“While human biology is the ultimate basis for our sexual behavior; culture and society are the most important influences on how individuals experience and express their sexuality.” – J. Patrick and Linda Wolfe, anthropologists
This is where variant sexual behavior comes into play and It makes me wonder: Are the boundaries of illness and disorder really so distinct? What is considered ‘normal’ sexual behavior and when is it considered Paraphilia?
First there is the criterias used to define ‘normal’ sexual behavior. Prevalence is where we tend to assume that if most people engage in a sexual behavior; it is normal. Moral Correctness is when sexual behaviors are viewed as normal and so they are morally correct. Naturalness is when procreation is the outcome. Lastly, Adaptive Comfort, when sexual behaviors have a positive outcome for the participants. All of these criterias are to be taken into historical variations as well, for what is normal now, may have been abnormal in another time. For example, voyeurism in the early 1900’s was receiving a great deal of physiological attention, and now, shows such as Survivor and internet sites like vuyeurloundge.com has made it social OK as it has expanded.
Now we come to Paraphilia. What is it? How do we know if we have it? What does it consist of? Paraphilia is an overdependence on a culturally unacceptable sexual arousal and satisfaction. Paraphilias are legal or illegal depending on the degree to which the rights of others are affected. Persons normally do not seek treatment unless forced to do so. What are the unacceptable sexual behaviors?
Here’s a list:
Acrotomophilia: Deriving sexual arousal or gratification from engaging in sex with an amputee.
Asphyxiophilia: Cutting off one’s air supply to enhance orgasm.
Autonepiophilia: Deriving sexual arousal or gratification from wearing wet diapers.
Exhibitionism: Exposing one's genitals to a stranger or having a recurrent urge to do so.
Fetishism: Becoming sexually aroused by actual or fantasized objects.
Frotteurism: Touching or rubbing a non-consenting person in a sexual manner or having a recurrent urge to do so.
Gerontophilia: Becoming sexually aroused by elderly individuals.
Necrophilia: Deriving sexual arousal or gratification from sexual activity with a dead person.
Pedophilia: Engaging in sexual behavior with a child or having a recurrent urge to do so.
Sexual sadism: Becoming sexually aroused by actual or fantasized infliction of pain, humiliation, or physical constraint on another.
Sexual masochism: Becoming sexually aroused by actual or fantasized inflicted pain, humiliation, or physical constraint by another stranger.
Somnophilia: Fondling a person who is sleeping so as to become sexually aroused. The person is often a stranger.
Transvestic fetishism: Becoming sexually aroused by dressing in the clothes of the other sex.
Urophilia: Using urine for sexual arousal either by watching someone urinate or by urinating on
Voyeurism: Watching a person who is either nude, undressing, or engaging in sexual behavior and is unaware that someone is watching, or having a recurrent urge to do so.
Zoophilia: Becoming aroused by sexual contact with animals (commonly known as bestiality).
These Paraphilias are also known as Sexual Dysfunctions or Sexual Addictions, and even more so; a Sexual Illness. Can People Control Their Own Paraphilias? Unless the sexual dysfunctions are treated, the individual with a Paraphilia may continue to perceive no alternative for sexual gratification other than engaging in Paraphilia behavior. This addiction is sometimes described as an intimacy disorder manifested by a compulsive cycle of ritualization of sexual behavior and despair.
Can you control yourself?
Do you want to?