Although generally considered separate, and peculiar to themselves, these conditions are more frequently symptomatic of the graver psychosis dependent on derangement of cerebral or spinal function. Both may occur as concomitants of delusional insanity, of traumatism, or of any other deuteropathic condition, which may produce sexual hyperesthesia; although the lascivious coloring of idea is so intensified, and the entire consciousness so implicated in the sexual desire, as to constitute what may very properly be treated as a distinct neuropathic condition.
A satyriasist, being pro tempore a maniac, governed by inordinate lust, as the latter is by delusional frenzy, may become equally as dangerous to society, although not so apt to commit flagrant crime in the accomplishment of his purpose. He is more likely to resort to auto-erotic practices than to heterosexual violence; and, although passionately desirous of natural intercourse, finding it too inconvenient, or difficult of attainment, he seeks, usually, an equivalent, faute de mieux, in solitary masturbation.
Satyriasis, except as the result of injury, or of an aphrodisiac drug,* is comparatively infrequent; but the corresponding condition in women— nymphomania, or uteromania—-is far more common than casually supposed, especially at the climacteric.
While both conditions may accompany senility, nymphomania is far more frequent during this period than satyriasis; the remarkably strong manifestations of sexuality among men at other times, due to restrained indulgence, and consequent psychical and peripheral irritation, being entirely normal and physiological.
While nymphomania may be produced by the same causes which produce satyriasis, traumatism or the cerebro-spinal neuroses, or even by constant irritation of the external genitals—pruritus pudendi, or even oxyuhs vermiculosis—the fact remains that women are constitutionally more predisposed in this direction than men. In those cases of what may properly be called chronic satyriasis, the malady commonly results from venereal abuse, masturbation, and sexual neurasthenia, with augmented sexual desire. In these, the mind is occupied with obscene images, thoughts and desires, from which even the most solemn and exalted mental conceptions are not wholly separable and sacred. I have already mentioned the case of the boy who committed frottage with the gown of the priest who was confessing him; and pages might be cited to show with what force and frequency the satyric factor has entered into religion;1 but these have already been, or will be, sufficiently noted elsewhere. While satyriasis is rarely permanent in men the corresponding condition is quite frequently so in women, leading as a rule to confirmed prostitution; although Legrand records a number of cases in which the malady led, apparently, to no violation of sexual purity.
1 Fock mentions a case (Archiv fiir Psych., v) of a man who, in the moments of maniacal exaltation, manifested sexual feeling for men; but in that case the patient fancied himself a girl, so the idea of contrary instinct falls, before the mere delusion of sex. * And this is rather simple priapism than true satyriasis.