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Sex Deficit Disorder: The New Male PMS?

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PMS, the pre-menstrual version, has long been the domain of the females of the species. The menstrual cycle itself has been both loved and hated but I think everyone is agreed that the PMS in the seven or so days before the bloodshed begins is about as fun as watching the last State of the Union address. Which is why I was confused when I heard that males want in our Red Tent club.

Obviously, they can't menstruate - and thank heavens for that, I lived with 5 other girls in college and hope to never again witness such a mushroom cloud of PMS - but apparently men do go through hormone cycles that can lead to anger, depression, irritability and, yes, chocolate cravings. The causes, researchers say, vary from biological reasons such as low testosterone to high estradiol - a form of estrogen (yes, men have some estrogen just like women have some testosterone) - to lifestyle problems like stress or being married to Madonna.

But, according to S., the anonymous reader who e-mailed me this question, the real instigator of her husband's onset of PMS is SDD, or sex deficit disorder, defined by S. as "how the male attitude/personality changes when they haven't achieved what they consider the appropriate frequency of sexual encounters." Hmm... men getting crabby when they don't get enough sex? Shocking. Now before all the women sign off rolling their eyes and all the men start giggling ("she said sex!!"), S. is not the only person to have noticed this phenomenon.

The source of all things au courrant, the Urban Dictionary weighs in on the topic defining "male PMS" in no less than four different ways. The most popular answer states unhelpfully, "The male equivalent of the irritability and general pissiness which often accompanies the natural female pre-menstrual syndrome. No known cause or cure. As in 'Steer clear of Hans today, man--must be a case of male PMS.' "

So which is it? A real disorder based on out-of-control hormone cycles? Or a creative bid for more sex? I suppose if we see Guy Ritchie holed up with a pint of Ben & Jerry's crying through A Walk To Remember then we'll have our answer. In the meantime, I'm seeing a whole new generation of pick-up lines being born.

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