From the university of perversity (Part 2): An A to Z of non-researched sexual paraphilias and strange sexual behaviours
In a previous blog I did an A-Z of sexual paraphilias about which we know almost nothing. Today’s blog takes a brief A to Z look at another 26 unusual and/or strange sexual behaviours where (as far as I am aware) there is absolutely no empirical or clinical research on the topic. The majority of the paraphilias below can be found in either Dr. Anil Aggrawal’s book Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices and/or Dr. Brenda Love’s Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices (although a few were also taken from such sources as the Write World’s dedicated webpage on ‘philias’ and the online Urban Dictionary).
- Autodermatophagia: This behaviour involves eating one’s own flesh as a form of erotic auto-masochism. The only place I’ve seen this mentioned is in Dr. Aggrawal’s book and appears to be a sub-variant of autosarcophogy (i.e., self-cannibalism) that I covered in a previous blog.
- Brontophilia: This behaviour involves people who derive sexual arousal from thunderstorms. It was also the inspiration for the song Brontophilia (Satanic Anal Thunder) by the group Spasm (Google it if you don’t believe me!)
- Cryptoscopophilia: This is the desire to see behaviour of others in privacy of their home (although some sources claim it is not necessarily sexual). The One Look website lists three different websites that have definitions including the online Urban Dictionary that defines it as “the urge to look through the windows of homes upon walking past them. Usually done for sexual satisfaction/curiosity reasons”. This appears to be a sub-type of voyeurism.
- Dermaphilia: This is a behaviour in which the sexual stimulus for arousal comes from skin. The Sex Lexis definition website is a little more specific and claims that it is common among leather fetishists who becomes sexually aroused “when coming in direct contact with the skin or leather from animals or humans, from wearing leather clothing”.
- Ederacinism: This is possibly one of the most unbelievable behaviours on this list and refers to the tearing out of sexual organs by the roots as in a frenzied way to punish oneself for sexual cravings. This would appear to be a sub-variant of genital self-mutilation and/or Klingsor Syndrome (that I covered in previous blogs).
- Furtling: According to Dr. Aggrawal’s book, this behaviour involves the use of a person’s fingers underneath cut-outs in genital areas of photos as a way of gaining sexual arousal. It is also listed in a Spanish article on sexual paraphilias by Dr. Ruben Serrano in the Revista Venezolana de Urologia.
- Gynotikolobomassophilia: This apparently refers to sexual pleasure from nibbling on a woman’s earlobe (aural sex?). At least four websites list this as a bona fide sexual activity according to the One Look webpage.
- Hodophilia: This behaviour refers to individuals that derive sexual arousal from travelling (at least according to Dr. Aggrawal’s book). It is unclear whether this refers to modes of travelling (such as those who derive sexual pleasure from riding in cars or trains) or whether it refers to deriving sexual pleasure from being a tourist.
- Icolagnia: Again found in Dr. Aggrawal’s book and is defined as those individuals who derive sexual arousal from contemplation of, or contact with, sculptures or pictures. This would seem to overlap with more specific sexual paraphilias such as agalmatophilia (sexual arousal from statues and/or manquins) that I covered in a previous blog.
- Judeophilia: According to the Write World website, this behaviour involves “abnormal” sexual affection towards Jewish people. I have never come across this in any reputable sexual text.
- Kokigami: According to the online Urban Dictionary, this involves the wrapping of the penis in a paper costume. The roots of Kokigami apparently lie in the eighth-century Japanese aristocrats who practiced the art of Tsutsumi (i.e., a man wrapped his penis with silk and ribbons in elaborate designs as a gift to lovers. He would then enjoy the physical sensations as his lover carefully unwrapped her prize.
- Lygerastia: This is mentioned in Dr. Brenda Love’s sex encyclopedia and refers to tendency to being sexually aroused by being in darkness. This would appear to share psychological and behavioural overlaps with amaurophilia (sexual arousal from blindness) that I covered in a previous blog.
