Paraphilia is a psychiatric diagnosis defined as 'a condition characterised by abnormal sexual desires, typically involving extreme or dangerous activities'. In some cases, this is clear-cut: bestiality and pedophilia are both classed as being paraphilia, for example. The problem comes when the term is overused: it's sometimes employed to medicalise and problematise fetishes of all kinds, which is marginalising and repressing and no good to anyone. At the end of the day, the answer is simple: if your "abnormal sexual desires" are potentially harmful to yourself or others in a way that is non-consensual or more than transient, calling them paraphilia and seeking treatment might be helpful. Otherwise you do you, boo.
What are paraphilias?
Sexual disorders that include extreme and dangerous activities. They include strong sexual fantasies that are not just unusual but could hurt the person or others if acted upon. Some may even be illegal.
Do I have a paraphilia?
If you have a concern about your sexual desires it is definitely worth talking to a medical professional. If your desires are to be indulged in with other consenting adults in a Risk Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) scene then you don’t have a paraphilia. If anything is non-consensual, involves extreme damage to yourself or another or you feel the desire is out of control, contact your doctor as soon as possible for help.
When does a fetish become a paraphilia?
Fetishes are good things, we celebrate them here at fetish.com. They bring excitement and enjoyment into your sex life. Fetishes have been and can be considered paraphilias by some medical professionals, but generally as long as you are happy, healthy and capable of enjoying sex that doesn’t include your fetish, it’s considered all good. It’s only when your sexual desires are extreme, dangerous or include individuals who can’t consent that it’s considered a paraphilia and treatment is needed.
Can paraphilias be treated?
There is no cure, but there are therapies and pharmaceutical treatments that can be employed to control a paraphilia.
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