Fetish & Paraphilia – Same or Different?
What Is a Fetish?
A fetish is described as a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked, to an abnormal degree, to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.
A paraphilia is described as sexual interests in objects, situations, or individuals that are atypical or extreme. A Paraphilic Disorder is described as having an additional experience of distress or impairment in functioning.
The main difference between a paraphilia and a fetish, is that a paraphilia is much more extreme and harmful than a fetish. A fetish can become a paraphilia if the attraction becomes obsessive or harmful.
Paraphilias can include sexual behaviours that society may view as distasteful, unusual or abnormal. The most common are pedophilia (sexual focus on children), exhibitionism (exposure of genitals to strangers), voyeurism (observing private activities of unaware victims) and frotteurism (touching, rubbing against a non-consenting person), while fetishism (use of inanimate objects), sexual masochism (being humiliated or forced to suffer), sexual sadism (inflicting humiliation or suffering) and transvestic disorder (sexually arousing cross-dressing) are far less common as paraphilias. Perhaps because they are becoming more widely acknowledged.
Some paraphilias have more than one term to describe them, and some terms overlap with others. But the list is quite extensive. Anil Aggrawal, a professor of Forensic Medicine, once compiled a list of over 500 terms describing paraphilic sexual interests. He did explain that not all of these have necessarily been seen in clinical setups. Not because they don’t exist, but because they are so harmless that they are never brought to the attention of a doctor or are dismissed by them.
Just like allergies, sexual arousal may occur from anything under the sun, including the sun.
Most of the listed names for paraphilias are used in medical contexts only, due to their Greek or Latin origin.
|Abasiophilia/ Acrotomophilia/ Apotemnophilia||People with impaired mobility/amputations/being an amputee|
|Agalmatophilia||Statues, mannequins and immobility|
|Algolagnia||Pain, particularly involving an erogenous zone; differs from masochism as there is a biologically different interpretation of the sensation rather than a subjective interpretation|
|Anililagnia||Attraction by young men to older women|
|Anthropophagy||Ingesting human flesh|
|Asphyxiophilia||Being asphyxiated or strangled|
|Autagonistophilia||Being on stage or on camera|
|Autassassinophilia||Being in life-threatening situations|
|Autoandrophilia||A biological female imagining herself as a male|
|Autoerotic asphyxiation||Self-induced asphyxiation, sometimes to the point of near unconsciousness|
|Autogynephilia||A biological male imagining himself as a female|
|Auto-haemofetishism||Bleeding oneself (does not involve ingestion of blood). Type of autovampirism|
|Autonepiophilia/ Autopedophilia||The image of one’s self in the form of an infant/Child|
|Autovampirism/Vampirism||The image of one’s self in the form of a vampire. Involves ingesting or seeing one’s own blood|
|Autozoophilia||The image of one’s self in the form of an animal or anthropomorphized animal|
|Biastophilia/Raptophilia||Raping a person, possibly consensual rape fantasy|
|Chremastistophilia||Being robbed or held up|
|Chronophilia||Partners of a widely differing chronological age|
|Coprophilia Feces;||also known as scat, scatophilia or fecophilia|
|Dacryphilia||Tears or crying|
|Diaper fetishism||Diapers; considerable overlap with paraphilic infantilism|
|Erotic asphyxiation||Asphyxia of oneself or others|
|Erotophonophilia||Murder, often of strangers (also known as dacnolagnomania)|
|Exhibitionism||Exposing one’s genitals to unsuspecting and nonconsenting others|
|Feederism||Eating, feeding, and weight gain|
|Formicophilia||Being crawled on by insects|
|Forniphilia||Turning a human being into a piece of furniture|
|Frotteurism||Rubbing against a non-consenting person|
|Gynandromorphophilia/Gynemimetophilia||Transsexual or transgender women|
|Heterophilia||Idealization of heterosexuality and/or people who are “straight-acting,” especially by non-heterosexual people.|
|Hybristophilia||Criminals, particularly for cruel or outrageous crimes|
|Infantophilia Pedophilia||with a focus on children less than five years old, a recently suggested term that is not in general use|
|Klismaphilia||Enemas; arousal and enjoyment in receiving, administering, or both|
|Liquidophilia||Immersing genitals in liquids|
|Macrophilia||Giant beings; the imagined growth of beings|
|Mazophilia||Highly atypical sexual interest focused on female breasts|
|Masochism||Suffering or humiliation; being beaten, bound or otherwise abused|
|Mechanophilia||Cars or other machines; also “mechaphilia.”|
|Morphophilia||Particular body shapes or sizes|
|Mysophilia||Dirtiness, soiled or decaying things|
|Objectophilia||Specific inanimate objects|
|Oculolinctus/ Oculophilia||Licking the eyeballs/ activities directly relating to and/or involving the eyes|
|Olfactophilia||Smells and odors emanating from the body, especially the sexual areas.|
|Omorashi||Arousal from having a full bladder and/or wetting oneself, or from seeing someone else experiencing a full bladder and/or wetting themselves|
|Paraphilic infantilism||Dressing or being treated like a baby, also known as autonepiophilia or “adult baby syndrome”; considerable overlap with diaper fetishism|
|Partialism||Specific, non-genital body parts|
|Pedophilia||Prepubescent children, also spelled paedophilia; often confused with hebephilia, ephebophilia, and pederasty|
|Peodeiktophilia||Exposing one’s penis|
|Pictophilia||Pornography or erotic art, particularly pictures|
|Piquerism||Piercing the flesh of another person, most commonly by stabbing or cutting the body with sharp objects|
|Plushophilia||Stuffed toy animals (Plushies)|
|Pygophilia||Buttocks, as in a highly atypical sexual interest focused on the buttocks.|
|Sadism||Inflicting pain on others|
|Salirophilia||Soiling or dirtying others|
|Sexual fetishism||Nonliving objects|
|Somnophilia||Sleeping or unconscious people|
|Sthenolagnia||Muscles and displays of strength|
|Stigmatophilia||Body piercings and tattoos|
|Symphorophilia||Witnessing or staging disasters such as car accidents|
|Telephone scatologia||Obscene phone calls, particularly to strangers; also known as telephonicophilia and scatophilia|
|Teratophilia||Deformed or monstrous people|
|Toucherism||Touching an unsuspecting, non-consenting person with the hand|
|Transvestic fetishism||Wearing clothes associated with the opposite sex; also known as transvestism|
|Troilism||Cuckoldism; watching one’s partner have sex with someone else, possibly without the third party’s knowledge|
|Urolagnia||Urination, particularly in public, on others, and/or being urinated on. Also referred to as “water sports”|
|Vorarephilia||The idea of one person or creature eating or being eaten by another; usually swallowed whole, in one piece; also known as vore|
|Voyeurism||Watching others while naked or having sex, generally without their knowledge; also known as scopophilia or scoptophilia|
|Wet and messy fetishism||Messy situations, including, but not limited to, being pied, gunged or covered in mud|
|Zoosadism||Inflicting pain on or seeing animals in pain|
The above list is, by no means, exhaustive. More details can be found here.
There seems to be many overlaps in definitions and one can easily become another. It’s very important to control any fetish and seek help when it starts to consume you or harm others. Communication is key! If you or someone you know is affected by a Paraphilic disorder then please speak to your nearest mental health professional or general practitioner for advice.
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