it and make you feel more in control, rather than being controlled by your sexual urges.
Do Something Else
Nature harbours vacuum. If you leave a space unoccupied, something is going to fill it eventually. When your sexual urge becomes heightened, you can regain control by doing something else you find interesting. A majority of individuals have learnt to control their sexual urges, drives and cravings more like cravings for cigarettes or cake.
Most of the time, people act on their sexual urges only when there is a sexual partner within their available space, otherwise, they just look for something else interesting to do.
Here are a few interesting things you might want to try;
- Mental tasks, e.g, playing mind games like chess, etc
- Complex mental activities like reading, learning some skills, cooking, etc
- Yoga and meditation
Think About Your Goals
What are your goals, long-term and short-term goals? Where do you see yourself in the next year, or a few years down the line? One great way to control your sexual urge is to focus your attention on your goals. The beautiful thing about your goals and ambitions is that they carry a vast amount of energy that can help you overcome sexual pressures, especially when you believe that too much sexual exposure can interfere with your relationship goals
and other goals.
Channel Your Energy
If controlling sexual urge is such a great deal, it logically implies that sexual drives carry with them some energy that can be put to better work than just laying with your random partner. Channelling this sexual energy into some productive work can be a big deal, especially now that there is an established channel through which you can redirect this sexual energy for something else.
But as a rule, redirecting energy in any scenario often involves linking what you desire with what you want to evade. In linking, I mean attaching a reward to staying away from the opposite action from your desirable decisions. If this is not so clear, let me use sexual urges and drives to illustrate this. You can promise yourself some rewards if you are able to stay away from having sex, and you are able to perform some other productive tasks.
If you have a stable partner, you can promise yourself great sex with them afterwards, after you have accomplished your productive tasks.
Look For Satisfying Sex
If your rise in sexual urges and drives are due to not getting satisfying sex from your long-term or short-term partner(s), then it becomes important to face the primary problem, which is not getting adequate satisfying sex.
If you have been having regular sex but you still do not feel satisfied, there are chances you do find it hard to find sexual partners or your sexual partners is inexperienced about your sexual demands. Part of the ways you can look for satisfying sex is by discussing your sexual needs with your partner is possible.
If the problem is more about finding a sexual partner, there are various ways out there to meet possible sexual partners, including online local hookup sites, sex parties, or visiting sex professionals to help people satisfy their sexual urges. However, these do not often provide a sustainable solution for people with sex drives, and may sometimes go against your moral compass, lead to overspending, sacrifice intimacy on the altar of casual sex without the guarantee of finding satisfying sex, or even a sexual partner.
As entertaining as pornography may seem, it altogether ruins the experience of natural sex, especially pornography videos featuring crazy sex positions and big body parts. Your expectations from your sexual partner become higher when you watch those pornography videos that display exotic sexual acts and this may affect your satisfaction with your sexual partner.
Pornography can stimulate your sexual urge and can create fantasies in your head in the absence of any available partner with whom to let out those feelings. These fantasies could build up to give you uncontrollable sexual urges, thus, the need to nip them at the bud.
Settle Issues In Your Relationship
Sexual deprivation is sometimes seen in monogamous sexual relationships, where a partner begs the other for sex and does not get adequate sex for their sexual needs. It is commonplace to find couples with mismatched libidos, that is, sexual urges that are not simultaneous for both partners. Sometimes, one partner might have too high sex drives, more than the other. These cases can be a big problem for the relationship, in such a way that, the other consenting partner may start losing real sexual feelings for their partner and view any slight show of care and affection by them as a way to obtain sex.
In these cases, it is important to work out these issues in the relationship. It is helpful to schedule times to connect and be intimate, other times to go on a date, be naked without worrying about being aroused, and others.
Priority should also be given to the satisfaction of the other partner. When you engage in sex with your partner, try to focus on satisfying yourself and your partner, not just yourself or them alone. This means that instead of always seeing your partner’s sexual drives and desires as mere disturbances, try to see how you can also enjoy yourself too.
Identify Your Primary Triggers
Every now and then, we all have sexual urges. Sometimes, these high desires to have sex comes when you’ve had sex for a long time, or when you miss someone you once had a great sex with. But aside from that, there are certain other conditions that can trigger your sexual urges. These are things you need to work out to identify.
Take Medications Or See The Doctor
You just saw PGAS (persistent genital arousal syndrome), a medical condition that causes excessive sexual stimulation by non-sexual stimuli. Other medical conditions that can cause increased uncontrollable sexual drive include depression, as well as the use of certain drugs.
Whenever your sexual drive becomes pathologically overwhelming, it is important you seek the attention of a doctor, take prescribe medications or modify existing drugs. Your doctor may recommend the following for you.
Anaphrodisiacs are natural products that are known to reduce libido and sexual urge. Examples of anaphrodisiacs include soy, liquorice, chaste berry, hops and wild lettuce. Conversely, aphrodisiacs are natural libido boosters, including oysters and chocolate.
In the case that depression is the cause of your increased libido and sexual urge, focusing on the primary cause is the most likely option. Antidepressants are drugs taken to brighten the mood and manage depression. Some examples of antidepressants also have the indirect effect of reducing libido, e.g, the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Some antipsychotic drugs also have this indirect effect. These drugs are not primarily prescribed for libido but this side effect has been beneficially exploited by some doctors.
Reversible chemical castration
Chemical castration is the use of hormonal agents/drugs to lower the body levels of hormones responsible for sex an libido. Currently, these drugs are prescribed to men, to lower their primary sex hormone, testosterone. Examples of these drugs include Cyproterone and Triptorelin.
They are reversible because on cessation of the drugs, sex hormone production resumes and arousal and libido goes back to normal. Hormonal agents that regulate body sex hormone levels in a woman are used as contraceptives and fertility-enhancing agents. But these have not been known to affect libido and sexual urge significantly.
Change Your Medication
By any chance, are your medications making you feel more aroused than usual? If you are able to trace your excess arousal and libido to some medications you are currently on, then you need to change them. If they are non-essential drugs, you should consider stopping them totally. But if they are used in the treatment of other ailments in your body, changing to other alternatives that do not have this effect, or lowering their doses would be the best thing to do. In any case, make sure a doctor is aware of your decisions and the doctor should be the one to institute the change.
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