Urine demand: A beginner’s guide to urophilia

In an earlier blog, I examined coprophilia (i.e., a paraphilia in which people are sexually aroused by faeces). Another related paraphilia is urophilia in which people are sexually aroused by urine (i.e., the sight or thought of either the act of urination or the urine itself). The condition is known by many different names. In scientific circles it can also be called urophagia, urolagnia, renifleurism, undinism, and ondinisme. In non-scientific circles it is more popularly called ‘water sports’, ‘golden showers’ and (most crudely) ‘piss play’. This has also led to dedicated websites where ‘pee lovers’ can meet up.

Press reports have reported a few celebrities engaging in the activity. For instance, in an interview with the music magazine Blender, the Puerto Rican popstar Ricky Martin stated that he enjoyed ‘golden showers’. The actor Andy Milonakis and host of MTV’s ‘The Andy Milonakis Show’ said in an interview with People Magazine that liked the feeling of “warm urine” on his chest during sexual intercourse. Interestingly, it was recently discovered that Havelock Ellis – one the ‘founding fathers’ of sexology – was aroused by the sight of a woman urinating.

“In childhood, as his autobiography reveals, Ellis had exclusive attention from his mother during long absences of his sea captain father. Ellis was the eldest child and only son, whose intimacy with his mother included sponging her back and being present when he was twelve and older as she urinated. (His sister, when she heard of one incident, thought that their mother was being flirtatious, since normally she was rather a reserved person.) The consequences of this malimprinting Ellis dignified with the term urolagnia, which he denied had become a real perversion or a dominant interest in his sexual life. His candour had limits, and the evidence is otherwise… In Ellis’s instance the trauma of witnessing his mother urinate was converted into the hostile pleasure of humiliating other women, women in no way connected with his mother, by persuading them to do something for reasons mainly unintelligible to them. When he had the gratification of inducing Franroise [his partner] to urinate in crowded Oxford Circus, she may not have felt especially humiliated. With such an initiate his satisfaction was mainly symbolic…The perversion was enough on his mind for him to write it into his seventh volume of Studies in the Psychology of Sex. There he dignifies the pathological sounding “urolagnia” with the new and enticing term “undinism”. Grosskurth thinks that this volume came into existence principally to defend the perversion which is not discussed elsewhere” (Andrew Brink’s book review of Phyllis Grosskurth’s biography of Havelock Ellis, 1980).

In the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (and like coprophilia), urophilia is listed as a ‘paraphilia not otherwise specified’ (PNOS). As with all paraphilias in the PNOS category, diagnosis is only made “if the behavior, sexual urges, or fantasies cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning…Fantasies, behaviors, or objects are paraphilic only when they lead to clinically significant distress or impairment (e.g., are obligatory, result in sexual dysfunction, require participation of non-consenting individuals, lead to legal complications, interfere with social relationships)”.

Urophiliacs typically derive sexual pleasure from urinating on (and/or being urinated upon by) another person. Some urophiliacs may also bathe in urine, enjoy smelling people in urine-soaked clothes, and/or engage in urophagia (i.e., drinking the urine). For urophiliacs, the drinking of the urine typically takes place while someone else urinates directly into their mouth. Urophagia (in and of itself) is not necessarily a sexually arousing activity as there are many urine drinkers who don’t do it for sexual pleasure but for other reasons (e.g., ritualistic and ceremonial purposes or they think there are health or cosmetic benefits as witnessed by those who engage in ‘urine therapy’).

However, for urophiliacs, the act of urophagia may be sexually stimulating for them. They may also engage in the activity as part of other paraphilic activity such as sadism, masochism, voyeurism, and infantalism (i.e., being sexually excited from dressing as an adult baby). Some urophiliacs may also experience sexual arousal from having a full bladder and/or feel sexually attracted to someone else who has a full bladder (‘bladder desperation’) or wets themselves (i.e. ‘panty wetting’ or wetting the bed). In Japan, this latter parahilic behaviour occurs as part of a fetish subculture known as ‘omorashi’ and is seen as different from urophilia.

