Why am I only gay when horny

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Content warning: This article will answer the question “Why am I always so horny?” but please bear in mind that it discusses trauma such as drug use, childhood abuse and sexual assault in regards to overly sexual behavior.

Have you ever sat and wondered, “Why am I so horny?” Perhaps you’ve been this way as long as you remember, and you feel somewhat self-conscious about it. Or a recent change in your life has led to you feeling hornier than usual. It may be exciting, or it may be annoying because you’ve got other things to focus on, and who can do that when they want to jump the next passing man?

Why Am I So Horny – and Some People Aren’t?

One of the reasons why so many people think “I’m horny and that must be bad” is that other people seem so much less horny. But comparing yourself to other people isn’t necessarily helpful. Some women naturally have a lower sex drive, and they might benefit from this guide on how to increase your sex drive or even from reading this one on turning yourself on.

Related: Help! I Have No Sex Drive. What Should I Do About It?

However, some people also naturally have a higher sex drive. While society teaches us that men always have stronger libidos, that’s not always the case. Some women are highly sexual, and for them, being horny is normal and healthy! We just don’t talk about these things as often as we should (hypersexual women were once called nymphomaniacs and painted in a negative light [1]), so it’s hard to give a realistic picture.

Even for those women, sex drive can dip at times. This is a normal part of life, and your interest in sex will wax and wane through the stages of your relationship and your life. These fluctuations are normal; although some changes may be cause for alarm. When you pay attention to your normal, you can determine if something is really out of the ordinary.

Before you assume “I’m horny and something is wrong with that,” consider these reasons why you might be horny or hornier than usual.

10 Reasons You’re So Horny

Sometimes there’s no reason why you’re so horny. You just have a more active sex drive, and that’s often okay.  However, increased sex drive, also known as hypersexuality, often goes hand in hand with something else. You’ll notice that many of these factors involve your brain and things that affect them. The brain is complex, but researchers have identified a small difference in gene expression in people who have hypersexual disorder [2].

1. A New Relationship

We’ve all heard of the honeymoon period where we look at someone through rose-colored glasses and can’t get enough of them! Many people experience a boost in their desire and have horny thoughts more frequently when they first engage in a sexual and/or romantic relationship with someone. This is due in part to a love molecule known as neurotransmitter phenylethylamine or PEA [3], which works with dopamine. Dopamine is what makes love feel addicting like a drug [4].

Psst, find out more about the honeymoon phase.

While some people call this limerence (learn more about limerence), others know it as “new relationship energy,” and it’s normal. It’s also normal to peter out over time.

2. Stress

While stress is often a mood killer for women, a small percentage of women experience increased desire and feelings of horniness when anxious or even depressed [5 p 149]. Just be careful that you’re not dealing with stress through risky sexual behavior. One theory proposes that compulsive sexual behavior provides temporary relief to anxiety [6].

3. Pregnancy

Some women — and their partners — are surprised to realize that pregnancy comes with all sorts of horny thoughts and desire for sex. While the side effects of pregnancy can be negative, especially as you get closer to your due date, don’t be surprised if your sex drive increases, at least temporarily, during your pregnancy. Enjoy your boosted libido and experimenting with how sex feels different as your body changes.

Learn more about how pregnancy affects your sex drive.

4. Your Menstrual Cycle

Similarly, the hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle make some people want sex at specific times. It’s not uncommon to find yourself horny before your period, especially a day or two before it hits, and it’s not unusual if this continues, and you find yourself horny during your period. One theory is that increased activity near your genitals focuses your attention on sensations and can make you more aware of your arousal.

There are also a number of hormones that shift during your cycle, including androgens, progestogens, and estrogen, all of which can influence libido [7]. One study found that women initiate sex more often right before ovulation [8]. At this point, both estrogen and testosterone are high [9].

Women respond differently, but it’s worth considering where you are in your menstrual cycle every time you ask yourself, “Why am I so horny lately?” You may notice that you’re often horny before your period or not horny after your period once hormones have settled. And if you don’t notice? Don’t worry. Those shifts are subtle [10].

