In classical mythology, satyrs were male half-human, half-beast creatures; they accompanied Dionysus and Bacchus and joined in their revelries, especially their sexual excesses. They were depicted in mythology as being part goat and possessing goat-like appetites, especially for lechery.

The modern term, “satiriasis” has its roots in the definition of a satyr; it relates to men, being the equivalent of what is known as “nymphomania” in females. A man with the condition satyriasis has an insatiable appetite for sex; his craving can be uncontrollable, certainly abnormal, and a man who has this condition feels an overpowering compulsion to conquer womwn sexually. He seeks sex with as many women as possible, with no feelings of love or affection and, unsurprisingly, finds it difficult to sustain a healthy relationship with one woman.

The condition should not be confused with “erotomania”, where there may indeed be a strong desire for sex but there is also the delusion that some person, often a well-known public figure, is deeply in love with them and is longing to declare his, or her, feelings. The person suffering from erotomania may proceed to make unwelcome advances and write to, or telephone the unfortunate object of his attentions; he may send gifts or try to visit the person he supposes to be in love with him; denial from that person is explained as a wish to conceal affection.

A man suffering from satyriasis is unable to live a comfortable life. His hypersexuality leading to an insatiable need for sex that remains unsatisfied, no matter how frequently he has sex, becomes a nightmare that dominates everything in his life. Everything else becomes peripheral as the demand of his overactive libido seeks gratification. If this abnormal condition can be viewed as an illness, not the fault of the sufferer, then can he justifiably be accused of poor behavior? Society will not condone his behavior, but he is not behaving badly from personal choice; his need for sexual gratification is, literally, irresistible.

Is the condition treatable and curable? The first step in seeking help for satyriasis would be to approach a doctor; a general practitioner would very likely be unwilling to attempt treatment himself, and would refer the patient to a psychiatrist for specialised help with the condition.

Psychiatric intervention could resolve problems that are causing the abnormal behavior and the psychiatrist can prescribe medication that would be beneficial: drugs to treat depression can bring a reduction in the sexual urge, bringing a normalisation to everyday life for the man with satyriasis. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialised knowledge regarding the workings of the mind and the abnormal disorders that can afflict it and the best ways of treating them.

A psychological approach to satyriasis may be tried; the psychologist has understanding of behavior and may be able to identify what is driving a man to extreme sexual activity and help him to control his symptoms.

Society adopts a negative attitude to sufferers from satyriasis, perceiving them as being self-indulgent, uncaring of commitments to work, family and friends. It is in a sufferer’s interest to seek help in attaining a balance in his sexual life.