Paraphilias and paraphilic disorders

Freud's definition

In Freud's time, the word used to refer to paraphilias was "perversion". The main problem with Freud's definition was that it included homosexuality. Yet homosexuality is not a paraphilia.

Paraphilias and paraphilic disorders

The DSM's definition

According to the DSM-IV, paraphilias are "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors" "that occur over a period of 6 months" (Criterion A), which "cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning" (Criterion B). The DSM 5 distinguishes "paraphilias", which are not psychic disorders, and "paraphilic disorders". A paraphilic disorder is a "paraphilia that is currently causing distress or impairment to the individual or a paraphilia whose satisfaction has entailed personal harm, or risk of harm, to others".

Four types of paraphilias

There are four types of paraphilias:

  • Paraphilias involving nonhuman objects (fetishism...),
  • Paraphilias involving the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner (sexual masochism, sexual sadism),
  • Paraphilias involving children or other nonconsenting persons (pedophilia...),
  • Paraphilias involving an exclusive sexual activity (urophilia...)

List of paraphilic disorders

Here is a non-exhaustive list of paraphilic disorders: fetishism, transvestism, sadism, masochism, zoophilia, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, pedophilia, necrophilia, urophilia.