In two previous blogs on the sexual paraphilias of salirophilia (i.e., deriving sexual arousal from soiling or disheveling the object of their desire) and urophilia (i.e., deriving sexual arousal from the sight or thought of either the act of urination or the urine itself) I briefly made reference to omorashi (i.e., deriving sexual pleasure from having a full bladder). Dr. Anil Aggrawal in his 2009 book Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices defines omorashi more specifically as being sexually aroused “from having a full bladder or a sexual attraction to someone else experiencing the discomfort of a full bladder” and also notes that it is “a fetish subculture predominantly seen in Japan”. Frances Twinn’s 2007 book, Miscellany of Sex also notes:
“[Omorashi is] mainly Japanese phenomenon, where a full bladder and wetting oneself in public causes arousal. Game shows and sex trade workers in Japan cater in large numbers to this fetish. Followers can also turn to Wet Set Magazine, an Australian-based publication aimed mainly at western practitioners”
In an online article at Listverse about the ‘top ten’ most bizarre fetishes, omorashi made an appearance in the number 10 spot and claimed (using information lifted from the Wikipedia entry on omorashi) that:
“For [omorashi] fetishists, climax usually coincides with the moment of relief and embarrassment experienced when the desperate individual loses bladder control. Though there is a small community devoted to such fetishism outside of Japan, it is usually overshadowed by the more hardcore fetishes, urolagnia and urophagia. Most omorashi videos are among the most softcore of erotica, featuring innocent young women, fully clothed, who have gotten themselves into an embarrassing bathroom situation. Commonly featured are schoolgirls, female working professionals, and other women attempting to look dignified before succumbing to the urge to childishly wet themselves”.
The Wikipedia entry is a little more detailed and claims that:
“Outside of Japan, it is not usually distinguished from urolagnia (urine fetish), though they are different things. Westerners who do make the distinction commonly use phrases such as ‘bladder desperation’ or ‘panty wetting’. The Japanese language term from which the subculture’s name is derived means ‘to wet oneself’ literally translated, ‘leaking’. The word is also occasionally romanized as ‘omorasi’ in the Kunrei-shiki romanization system”.
In researching this blog I came across a dedicated omorashi website (Omorashi.org) that describes itself as a softcore fetishist community that focuses on omorashi practices as well as other urophilic activities and claims to host over 525GB worth of videos and images. Another dedicated website is the ‘And The Worst Thing Is All That Juice I Drank’ run by a self-confessed omorashi fetishist, and features lots of omorashi fan fiction and fan art. The website owner says:
“My omorashi fetish is rather specific. I generally prefer desperation with accidental wetting (basically, just unintentional), clothed, male rather than female, nonsexual for the victim, and I really like seeing their mortification during and afterwards. So my posts will probably be biased toward that kind of thing. This is really just a place for me to indulge, but you are more than welcome to come along for the ride if you happen to enjoy it!”
The Wikipedia article also makes the point that:
“Most fetish activities concerning the use of bodily waste are considered by the general public as ‘hardcore’, taboo, or edgeplay. However, because the object of the fetish is clothed incontinence, omorashi videos do not feature direct sexual contact. The focus on clothed rather than overtly sexual images makes garment fetishism a prominent feature in most omorashi erotica: commonly featured outfits include those worn by schoolgirls, female working professionals, and other women attempting to look dignified before succumbing to the need to urinate”.
In Japanese subculture, there are a number of different ways by which the omorashi fetish can be practiced including ‘yagai’ and nappies (i.e., diapers). According to Wikipedia, ‘omorashi yagai’ translates as “to wet oneself outdoors (or publicly)”. Another variation of this is ‘yagai honyo’ that refers to outdoor (i.e., public) urination where the person removes their clothes in public to urinate. The Wikipedia article also claims that the practitioners of yagai honyo are similar to graffiti artists in that they engage in a public act without being caught. The practice of urinating in public while wearing a nappy (instead of underpants or knickers) is known as ‘oshime omorashi’ (as the literal translation is “to wet oneself in a diaper”). The article also claims that:
“Diapers may be favorable for public wetting because they render it more discreet and eliminate mess, and their use is not limited specifically to those with a diaper fetish. However, omorashi fetishists specifically interested in this aspect of the subculture could be considered a Japanese variation of the diaper lover community”.
An online article on omorashi at the Nation Master website also notes:
Depending on one’s role in an omorashi scenario (as the wetter or the watcher) these acts could be variously considered a form of sadism, masochism, sadomasochism, or erotic humiliation. It is worth noting that these scenarios almost invariably feature female wetters over males, and that the focus generally falls on the wetter’s tendency toward the irrepressible submissive qualities commonly associated with feminine weakness. In Japan, these attitudes are recognized as belonging to the wider archetyp of moe (pronounced “mo-eh”) fetishism. From this perspective, the incontinence serves as the essential, obvious sympathetic weakness that moe characters work hard to correct but never really succeed at getting rid of”.
To Excluding research on orgasm during urinary incontinence (see ‘further reading’ below for a couple of academic papers on the topic), I’ve come across very little that’s been written academically about omorashi. Dr. Christy Gibbs carried out her PhD on transgressing sexualities in Japanese animation and mentioned omorashi in passing but only as a type of Japanese sexual practice while talking about other Japanese-oriented animated pornography such as ‘tentacle rape’. Another academic paper that mentioned omorashi in passing was by Dr. Clarissa Smith in a 2009 issue of the journal Sexualities (in a paper exploring sexual cultures in the classroom), but again there was nothing of substance about omorashi itself. Maybe there’s more written in Japanese that I’ve been unable to access and/or understand. There’s certainly little written in English, even anecdotally.
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.
Gibbs, C. (2012). Transgressing sexualities in Japanese animation. University of Waikato, PhD. Located at: http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/6746/thesis.pdf?sequence=3
Hilton, P. (1988). Urinary incontinence during sexual intercourse: a common, but rarely volunteered, symptom. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 95, 377-381.
Khan, Z., Bhola A., & Starer P. (1988). Urinary incontinence during orgasm. Urology, 31, 279-282.
Listverse (2007). Top 10 bizarre fetishes. September 24. Located at: http://listverse.com/2007/09/24/top-10-bizarre-fetishes/
Nation Master (2013). Omorashi. Located at: http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Omorashi
Smith, C. (2009). Pleasure and distance: Exploring sexual cultures in the classroom. Sexualities, 12, 568-585.
Twinn, F. (2007). The Miscellany of Sex: Tantalizing Travels Through Love, Lust and Libido. London: Arcturus.
Wikipedia (2013). Omorashi. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omorashi
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.
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.