(Also Known As: Paraphilia, Paraphilic, Sexual Abuse)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Paraphilias?

Paraphilia is a condition that involves sexual behavior which is atypical from normal sexual arousal and gratification. A Paraphiliac has sexual desires that are characterized by extreme fantasies revolving around a particular object or on a particular act. Paraphilia is commonly seen in men.1 The sexual behavior of a Paraphiliac is viewed by the society as distasteful, abnormal, and unusual. The main problem of Paraphilias is the uncontrollable impulses of intense sexual fantasies, behavior, and urges that involves unusual objects, situations of activities that are not normally sexually arousing to others. The behavioral dysfunction of a Paraphilic causes them significant distress with their personal, social, and occupational functions. The sexual behaviors in Paraphilias are referred to as perverted and their behavior can lead to serious legal and social consequences.

There are about 547 kinds of paraphilias2 but the most common among them include the following:

  • Pedophilia (sexual activity with a child 13 years old or below)
  • Exhibitionist (public exposure of genitals)
  • Voyeurism (observing private activities of unaware victims)
  • Frotteurism (touching and rubbing against non-consenting person)
  • Fetishism (using inanimate object)
  • Sexual Masochism (being humiliated or forced to suffer)
  • Sexual Sadism (inflicting humiliation or suffering )
  • Transvestic Fetishism (cross-dressing)
  • Asphyxiophilia (strangulation of oneself)
  • Biastophilia (assault and rape)
  • Erotic Asphyxia (asphyxia of oneself or others)
  • Erotophonophilia (murder)
  • Autagonistophilia (being on stage or camera)
  • Formicophilia (insects and small animals)
  • Hebephilia (pubescent children)
  • Paraphilic Fantalism (being a baby)
  • Mammaphilia (female breasts)
  • Menophilia (menstruation)
  • Morphophilia (some particular body shape and size)
  • Narratophilia (obscenity)
  • Necrophilia (corpses and dead people)
  • Peodeiktophilia (exposing one’s penis)
  • Raptophilia (committing rape)
  • Somnophilia (sleeping or unconscious people)

Some of the sexual behaviors of Paraphiliacs are illegal and they have encountered legal situations because of their sexual acts. Paraphilias may include sexual urges and fantasies with non-human objects, sexual behaviors with non-human objects, sexual behavior involving humiliation and sufferings of oneself or another person, and adult sexual behavior involving children or non-consenting adults.3 The fantasies of Paraphiliacs usually begin in late childhood or adolescence and continue throughout adulthood. The occurrence and intensity of Paraphilia are variable, usually decreasing as the person gets older. Paraphilia behaviors can be of criminal offense, while some are not harmful or aggressive. Paraphilias is not necessarily considered a mental illness so long as the sexual behavior of a Paraphiliac is not harmful or dysfunctional. It only becomes harmful when the sexual act impedes the normal development of healthy relationships, entailing the cause of harm to others, and when it involves a criminal offense.4

Could You Have Paraphilias?

Paraphilias Topics

Related Conditions

Anxiety Disorder NOS – Pathological Fears, Chronic Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Fatigue, Exhaustion
Gender Dysphoria (Gender Identity Disorder) – Gender Dysphoria, Transgender, Transvestism, Transsexuality
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Anxiety, Intrusive Thoughts, Depression, Obsession, Compulsive Behavior, Anxiety
Personality Disorder NOS – Changes in Personality and Behavior, Pervasive Behavioral Deviation, Inflexible Personality
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Anxiety, Traumatic Events, Stress, Depression, Psychological Trauma
Schizophrenia – Abnormal Perception of Reality, Hallucinations, Paranoid, Delusion, Disorganized Thinking and Speech
Sexual Addiction – Unmanageable Sexual Behavior, Hypersexuality, Sexual Dependency, Sexual Compulsivity