Although the term “filia” has a very broad meaning and can refer to any type of hobby, in psychology we mainly use it in the area of sexuality. When the branches are very marked and atypical, we speak of paraphilia.
In this article we will describe the characteristics of the most common or striking types of branches and paraphilias. To contextualize these categories, it is important to first define the concepts of branch and paraphilia.
Definition of filia and paraphilia
The word “filia” comes from the Greek “philos”, which could be translated as “love” or “friendship”. It is generally used as a suffix to denote intense taste or taste for a particular item, Which may or may not be sexual in nature; So, a cinephile is one who is very fond of cinema, and stamp collecting is a stamp collecting hobby.
However, in psychology, sexuality is the area where this concept appears most commonly. In this area, the branches overlap with the paraphilias, defined as patterns of sexual behavior in which desire, arousal or pleasure largely depends on atypical elements, although this does not necessarily lead to pathology.
Paraphilias are harmless if they do not cause discomfort to the person or others, so in many cases, they simply consist of sexual preference. This usually occurs in fetishism (arousal with an object or part of the body), among other affiliates. However, sometimes these preferences involve people not consenting or simply hindering relationships.
The term “philia” is contrasted with that of “phobia”, Which is used to denote irrational fears or dislikes. Like affiliates, phobias can sometimes be sexual in nature; for example, erotophobia or genophobia is aversion to sex, while the word “medomalacufobia” refers to the fear of losing an erection.
Type of subsidiary and its characteristics
Below we will make a brief description of the main features of different types of branches and paraphilias. Assigning them either label depends on the intensity of the preference, the discomfort they cause to the person or others, and the perspective of each expert.
Fetishism is the sexual preference for inanimate objects or for specific parts of the body. Two of the most famous fetish girls are podophilia, which affects the feet, and retifismo or taste for shoes. The preference for objects designed for sexual stimulation, such as vibrators, is not considered fetishism.
This subsidiary consists in obtaining sexual arousal and pleasure in the exposing parts of the body, usually the genitals, To other people. It is common for the intensity of exhibitionist behavior to increase with practice and may become compulsive.
3. Voyeurism or scopophilia
Voyeurism is defined as the taste marked by observe naked people or those who have sex. Travelers often prefer that the person being observed not know they are looking at him and generally do not seek to have sex with him.
People frotteuristas, or rubbers, seek the physical contact with other people to then masturbate; in their pathological form, they do so without authorization and / or against their will. It usually takes place in crowded places, such as public transport or nightclubs. Frotteurism is much more common among young people.
5. Sexual masochism
Masochism includes the sexual pleasure obtained in the ‘ receive physical harm or humiliation, As well as any other kind of suffering. It is the most common paraphilia in women and is frequently associated with sadism.
6. Sexual sadism
Sadistic people love sexually with the idea or practice of harming others. Although we often speak of pathological sexual sadism, there are many sadistic people who only fulfill their fantasies with people who consent to them; this happens for example in BDSM, Which encompasses the practices of slavery, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism.
7. Transvestite fetishism
This subsidiary consists in obtaining sexual pleasure by dressing like a person of the other sex. It has only been described in heterosexual men, who in some cases do not identify with the male sex. When a man gets excited to see him imagine her as if she were a woman, it is called autogyphilia.
The DSM Handbook defines pedophilia as sexual preference for people who have not reached puberty (Under 13 years old approximately). The difference with pedophilia is that this term refers to the practice of abusive behavior towards children, while pedophilia can also refer to habitual impulses or fantasies that have not come true.
Gerontophilia is the sexual preference of older people. If the attraction is given to older men, this girl is known as alfamegamia, while if the object of desire is women, it is matronolagnia.
Necrophiles are attracted to corpses, Whether humans or other animals. Although logically necrophilia is generally practiced without the consent of the deceased, there have been cases of necrophilia with the prior authorization of the deceased, such as the famous episode by Armin Meiwes, the “Rotenburg Cannibal”.
Asphyxiation consists of deriving pleasure from the sensation of drowning. Sexual asphyxiation can be performed with a partner or as a method of masturbation; in this case, we would speak of autoerotic asphyxia.
12. Zoophilia or bestialism
In bestiality the person being eager or performing sexual activities with animals. It is particularly common in rural areas and in psychiatric patients, and only very rarely cases of exclusive bestiality are detected.
13. urophilia and coprophilia
In urophilia the fantasies include the presence of urine, while in coprophilia the same happens with feces. A related paraphilia is diaper fetishism. When the person is aroused by the idea of urinating or defecating on a sexual partner, it is called salirophilia.
Understood from a sexual point of view, xenophilia is the preference for people perceived as members of an exotic or different ethnic group. However, in a broader sense, xenophilia is the taste of people or objects of unknown origin, and has a technically opposite meaning to that of the word “xenophobia”.
15. Gynandromorphophilia or ginemimetophilia
This affiliate refers to the preferred attraction, whether or not exclusively, of transgender or transgender people. The conception of ginandromorphophilia as a type of paraphilia is often criticized because it can further stigmatize transgender people and those who are attracted to it.