“Unusual” Sexual Fantasies Are A Lot More Common Than You Might Think

“Unusual” Sexual Fantasies Are A Lot More Common Than You Might Think

Psychologists and psychiatrists use the term paraphilia to refer to unusual sexual interests. In other words, a paraphilia represents a desire for an uncommon sexual object or activity. Hundreds of different paraphilias have been described at one time or another; however, there are only eight specific paraphilias listed in the current DSM: fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, pedophilia, masochism, and sadism.

While these interests have long been thought to be rare, little data exists regarding their prevalence in the population at large. In fact, the vast majority of the research conducted on these topics so far has been limited to clinical samples, which don’t really give us much indication as to how many people might have these interests at one time or another. However, recent research suggests that they’re far more common than previously thought. 

Read More

How Many People Have "Unusual" Sexual Desires?

How Many People Have "Unusual" Sexual Desires?

Psychologists and psychiatrists use the term paraphilia to refer to an unusual sexual interest. More specifically, paraphilias are recurrent desires for uncommon sexual objects or activities. Although hundreds of desires have been described as paraphilias at one time or another, there are only eight specific paraphilis that are listed in the current version of the DSM (the psychiatry bible): fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, pedophilia, masochism, and sadism (see below for definitions).

Though these interests have long been thought to be rare, very little data exists that can speak to their prevalence in the general population. In fact, almost all of the research conducted on these topics so far has been limited to clinical samples, which doesn’t really give us much sense as to how many people might have had these interests at one time or another. However, a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research offers some insight.

 

Read More

What The DSM-5 Means For The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Sexual Issues

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the “bible” that psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States use for diagnosing mental health problems. Just a few days ago, the American Psychiatric Association released the latest version, known as the DSM-5, which represents the first major overhaul of the manual in 13 years. The new version has been met with a good deal of controversy, which has already been covered extensively in the popular media. One thing that has not been particularly well-covered, though, is the DSM-5’s implications for the diagnosis and treatment of sexual issues.
Read More

A Top 10 List of Unusual Sexual Behaviors

Paraphilias are one of the most fascinating topics in the field of human sexuality. In case you are not familiar with the term paraphilia, it refers to any unusual form of sexual expression. Some of the most common paraphilias include fetishism, in which people become sexually fixated on non-living objects or specific body parts, and sadomasochism, in which people experience sexual arousal in response to giving or receiving pain. A huge number of paraphilias have been identified. In fact, one source puts the number at 547 [1]!

Of course, many of these behaviors are exceedingly rare and most of them have not received much in the way of research attention. It is also important to point out that paraphilias are not necessarily disorders that require treatment. Paraphilias only become clinically significant to the extent that they cause distress to the individual or involve victimization of others. In this article, I’d like to share some of the most interesting, but lesser known paraphilias that I have ever read about.

Read More