5. Puberty

You’re an adolescent going through puberty, which has you feeling so horny. Your level of hormones has skyrocketed, and it can take a couple of years for them to even out. This usually comes with some negative side effects, including an increase in moodiness and acne.

While most of our readers are probably past puberty, the changes that occur in adolescence when our bodies are becoming capable of reproduction can lead us to think “I am horny” a lot — perhaps for the first time in our lives. Those stereotypes about boys masturbating all the time have a basis in reality, after all, and women can experience something similar.

6. Drugs

Sexual function corresponds with your overall health, so if you’re making efforts to be more healthy, you may find yourself feeling horny more often than you’re used to. This also includes mental health. Low sex drive is a common side effect of depression [11]. And people with high stress, anxiety, or exhaustion may experience low libido [12]. People whose conditions improve or who find ways to better cope with those conditions may find that their sex drives improve, and along with that come horny thoughts.

Because compulsive sexual behavior can be addictive in nature, there’s a high correlation between it and other addictive behaviors, including substance abuse [13, 14, 15]. It’s difficult to differentiate cause from correlation. This may be due to a brain’s likelihood of becoming addicted. However, drugs as alcohol can remove barriers to having sex [16], and drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin may increase sexual behavior, sometimes to the point of having risky sex, even if you do not necessarily trend toward addictive behavior. Misuse of Ritalin can do the same [17].

7. Medication

Changes in medication can result in you feeling horny more often. This may include going off of medication that has been dulling your sex drive (antidepressants are known to do this) or stopping medicines that make it physically difficult to become aroused (culprits include blood pressure medication and antihistamines).

However, new medication can have a side effect of increased libido or even returning your libido to its natural state if some condition previously stunted it. Sometimes, it’s medications that treat brain disorders such as Trazodone (Desyrel) [11], aripiprazole [18, 19], or Wellbutrin [20] that have this effect. Because so many antidepressants interfere with desire and arousal, these versions may be suitable alternatives to treat those disorders without wreaking havoc on your sex life.

8. Mental Disorders

Because of the way the brain functions, cognitive disorders may also be linked to increased and risky sexual behavior. Two common conditions include bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, and dementia.

Bipolar (Manic Depression)

Bipolar disorder can involve manic episodes of hyperactive behavior, including sexual behavior [21]. In fact, it’s so common that it’s a criterion to diagnose the condition [22].

During a manic episode, a person will feel high levels of energy, sleep little, experience racing thoughts, try to do many things at once, and engage in risky behavior such as spending money irresponsibly [23] or risky sex. Manic episodes can even change a person’s sexual orientation – i.e., a straight woman might have sex with other women [24].

Dementia

Deterioration of the brain and cognitive skills, including memory loss, problem-solving, and language skills, is known as dementia [25]. Dementia is caused or characterized by several diseases, perhaps most notably Alzheimer’s. Although, hypersexuality is more common with variant frontotemporal dementia than with Alzheimer’s disease [26]. However, medical and scientific personnel may overlook the sexual side effects of this condition.

Dementia can include hypersexuality and inappropriate sexual behavior [27], especially sexual behavior and comments that were previously out of character. People may make lude comments or try to remove clothing.  This can be shocking to people such as the friends and family of a person with dementia. More research is needed to understand the connection between dementia and hypersexuality. There has been limited success treating this symptom of dementia with medication such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, cholinesterase inhibitors, hormonal agents, and beta-blockers; however, these interventions come with negative side effects [28].

ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can impact how people engage in sex and relationships, including increased promiscuity [24] and risky sexual behavior [29]. Low self-esteem, which is associated with ADHD, might be the significant influence here [30]. When people engage in this type of behavior, they may be more likely to become victims of sexual violence [31].

While hypersexuality is often a symptom of some brain disorders, just because you’re horny all of a sudden doesn’t mean you have one of those disorders. However, if you notice an uptick in your desire and cognitive issues or during times when you are manic, it’s worth discussing these conditions with a doctor.

9. Brain Injury

Medicine and drugs may be the reason why you’re horny all the time because of the way they affect your brain. Similarly, traumatic brain injury can manifest with sexual issues. While decreased sex drive can happen, so can an increase in sexual statements and inappropriate touching [32]. This might seem similar to dementia in some ways.

