With the special support of the Italian sexologist Paola de Sio 

  • What is a sexual perversion?

A sexual perversion (also called paraphilia) is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( (DSM-IV) as ” a fantasy, an impulse or a recurring and sexually exciting behaviour” regarding :

  • objects
  • the act of receiving or causing physical or psychological suffering
  • the act of involving people or children who do not consent to the sexual practice.

 An individual who suffers from paraphilia as a disorder differs from somebody who only lives sex as an atypical or extreme form, for 3 main reasons:

  • Esclusiveness: the sexual arousal only happens when the behaviour that fulfils the perversion is performed.
  • Obsessiveness: the necessity to perform the behaviour that fulfils the sexual perversion
  • Desperation: the feel of anxiety or distress if that behaviour cannot be performed.


  • What does a sexual perversion depend on ?

 A perversion depends on traumas (prevalently sexual abuses) that happened during the childhood, not elaborated in adulthood.

Traumas often leave permanent damage on the personality of an individual.

The perversion would be the attempt of the individual to exorcize its past traumas by repeating the experience in adulthood, in the same form or changing his role, embodied during the trauma, with the opposite one:

if the trauma regards the fact that I was raped, in adulthood the individual could desire to be raped again or to rape somebody.

In some cases,  a sexual perversion could be the consequence of a personality disorder such as Narcissistic, Borderline, or Obsessive disorders (disorders that often are influenced by traumas and sexual abuses too).


  • Why does an individual look for in a sexual perversion?

Fulfilling a sexual perversion, for an individual who suffers of a paraphilia, means lifting the anxiety and desperation that weigh his daily life.


  • The 10 rarest sexual perversions:
  1. Biastophilia: the individual feels pleasure by acting out sexual violence on someone. The sexual arousal is caused by the resistance of the partner and his/her fear.

Indeed, if the abused partner shows pleasure or doesn’t seem scared, the aggressor can suddenly loose his sexual arousal and interest in the partner

2.  Sitophiliathe sexual arousal is determined by food. The individual feels pleasure by eating from the body of a partner or using food as a sexual stimulus: for example bananas, zucchini often are substitutions for dildos for women arousal.

     3.  Dendrophilia: the individual is sexually attracted to trees and feels a carnal desire to be connected with them.

      4.  Hierophilia: the individual has sexual urges, preferences or fantasies that involve sacred or religious objects.

      5.  Asphixiophilia: feeling of suffocation that has to be stopped when it starts to be dangerous. According to people used to this practice, the lack of air amplifies sexual arousal and pleasure, resulting in an orgasm much more intense than a standard one.

According to  research, pleasure depends on loosing control and feeling completely free because everything is concentrated in the hands of the partner.

        6. Dismorphophilia: sexual arousal caused by having sex with dwarfs or people with disabilities.

        7. Apotemnophilia: sexual desire to have a limb amputated. This paraphilia is often associated to the Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a rare condition where  an invididual doesn’t recognize a limb as a part of his body. Frequently, a person who suffers of BIID asks for a surgical intervention to amputate the unrecognized limb.

         8. Acrotomophilia: sexual atraction to people who have undergone amputations.

        9. Branding: sexual practice often carried out in dominant and submissive relations. It means burning the partner in order to mark his body with a scar and carve the possession, indelibly and painfully.

         10. Necrophilia: the orgasm is caused by having sex with corpses. Necrophilia has been interpreted as a dehumanization of pleasure, considered too emotionally painful.

Symbolic Necrophilia is a sexual perversion which doesn’t involve sexual activity with the dead but only a simulation with the partner.


  • Treatment.

Due to shame or unconsciousness of their problem, only a few people voluntarily follow a psychological therapy.

How can a therapist figure out that the sexual perversion is, more properly, a disorder?

The therapist proceeds with an evaluation and differential diagnosis of the general well-being of the patience and trace eventual personality or mental disorders.

Then, the therapy regarding sexual perversion is adapted depending on the type of perversion the patience suffers from, how the perversion invalidates the patient and how socially dangerous the perversion is.

Advised books: “Non smettere di giocare” di Fabrizio Quattrini“La mente contro la natura” di Giorgio Nardone.