Psychology and Mental Health Today

Paraphilias and Fetishism


    . Definition   

    . Symptoms

    . Causes



A paraphilia is a condition in which a person's sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behaviour that is atypical and extreme.


A paraphilia can revolve around a particular object (children, animals, underwear) or around a particular act (inflicting pain, exposing oneself).

Most paraphilias are far more common in men than in women. The focus of paraphilia is usually very specific and unchanging.

A paraphilia is distinguished by a preoccupation with the object or behaviour to the point of being dependent on that object or behaviour for sexual gratification. 

Paraphilias include sexual behaviours that society may view as distasteful, unusual, or abnormal.

The most common are paedophilia (sexual focus on children), exhibitionism (exposure of genitals to strangers), voyeurism (observing private activities of unaware victims)

and frotteurism (touching, rubbing against a nonconsenting person), while fetishism (use of inanimate objects)sexual masochism (being humiliated or forced to suffer)

sexual sadism (inflicting humiliation or suffering) and transvestism disorder (sexually arousing cross-dressing) are far less common.

Some of these behaviours are illegal and those who are under treatment for paraphilic disorders have often encountered legal situations surrounding their behaviours.

There is also a category called Other Specified Paraphilic Disorder to cover paraphilias not falling into the already named diagnoses,

such as those involving dead people, urine, faeces, enemas, and obscene phone calls.


Although many paraphilias seem foreign or extreme, they are easier to understand if one thinks of those behaviours that, in less extreme versions, are quite common.

For instance,

having a partner "talk dirty" may be arousing for some people, but when talking dirty is the only way that sexual arousal or satisfaction can occur,

it would be considered paraphilia.

Others want to be bitten or spanked, or become aroused by watching their partner. Viewing a nude person or watching sexually explicit videos can be arousing for most people. 

Paraphilias are magnified to the point of psychological dependence

It is unclear what causes a paraphilic disorder to develop.

Psychoanalysts theorize that an individual with paraphilia is repeating or reverting to a sexual habit that arose early in life.

Behaviourists suggest that paraphilias begin through a process of conditioning. Nonsexual objects can become sexually arousing if they are repeatedly associated with

pleasurable sexual activity.

Particular sexual acts (such as peeping, exhibiting, bestiality) that provide especially intense erotic pleasure can lead the person to prefer that behaviour.

In some cases, there seems to be a predisposing factor, such as difficulty forming person-to-person relationships.

Behavioural learning models suggest that a child who is the victim or observer of inappropriate sexual behaviours learns to imitate and is later reinforced for that behaviour. 

Compensation models suggest that these individuals are deprived of normal social sexual contacts and thus seek gratification through less socially acceptable means.

Physiological models focus on the relationship between hormones, behaviour, and the central nervous system with a particular interest in the role of aggression and

male sexual hormones.

 The Final Word *By Marquise 

Embrace Your BDSM, Your Fetish  ... Your Crazyness,  as long as there is consent and only interaction between  Consenting Adults ... who cares?

Normality is a very relative term in my Book,more a "State of mind" as long as you are happy and

not hurting anyone other than Yourself if you are a "Masochist", One"s Sexuality is no one business.

Embrace Your differences, who you are and what you do. Not every question should be answered.

Finally...Carpe diem, FucK iT! Be a Happy FreaK Like me!