- Melolagnia: This behaviour refers to those individuals who derive sexual arousal from music (and listed as a sexual paraphilia by both Dr. Love and Dr. Aggrawal).
- Nanophilia: This refers to sexual arousal from having a short or small sexual partner. This is one of the few behaviours on this list that has been mentioned in an empirical research paper (as it was mentioned in the research on fetishes by Dr. C. Scorolli and colleagues in the International Journal of Impotence Research
- Oenosugia: According to Dr. Aggrawal, this behaviour refers to the pouring wine over female breasts and licking it off. If you type ‘oenosugia’ into Google you get only two hits (one of which is Dr. Aggrawal’s book).
- Phygephilia: I’m not sure how many people this could possibly refer to but Dr. Aggrawal defines this behaviour as sexual arousal from being a fugitive. The Inovun website defines it as “arousal from flight” (i.e., running away).
- Queening: According to Dr. Anil Aggrawal, queening is a BDSM practice in where one sexual partner sits on or over another person’s face “typically to allow oral-genital or oral anal contact, or to practice ass worship or body worship”. In the book’s glossary of sexual terms, Dr. Aggrawal simply defines queening as “sitting on the side of a person’s face as a form of bondage”.
- Rupophilia: According to the online Kinkopedia this behaviour refers to a sexual attraction towards dirt (and presumably derives from the word ‘rupophobia’ that is a phobia towards dirt). This sexual paraphilia would seem to share similarities with mysophilia (i.e., sexual arousal from filth and unclean items) that I covered in a previous blog.
- Savantophilia: According to Dr. Aggrawal, this behaviour refers to those who are sexually aroused by mentally challenged individuals. The only case that I am aware of that could potentially fit such a description is Jimmy Saville (see my previous blog for details).
- Tripsophilia: According to the Sex Lexis website, this behaviour refers to being sexually arousal by being “messaged or otherwise manipulated”. Dr. Aggrawal describes the same behaviour as tripsolagnophilia.
- Undinism: Dr. Aggrawal simply describes this behaviour as individuals who derive sexual arousal from water. This appears to be another name for aquaphilia (that I covered in a previous blog).
- Vernalagnia: This is a seasonal behaviour and according to Dr. Aggrawal refers to an increase in sexual desire in the spring. Another online website simply defines it less sexually as “a romantic mood brought on by spring”.
- Wakamezake: This appears to be similar to oenosugia (above), and is a sexual term originating in Japan involving the drinking alcohol (such as sake) from a woman’s body. The Wikipedia entry on ‘food play’ provides a description: “The woman closes her legs tight enough that the triangle between the thighs and mons pubis form a cup, and then pours sake down her chest into this triangle. Her partner then drinks the sake from there. The name comes from the idea that the woman’s pubic hair in the sake resembles soft seaweed (wakame) floating in the sea”.
- Xenoglossophilia: I have yet to find this sexual act in any academic text but a few online websites define this as a sexual affection for foreign languages. I briefly mentioned this behaviour in a previous blog on xenophilia (sexual arousal from strangers) but asserted that such behaviour could hardly be classed as a sexual paraphilia.
- Yoni worship: This refers to the worship of the female genitals (yoni is the Sanskrit word for the vagina). There are some interesting articles on Yoni worship at both the Basically Blah and Tantric Serenity websites.
- Zeusophilia: I have yet to come across this behaviour in any reputable academic text, but a number of online websites (such as the Write World website) all claim that this behaviour refers to a sexual love of God or gods.
Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Gates, K. (2000). Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex. New York: RE/Search Publications.
Love, B. (2001). Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices. London: Greenwich Editions.
Scorolli, C., Ghirlanda, S., Enquist, M., Zattoni, S. & Jannini, E.A. (2007). Relative prevalence of different fetishes. International Journal of Impotence Research, 19, 432-437.
Serrano, R.H. (2004). Parafilias. Revista Venezolana de Urologia, 50, 64-69
Write World (2013). Philias. Located at: http://writeworld.tumblr.com/philiaquirks
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
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.