Sexual Burnout Syndrome

Today, in the twenty-first century, almost all doctors and sexologists believe that masturbation is a natural harmless activity. Organizations like SIECUS (Council for Sex Information and Education of the United States) support the idea that masturbation is a natural activity and it is impossible to overdo it. Parents are asked to accept the tendency of children of their young age to masturbate. Masturbation and sexual intercourse are pleasurable experiences of sexual gratification, yet, I believe there must be some deep consideration about methods and number limitation in doing these activities.

Therefore, after much research, I made a scientific presentation of the World Association of Sexology (WAS) conference at Sydney, Australia in April 2007. Here I discussed if hedonistic sexual gratification could be responsible for causing certain sexual problems under a special set of conditions in certain select individuals. My paper proposes a new diagnostic classification within the sexual dysfunction group and terms it as ‘Sexual Burnout Syndrome’ (SBS).

The word BURNOUT is proposed because:

  • The concept of a ‘burnout’ is quite popular.
  • It has a descriptive label & it is easily understood.
  • Has a problem-oriented focus. Indicates a possible endpoint of a behavioral process.
  • Patients ostensibly showed no sign of mental disease until the said problem surfaced & greatly enjoyed all day-to-day activities in the past. Whereas – addiction, compulsion, mania, etc. describe an existing condition and carry a social stigma.

Understanding Burnout

Burnout is a problem that dissipates a person’s mental energy and making them lose contact with themselves and others. The onset of burnout is slow. Initial symptoms include emotional and physical exhaustion, with feelings of isolation, fad, impatience, negativity. While doing routine work, such a person suddenly gets annoyed and irritated about small things with people close to them. In some serious cases, a person who was so deeply involved in every activity at some time, is suddenly cut off from his life in such a way that he/she does not care about it at all.

The irony of burnout is that it happens to the person who, before that, used to be an enthusiastic and flamboyant individual who was full of competition and new ideas.

At some point in life, many of us experience a short-term burnout in which, after doing a difficult mental task for a long period of time, suddenly it becomes difficult to do the simplest of tasks, in which concentration starts to falter and feeling of tiredness.

If a person starts eating pizza or biryani in the morning afternoon and evening just because he/she likes it, then after a few days, weeks or months, boredom sets in and suddenly this most favorite food becomes undesirable. This is a ‘food burnout’.

What are the signs of burnout?

What are the warning signs that you are heading to such a burnout? When anything you liked tremendously doesn’t feel ‘fun’ anymore, that’s the danger signal. If you’re so beset with commitments you made you are heading for a burnout. Burnout is the result of a cumulative process leading to emotional exhaustion and withdrawal. Experiencing a loss of energy, lack of motivation, or need for a tonic suggests that there’s danger ahead. The symptoms of burnout are as varied as the sufferers. In addition to the above-mentioned indicators, some persons become angry, some resort to blaming others, some become quiet, introverted, or depressed. Others manifest burnout by under or over-eating or abusing alcohol or using mood-altering substances. Still, others may experience a range of physical symptoms, including chronic illness, high blood pressure, and frequent headaches.

Given below is a brief history of two patients… Please read carefully

Given here are two case histories of multi-orgasmic men who initiated sexual activity (masturbation or partnered sex) at an early age at an ‘excess’ frequency.

In their mid-twenties, they reported classic ‘burnout’ symptoms like physical exhaustion, mental fatigue, emotional detachment, and depersonalization in addition to the loss of libido, erectile dysfunction & reduced orgasmic pleasure i.e. Sexual Burnout Syndrome.

Case 1

Mr. X a 24 year old man * Recently received a degree and looking for a new job * Family pressure to get married * He is not ready because he has no desire for sex * Has impotence (ED erectile dysfunction) * Masturbation was done for the first time in life after 6 years of age * Initially experienced Orgasm without ejaculation * From the age of 14 years onwards started masturbating with ejaculation for 3–10 times a day * Masturbating during studies for peace and sleep * After 23 years of age, the desire to masturbate decreased * Then at the age of 24, morning erections of penis started to become almost non-existent * Even after trying hard, penis does not fully erect and there is no rigidity * Orgasm and ejaculation is less pleasurable * Now depressed and stressed * non pleasurable masturbation and indifference to sex brings about frustration * Emotional and physical exhaustion * Disbelief, Pessimism, and only nostalgic feelings about sex * Extreme tiredness * Confused in whether to marry or not *

Case 2

A 24-year-old Mr. Y comes for treatment with his future wife * He is worried about decreased desire for sex and impotence (ED) * Says he had masturbated for the first time at the age of 8 * Initially without ejaculation but Multiple Orgasms in a day * First sexual experience with a 24 year old woman at the age of 11 * Sex with another 18 year old girl when he is 14 years old * Starts having sex with another 19 year old girl a few months later * Continued ‘almost daily meeting’ with the three * At that age, he was able to ‘satisfy his girlfriends by giving them many orgasms * Sex was with ejaculation multiple times in each meeting that was amazing and enjoyable * At age 23 years he really fell in love with a girl and wanted to marry her * Within a few months became sexually active with her * Continued to meet other women rarely * Less interest in sex for the last 3 months, experience weakness in penis * Now sexual intercourse without emotional involvement * No pleasure in orgasm or sometimes No orgasm * Stopped having sex with other women * Reports changes in personality and loss of interest in sex *

After studying both these and many other cases, I believe that

Studying the above cases reveals that the two men stimulated themselves to experience multiple orgasms on a daily basis for a prolonged period during their youth. Was this the cause of them having Sexual Burnout Syndrome? If doctors accept that overeating several times a day can lead to obesity, then they should also accept that a very young age Masturbating or having sex beyond his natural limit can also be a reason for ‘sexual burnout syndrome’. Furthermore, just as drinking too much alcohol can cause liver cirrhosis in a few people, and lung cancer occurs to only in some cigarette smokers, similarly, multiple sex or masturbation acts in a day from childhood may cause ‘Sexual Burnout Syndrome’ to some susceptible people only.


Sexual Burnout Syndrome probably strikes those susceptible persons who enjoy multiple acts of masturbation or sexual pleasure of orgasms almost daily, from a young age, for many years. They then experience the following:

  • loss of libido
  • Erectile dysfunction (weakness or absence of penis)
  • Decreased orgasm
  • Physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Lack of personal achievement


  • BURN-OUT: THE HIGH COST OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT—by Herbert J. Freudenberger, Ph.D., with Geraldine Richelson; Doubleday, Garden City, New York, 1980, 214 pages
  • MASLACH, C., & ZIMBARDO, P. G. (1982). Burnout: the cost of caring.Pines A & Aronson E. Career Burnout. New York: Free Press, 1988.
  • Black DW, Kehrberg LL, Flumerfelt DL, Schlosser SS. Characteristics of 36 subjects reporting compulsive sexual behavior. Am J Psychiatry. 1997;154(2):243‐249. doi:10.1176/ajp.154.2.243
  • Endorphins, opiates and behavioral processes, Rogers R & Cooper S. (Eds.) John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1988.
  • Sathe RS, Komisaruk BR, Ladas AK, Godbole SV. Naltrexone-induced augmentation of sexual response in men. Arch Med Res. 2001;32(3):221‐226. doi:10.1016/s0188-4409(01)00279-x
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