In 2009, Dr Garth Mundiger-Klow (Beverly Hills Institute of Sexual Health Research, USA) published a whole book comprising 15 urophiliac case studies (The Golden Fetish) but despite the academic credentials of the author, and the lengthy accounts, the book was little more than a collection of erotic stories based around urophiliacs with little analysis provided by the author.

To date, there has been very little scientific research and almost all of what is known is based on either case studies or as a co-occurring behaviour with other paraphilias. For instance, in a survey of 561 non-incarcerated individuals seeking treatment for paraphilias, Dr Gene Abel, and colleagues found that many paraphiliacs engaged in more than one paraphilic behaviour. For instance, all the zoophiles in the sample reported more than one paraphilia and for a small number this included urophilia. However, it appears that urophilia is mostly likely associated with sadomasocism. For instance, in a study of 245 male sadomasochists, Dr Andreas Spengler (University of Hamburg, Germany) reported that 10% of those surveyed had an interest in urophilia. This finding is similar to that of Dr Neil Buhrich (St. Vincent’s Hospital, New South Wales, Australia) who found that 8% of his sample of sadomasichists reported an interest in urophilia.

A paper in a 1982 edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry by Dr R. Denson found that the urine fulfilled many different functions for urophiles. The functions of urine included it (i) serving as a fetishistic object, (ii) being used to humiliate or be humiliated (i.e., through urinating on another person or being urinated upon), and/or (iii) capturing the spirit of a sexual partner. Based on the case studies examined, Dr Denson also argued that urination may serve masochistic and/or sadistic purposes and that therefore it should be labeled ‘uromasochism’ or ‘urosadism’.

While most explanations for paraphilic urophilia focus on early behavioural conditioning in childhood and adolescence, I also came across an interesting snippet in Professor John Money’s 1980 book Love and Love Sickness: The Science of Sex, Gender Difference and Pair-bonding:

“Some years ago, when I visited the Yerkes primate laboratory in Atlanta…How, I asked, did a wild chimpanzee mother keep its baby clean from soiling? The answer was that, as in many other species, she licks it clean…Among the people of Bali, in Indonesia, small dogs lick the babies clean…The dog’s assigned duty is to provide diaper service by licking clean the baby, and the mother, whenever the baby soils. Subsequently I have learned that Eskimo mothers once had a custom of licking their babies clean. Even though human primates have graduated from using the mother’s snout end to keep the baby’s tail end clean, it is safe to assume that, as a species, we still possess in the brain the same phyletic circuitry for infant hygiene as do the subhuman primates. Just as males and females have nipples, so also do both sexes have these brain pathways that relate to drinking urine and eating feces. These are the pathways that, when they become associated with neighboring erotic/sexual pathways, produce urophilia and coprophilia as paraphilias”.

Additionally, an internet essay examining ‘forced retention of bodily waste’ among children, Laurie Couture makes the following observations in relation to the origin of urine-related paraphilias:

“Some sufferers of forced waste retention develop sexual fetishes involving waste and waste retention…adult respondents reported using masturbation as a way to dissociate from the pain of a full bladder. Websites that cater to the sadomasochistic desires of urolagnia (“water sports”) enthusiasts are prevalent on the Internet…Adults who engage in urolagnia are often reenacting scenes from childhood, some of which involved denial of toilet use by school teachers or caretakers for purposes of punishment or containment…Due to the close proximity of the urethra and bladder to the sex organs, some adults who chronically suffered this form of bodily control as children developed a conditioned response in which wetting themselves or bladder tension was association with sexual arousal”

Clearly, there is still much to learn in this area but there are certainly some interesting speculations as to the origins and initiation of urophilic behaviour.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Abel, G. G., Becker, J. V., Cunningham-Rathner, J., Mittelman, M., & Rouleau, J. L. (1988). Multiple paraphilic diagnoses among sex offenders. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 16, 153-168.

Buhrich, N. (1983). The association of erotic piercing with homosexuality, sadomasochism, bondage, fetishism, and tattoos. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12, 167-171.