10. Trauma

Finally, you may struggle with an out-of-control sex drive and want to know how to stop being horny as a result of past trauma. Hypersexuality can happen because of PTSD [33]. While we often associate PTSD with people who have served in the military, PTSD can happen after prolonged or repeated trauma, too, including childhood abuse [34], which has been associated with hypersexuality [35]. Victims of sexual assault may also experience PTSD.

Related:Reclaiming Your Pleasure After Sexual Assault

Hypersexuality and other addictive behaviors are also associated with people who have a history of childhood trauma, including sexual abuse [33]. Of course, just because you like sex a lot doesn’t mean that you were abused as a child. However, if you struggle to make safe sexual choices, you might not be as over past trauma as you thought and may want to seek outside help.

Should You Be Worried If You’re Constantly Horny?

You might have found this article because you feel horny all the time, and you want to know if it’s a bad thing. There’s no universal answer as everyone has to figure that out for themselves. As a general guideline, ask yourself if feeling horny or wanting sex interferes with your life. Signs that this is a problem you need to address can include:

  • Missing work or school
  • Frequently skipping out on social interactions
  • Avoiding household responsibilities
  • Failure to care to family or pets
  • Ignoring other’s consent or having sex without consenting
  • Lack of safer sex precautions such as condoms, dental dams, or birth control
  • Engaging in potentially risky sex (rough or kinky sex, etc.) without safety preparations or negotiation (i.e., specifying a safe word)
  • Not getting regular STI screening
  • Sex with anonymous partners [36]
  • Cheating on partners
  • Combining substance abuse with risky sexual behavior
  • Increased porn use (however, women are more likely to engage in sex than use porn [37])

It’s okay to masturbate or have sex every day as long as you’re not compromising other aspects of your health or happiness. Hell, it might be okay to ditch your friends once in a while if you have an insatiable urge to stay home and get yourself off. But if that horniness invades your thoughts and prevents you from doing what you must to exist, you might be dealing with compulsive sexuality.

To stay safe, make sure you’re always using condoms, look out for STI symptoms and get tested frequently, limit substance use and sexual activity, fulfill your obligations, enter into kinky sex thoughtfully, abide by relationship agreements, and make sure you give and receive consent — always! The National Sexual Violence Resource Center describes consent as

an ongoing dialogue about desires, needs, and level of comfort with different sexual interactions. Consent is not a blanket statement. It is specific each time and always required. Healthy sexuality is rooted in consent and respect [38].

Why Do I Want Sex All the Time? Am I a Sex Addict?

As you contemplate the question “Why am I so horny?” don’t assume this means you’re a sex addict. In fact, it’s hard to call anyone a sex addict because there isn’t a consensus about whether sex addiction is even a real thing [39, 40]. The American Psychiatric Association argues that it’s not, for example [41]. However, compulsive sexual behavior or hypersexuality is recognized even if they do not count it as an addiction [15]. And while researchers struggle to define this condition, it can certainly wreak havoc on someone’s life, especially if you recognize signs of unhealthy sexuality in yourself.

Sometimes people can’t enjoy the fact that they can get so horny because they struggle with guilt, even if they’re not engaging in risky sexual behaviors! Although not exactly the same, research finds that those people who experience the most guilt over using porn aren’t even the heaviest users and may experience moral distress because of how religious they are [42, 43]!

On top of that, negative feelings have a complicated relationship with our sexuality. While guilt can motivate people to change sexual behavior, shame can actually increase hypersexuality [44]. After all, these responses to your sexuality involve their own intrusive thoughts, which can strengthen the very sexual habits that have you worried.

In cases where you might think their sexual urgers are stronger than they should be or than is normal or if you struggle with feeling horny at all, you might benefit from changing how you view sexuality and accepting that you’re always horny to alleviate negative feelings, even if your behavior and desire fall within healthy ranges. This brings us to our next point.

How to Stop Being Horny

Professional help can help whether you need to accept that your sexuality is normal or curb compulsive sexual thoughts and behavior. You might start with your physician to rule out any conditions or medication that may be making you get so horny. Treating those underlying conditions or adjusting medication may do the trick; although, it can take trial and error to find the right solution for you. Similarly, your doctor or a psychiatrist can prescribe medication or adjust medication that affects your brain and associated conditions.

