Characteristics of Sexual Fixations and Paraphilias

What kind of sexual fixations are paraphilias? Read on to discover the answer!
Characteristics of Sexual Fixations and Paraphilias

Last update: 08 March, 2021

Sexual fixations are certain sexual orientations towards unusual objects or unorthodox situations. Their main characteristic is the fantasies repeat and these are quite intense. These involve sexual impulses or behaviors that usually involve non-human objects, pain or humiliation of oneself, a partner, or non-consenting persons, including children.

To simplify this terminology, you must know where the word paraphilia comes from. The root “para-” means “apart from” and “-philia” as well as “para-” comes from Greek and means “love”. Thus, one can understand paraphilias as “on the edge of love”. As you can see, it encompasses everything that deviates from what’s commonly known or established as “normal”.

Okay, but is anything that excites and diverges from what’s socially normal a paraphilia? Advances in diagnostic manuals have made it possible to differentiate between paraphilia and paraphilic disorders. Therefore, a paraphilic disorder is one that’s exciting but also causes discomfort, either by personal prejudice or the risk of harm to others. A paraphilia is the intense and persistent sexual interest in something that’s beyond the normal social canons, something atypical, but doesn’t cause discomfort or harm.

Just as there can be phobias (fear of) to pretty much everything, there are also philias (love of) directed towards the same things. Some sources indicate there are about 550 types of paraphilias. Attraction to animals (zoophilia), attraction to the dead (necrophilia), and sexual arousal with feces (coprophilia), among them.

“There’s a very fine line between pleasure and pain. They’re two sides of the same coin, one not existing without the other.”

-E.L. James-

A person grasping their sheet.

The most common paraphilias

Voyeurism is one of the most common sexual fixations out there. It’s the excitement derived from watching a person, without their knowledge, who’s naked or having sex. Exhibitionism is another common philia, it’s a sexual tension only resolved by showing the genitals to an unsuspecting person.

Frotteurism is another common sexual fixation. It’s the feeling of excitement when rubbing one’s genitals against another person without their consent. Masochism and sexual sadism are part of it, which are about finding pleasure in the pain and suffering of oneself or another. In addition, fetishism may be one of the most commonly known paraphilias. This is the excitement towards inanimate objects or body parts other than the genitals; the feet, for example.

Keep in mind that paraphilias don’t involve harm to self or others, they don’t generate discomfort, and don’t exceed the limits of consent and agreement between those who practice them; paraphilic disorders do.

People with sexual fixations.

Curiosities about sexual fixations

Paraphilias usually begin during adolescence, when the first sexual encounters take place and people begin to discover their bodies and what excites them. Formerly, the common belief was that these could only happen in men. Even though 85% do occur in men, they also happen in women, especially the sexual fixation on masochism, the most common within the female gender.

Knowing a little more about paraphilias will help you understand that people can be excited by one thing or another. It depends on their history, their knowledge, what they’ve experienced and, sometimes, even without even knowing why they find pleasure and excitement in certain things. There’s no accounting for taste when it comes to sexual fixations.

You must be aware that anything that doesn’t degrade another or causes them pain is fair in this game. Thus, you should be able to find pleasure in everything that surrounds you, only as long as you respect the boundaries of others. There’s nothing written about your own sexuality and you can discover new forms of pleasure if you free yourself.

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