Collacott, R.A. & Cooper, S.A. (1995). Urine fetish in a man with learning disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 39, 145-147.

Couture, L.A. (2000). Forced retention of bodily waste: The most overlooked form of child maltreatment. Located at: http://www.nospank.net/couture2.htm

Denson, R. (1982). Undinism: The fetishizaton of urine. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 27, 336–338.

Grosskurth, P. (1980). Havelock Ellis: A Biography. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.

Massion-verniory, L. & Dumont, E. (1958). Four cases of undinism. Acta Neurol Psychiatr Belg. 58, 446-59.

Money, J. (1980). Love and Love Sickness: The Science of Sex, Gender Difference and Pair-bonding, John Hopkins University Press.

Mundinger-Klow, G. (2009). The Golden Fetish: Case Histories in the Wild World of Watersports. Paris: Olympia Press.

Skinner, L. J., & Becker, J. V. (1985). Sexual dysfunctions and deviations. In M. Hersen & S. M. Turner (Eds.), Diagnostic interviewing (pp. 211–239). New York: Plenum Press.

Spengler, A. (1977). Manifest sadomasochism of males: Results of an empirical study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 6, 441–456.

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Gambling Studies at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 430 research papers, three books, over 120 book chapters, and over 1000 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2000 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on March 26, 2012, in Compulsion, Eating disorders, Obsession, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Paraphilia, Pica, Psychiatry, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. “In an earlier blog, I examined coprophilia (i.e., a paraphilia in which people are sexually aroused by faces).” Faeces, surely?

    • Hi Graham. Thanks for spotting that! I’ve now changed the typo. Mark

    • LOL! I guess being sexually aroused by faces isn’t kinky enough to deserve a title.

      • And just yesterday I caught a reference to “coprophilic cats” in the zoophilia article (it was supposed to be “coprophilic acts”). What is it about coprophilia that brings out the funny typos?

        Interestingly, although I’m not a urophile, I did confuse the feeling of sexual stimulation with that of a full bladder throughout my childhood. When my mother caught me masturbating as a toddler, she (in one of her rare missteps where my sexual education was concerned) decided to interpret it as a sign that I needed to use the bathroom. I tried to tell her otherwise, but she insisted, and eventually I learned to keep that activity private not because my sexuality was a private thing, but so she wouldn’t drag me off to the bathroom while I was feeling good. I assumed she knew something I didn’t, and concluded that the good feeling I got from my activities had something to do with putting pressure on the bladder. It wasn’t until puberty that I realized what I was really doing, and at the time I was perfectly mortified!

  2. I read nothing in reference to men being aroused sexually by women urinating due to natural phermones being present in the urine coinciding with her ovulation cycle. Studies have shown that most heterosexual males showed signs of arousal after being subjected to scent samples derived from a mature females nether regions at different times thruout her cycle. more so during ovulation.
    Forgive me for not providing any references, I can never remember an authors name.
    needless to say that I stink at crossword puzzles.

  3. Hello doc.. its a nice blog. It answers many of my questions. To begin with, I have turned into a pervert. I love water-sports. I watch these piss movies on the internet and masturbate. I hire hookers occasionally and pay them to watch them pee and also get peed on, though I don’t like to have intercourse with them. I hide behind a place to watch women pee. I just cannot get my mind out of this fetish. Almost immediately when I meet a female, I imagine her without clothes and peeing for me. I love desperate women looking around for toilets. Sometimes I feel ashamed of myself. I am single / 30 / male without any relationships in the past or present. Please help me get me over this or please tell me that this is normal. Waiting for your advice through mail. Thanks in advance for your help.