A therapist or psychologist may help you work through guilt over your sexuality and compulsive behaviors. Therapy and medication can work together to increase your odds of success. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may help [45]. There is even a 12-step method to deal with compulsive sexuality [46].

And if you’re just feeling a little annoyed because you’re horny right now but need to focus on something else, then you can try to release that energy in one of these ways.

  • Have sex with someone else. It doesn’t have to be a serious relationship. It can just be a one-night stand. As long as you’re both horny, relieve some stress, release some hormones, and have a good time.
  • Masturbate. You don’t need anyone else around to have an amazing orgasm because you can do it yourself. Check out this advice on how to give yourself a guaranteed orgasm. The nice thing about masturbation is you don’t need a partner or any tools, but a vibrator might make the job easier and more fun!
  • Exercise. The goal of this isn’t to get off but to burn off energy in a way other than sex. If you’re feeling horny, head outside for a run, participate in a sports tournament, or head to the gym to lift some weights. Not only will you release tension, but you’ll burn calories and build muscles, too.

Be prepared to do these things when you know you’ll be the horniest. For example, set aside time for masturbation and/or sex and exercise during the time in your cycle when you’ll be ovulating, thus the horniest.

For some people, their compulsive sexual behavior requires intervention. However, the wide range of horniness that women experience and you may experience individually leaves room for a lot variation, so you shouldn’t necessarily worry if you’re horny during your period or simply seem to have a higher sex drive than average as long as it doesn’t interfere with your life.

Resources

This article on Psychology Today examines the different ways that highly sexual women approach relationships.

The book Why Can’t I Stop? helps readers overcome addictive behaviors such as compulsive sexuality.

The Compulsive Sexual Behavior Inventory helps professionals determine if a person’s sexuality is compulsive and may be unhealthy.

Hypersexuality is the increase in libido, which may be sudden. Wikipedia has a detailed entry on it.

In his podcast, Dr. Justin Lehmiller interviews therapist and researcher Ari Tuckman about his book that highlights how ADHD affects people’s sex lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ #1 – Is it normal to be this horny?

It’s difficult to answer questions because the range of what’s considered normal and healthy can be quite large. For some people, it seems like they’re horny all the time if they want sex once a day while others would find that to be more middle-of-the-road.

More important than comparing yourself to others is to recognize your typical range, which can vary during your menstrual cycle, relationship, and lifetime. If you notice any sudden changes, it might be worth looking into their causes. However, you needn’t be worried as long as you being hornier doesn’t lead to unhealthy or risky choices.

With that said, there are prevailing beliefs that women don’t like or desire sex and are never horny. If you believe the stereotypes, sex is what men want and initiate, and their sex drives are higher than women’s. Of course, that’s painting with awfully broad brush strokes and isn’t always the case. It may even be that the difference in libido between women is actually greater than the difference between men’s and women’s libidos [5].

Because sex is a private topic, and because of the expectations of women, you might not be aware of how much other women want sex. Some women may downplay their desire for sex, while others may not broach the topic at all. If we had safe and open venues to talk about sex, you might realize that your horny thoughts are much more typical than you thought, which can be reassuring for some people.

FAQ #2 – When is feeling horny unhealthy?

Being constantly horny may be annoying, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you’re experiencing distress or if it leads to unhealthy behaviors. Unhealthy choices include having risky sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not using birth control and condoms to protect yourself from STIs and pregnancy, engaging in rough or kinky sex without the proper preparation or discussing safe words, having sex with untrustworthy people, or ignoring consent.

Furthermore, if your sexual behavior, including masturbation, becomes compulsive and interferes with your life and responsibilities, it’s time to seek help. We all have obligations from taking care of family to going to work or attending school to paying bills. As long as your horny thoughts of sexual behavior, whether by yourself or with others, allows you to fulfill those responsibilities, don’t worry too much about being too horny. You can masturbate for an hour a day every day as long as you’re a functional adult.

Still, if you find your thoughts about sex are intrusive or experience guilt or other negative feelings about being horny all the time, therapy may help.

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