  4. I have to be honest, I’m not into these sorts of acts, but I think my partner might be and it worries me. He has jokingingly asked me to allow him to urinate on him, he has watched me urinate and even kissed my penis as I was urinating into the toilet. I am slightly disturbed mostly because I feel that if I don’t begin to experiment with him he’ll look elsewhere for someone who will. I am curious to know how to approach such a topic wih him in conversation without offending him. One time when we talked about it he seemed to get a little defensive. Am I wrong because I’m disgusted by these activities? If I could have a response from anyone that’d be great. Thanks

  5. DesperationWettingFan

    Urophilia is definitely worthy of being segmented into various categories. Urophiliacs are adamant in their preference for specific categories, and even denounce other manifestations. One may be sexually aroused by nude urination, but criticize fully clothed wetting. One may also prefer genuine accidental wettings, yet disapprove of intentional urination.

    I also find it interesting that Urophilia effects such a broad spectrum of people, and seems to be indiscriminate in it’s appearance among other fetishes. It makes me wonder if it is more of a common underlying standard rather than a paraphilia.

  6. I actually blame my wife for my fascination with this fetish. We do a bit of role playing *wink*. This one time she had dressed up as a dog and was crawling around our house peeing on a makeshift hydrangea by lifting her leg. That’s when I first noticed her penis. You would think this is something I would have seen during our 7 years of marriage. Perhaps, I was intentionally “looking the other way”, while staring right at it. Anyway, the hydrangea has flourished during these role playing sessions. I love hydrangeas. Thank you for your time.

  7. stan stickeymouse

    Comments on the DesperationWettingFan’s remarks.

    “Urophiliacs are adamant in their preference for specific categories, and even denounce other manifestations.”

    The word adamant is way too strong here. While naturally people have personal preferences. I think it rare for them to denounce others for theirs. Most are just happy to find others that share an interest in urination. Prior to the internet many felt they were alone in this interest. However a common and vehement denunciation is to link coprophilia to urophilia a mistake this author also makes. While there is inevitably an overlap of interest in a small percentage of people it is far from being universal. I would go as far as saying most watersports fans find coprophilia as abhorrent as would the general population.

    “I also find it interesting that Urophilia effects such a broad spectrum of people, and seems to be indiscriminate in it’s appearance among other fetishes. It makes me wonder if it is more of a common underlying standard rather than a paraphilia.”

    In my opinion this is a matter of degree. I think it is commonplace for people to have a sexual curiosity in how the opposite sex urinate. However this is entirely different to those people such as myself who indulge in such practices as golden showers and drinking their partners urine.

  8. I am in my 76th year of life. This fetish has been a mystery to myself ever since it was obvious that many consider it gross while I did not. My father taught me that trying to understand oneself would drive you insane. This directive has never slowed me down, not even for a moment. So now lets explore my theory on how I became a fan of pee sex. It may or may not apply to anyone else. It may however contribute a small thread of information which will enable the professionals to get a handle on it and perhaps even assist those who have to deal with this fetish.

    As a preschool boy one of the many passing interests was to compare how far we could pee, There was no sexual connection, no more significant than how far we can jump. An erection also had no sexual meaning nor more than goosebumps that just happen at times when you get cold. Girls were just other children who seem to have different ways of playing that were, for the most part, foreign to us.

    Now we must attend school,for the first time. It is the type of public school that went from grade one to grade four only. The authority to tell us what to do and not do has been widened to include the adults associated the School, the Police, and the Church.

    In School you get to meet other children and some have the same interest as you. so the trauma of separation from parents soon fades. One of the shared activities is recess where all the children take a break from leaning lessons and take time to play and to answer natures call if necessary.

    . Still being interested in how far other boys could pee we would to pay attention to that element, when chance would allow, Still no sexual meaning. Other boys shared that interest as evidenced by one boy we all knew who could pee right across the room to hit the urinal.and it was talked about among the closer friends, as if he was some kid to be worthy of notice which inspired us to try and do better ourselves.

    There existed in the school WC for boys a room attached by a passage way to the caretakers office. On several occasions the caretaker would pass by and would notice our antics and scold us for making a mess. One one occasion I was apprehended by that caretaker while trying for range and dragged into his office to explain myself.

    During that interrogation he presented his cock to me at my eye level, it was huge as it would appear to a 6 year old when compared to their own equipment. Although scared by this I did not protest because after all he was the authority figure. The interrogation went on and on as he stroked his ever growing penis.

    I should point out at this time that this is not a exercise of my imagination but a real traumatic event that occurred to me at this age. It is still clear to me now as it was 70 years ago. What followed was even more traumatic as I was subjected to anal penetration. After the event I was warned of the consequences of telling others, even to mention it to my parents.

    There was another factor that made me think that the threat against telling was more than just words. as my lady teacher summoned me to the front of the class and made me sit at the front row, then sat on the desk in front of me and spread her legs slightly so I would notice she had nothing on under her dress, and close enough the only I might see this. I was so close that the smell was very unpleasant and it probably did not help the situation in that she was fat. Having seen the hair which the caretaker had near his penis I started to look into her hair to see if I could see her penis and wondered if would be as large as his. Yes, that was the extent of my sexual knowledge at that age. It was only a glance, not a long stare, but was responded to immediately with a loud ; “What are you looking at?” in a cross scolding voice. I was tongue tied and cold not reply for after all I did not find what I was looking for. I was then marched over to the other side of the room and placed on a stool at the front of the class and made to wear a dunce hat which was shaped like an upside down cone and was kept there even after school until I apologized for looking under here skirt, as she put it.

    Having changed schools now in order to enter grade five I had a music teacher that would call me into the cloak room after school to suggest to me that I would get better marks if I played with his cock. So as far as I knew, the whole school authorities would team up against me if I said anything.. I remained silent until now.

    It is my theory that the caretaker incident is responsible for my arrested sexual development and froze it at the pee interest stage of sexual identity. It is also my theory that this incident also the source of a physical bowel problem I had up to my mid thirties.

    The harm pedophiles do to their victims can last a lot longer than the perpetrators might imagine. They can last for as long as the victims natural life.

    At age 12 interests began to shift towards girls. It might be easy to imagine that this child like interest in pee presented problems. Also the past history made me believe that if I showed any interest, bad things would happen . What young teenage girl is going to respond with a yes to the request to see her pee..That would just be freaky to them.

    By the time I had reached my late teens, my mother had died from a drug overdose and I was on my own as my father moved on with his life. It was about this time that an other incident occurred. I had to visit the facilities at a beach to relieve myself and while standing there, with my bathing suit pulled down just far enough, I felt this warm sensation flowing down the back of my leg. What was going on, it was not my stream, and looking up it was not a leak from plumbing above me. Turning my head there was a kid about 12 years of age pissing on my leg having a giggle

    It was at that moment I realized that this sensation was pleasant if I just ignored it was dirty. This was easy but the next terrifying thought was… this was a child and I was in a panic about what to do about it. Should I scold him… my on memories would prevent that. There were no options in my mind other than to ignore it and simply walk out when done. I did not wish to create any lasting memories in the kids mind. But there were lasting memories in my mind. Why did I enjoy the sensation? Why was I not grossed out by it?

    The extent of my present interest would be to experience again that warm sensation of being pissed on even though my own sense of personal dignity would get in the way. I will probably go to to my grave before experiencing this delightful feeling again. Oh yes, much better if it were female doing as the sexual arousal would overpower the dignity factor. If a male is sufficiently feminine looking then I could image that possibility too.
    Another window into my psyche is that giving oral sex is the second most stimulating of all sexual acts next to peeing.

    To conclude it can be said that I still do not know if one is born with this fetish or it is caused by life events. All we can do is to learn to live with it and try our best not to have it interfere with normal relationships. It is lamentable that we cannot be open with this fetish without fear of outright rejection by four of every five people..

  9. I have a similar problem but I am on your boyfriend’s side of it…I love love love watching urolagnic porn and have asked my boyfriend to piss on me. He agreed after a discussion about why I liked it and I asked if I could have it in my mouth and swallow it, he was very reluctant to say yes, though. And then I asked if I could piss on him he made it clear that he did not want that. Discuss it and ask questions but be sure to set boundaries and maybe you’ll get used to it and want to partake someday :)

  1. Pingback: Les Soupeurs : psychologie des voleurs d’urine

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