The 15 most common paraphilias (and their characteristics)

People have many different tastes and of course this is reflected in sex as well. What sexually attracts people can be very varied or occur in striking and unconventional situations.

Paraphilias are unusual patterns of sexual behavior where the source of pleasure can be an object, a particular situation or a particular type of person. Thanks to the media and works such as “50 Shadows of Gray” by EL James, general knowledge about them has increased.

They have also been the subject of controversy, particularly in the field of psychology and psychiatry, as it has been debated whether they should be considered pathological behaviors.

While some paraphilias involve crimes, such as voyeurism and pedophilia, most of them are not harmful and are part of human sexual diversity.

    What are the most common paraphilias?

    There are countless paraphilias, virtually one for every situation or object imaginable. Here are the most common.

    1. Exhibitionism

    It’s about feeling pleasure from exposing your genitals to strangers in unexpected ways.. Showing private parts without warning creates a situation of sexual gratification for the exhibitionist.

    This practice, which involves crime, is more common among men than women, and has been linked to growing up in a strict environment and possessing a weak, shy personality with few social skills.

    2. Fetishism

    Fetishism is defined as the set of sexual behaviors, fantasies and needs in which the use of an inanimate object is necessary to experience pleasure. Some of the most common items among fetishists are shoes, lingerie, leather, and rubber.

    Anything done with the object and generating sexual pleasure is considered fetishism, such as stealing it, masturbating with it or just watching it. This paraphilia has become so common that there are specialized websites where you can purchase items to satisfy the fetish.

    3. Friction or friction

    It is about feeling sexual pleasure by rubbing the genitals of an unknown person and that she did not consent.

    It is more common in men than in women and is a behavior that involves sexual harassment. Rubbing can take advantage of situations where there is a large crowd of people, such as public transport or busy streets, and rub their victims.

    4. Pedophilia

    It is defined as the strong desire to have sex with a minor, Especially if you are at least 14 years old. Those who engage in such criminal behavior benefit from the power imbalance that exists between child and adult.

    The profile of the child sexual abuser has been linked to a difficult childhood, in which he was the victim of this type of violence, especially from a father, however, it is important to keep in mind that all those abused as children will end up being pedophiles when they reach adulthood.

    5. Sexual masochism

    Sexual masochists find pleasure in situations where they are both physically and psychologically humiliated, beaten, tortured and tied up. It is more common in women.

    6. Sexual sadism

    If masochism is the face, sadism is the cross in the same room. This paraphilia involves feeling sexual gratification from humiliating, exercising domination, and torturing another person in an unsimulated manner.

    Sadomasochistic practices are the most common and require that they be performed in a consensual manner and according to the degree of intensity on which those who perform them agree in advance.

    Some of the most common scenarios include flogging of the victim’s buttocks and back, tying up with ropes or bondage and torture of the nipples and genitals.

    7. Transvestite fetishism

    It is common in heterosexual men and it is defined as feeling sexual pleasure while dressing in the other sex.

    It should be noted that transvestite fetishism and crossdressing are not the same. This second term refers in a more general sense to the dressing of the other sex. Transgender people and drag queens therefore disguise themselves but not in a fetishistic way, because they do not do it to experience sexual pleasure.

    8. Voyeurism

    It involves sexually enjoying watching a person naked, Without her knowing that she is being spied on. This paraphilia involves a crime against the privacy of others.

    To consider voyeurism, the observer must have planned it and done it repeatedly. Seeing a person naked and enjoying it, but unintentionally, would not be considered paraphilic behavior.


    It consists of feeling sexual pleasure towards a specific part of the body, except the genitals.. It is similar to fetishism, but the nuance between these two paraphilias is the fact that in one, the object of pleasure is inanimate, while in partialism, sexual pleasure is felt by something that is in the body. of a living person.

    Partialism is quite common and can manifest itself in a number of ways depending on the part in which you experience pleasure: podophilia (feet), oculophilia (eyes), maschalagnia (armpits), nasophilia (nose), alvinophilia (navel)). ..

    10. Necrophilia

    Necrophiliacs feel sexual attraction to corpses, Humans and animals. This preference is considered pathological and implies a crime to be committed.

    A famous case of necrophilia is the case of Carl Tanzler, who was able to exhume the corpse of the woman of his life and have sex with her.

    11. Urophilia and coprophilia or excrement

    In the case of urophilia, the object of desire is urine, either by ingesting it or by getting wet (golden rain). Touching, seeing, hearing someone urinating can be a sufficient stimulus to generate sexual satisfaction.

    Coprophilia becomes a paraphilia virtually identical to urophilia, except that the object of pleasure is the feces and everything related to it.

    12. Zoophilia

    Zoophiles fantasize about having sex with animals or even get to do it. This type of sexual attraction is common in rural areas.

    13. Knismolagnie or tickling

    It involves all this erotic activity in which doing or tickling generates pleasure. It is considered a paraphilia as long as the tickling acts as a part of achieving orgasm.

    14. Asphyxophilia or breathing control game

    It consists of feeling pleasure when breathing is intentionally restricted, Either that of his own (autoerotic asphyxia), or that of the couple. It is one of the most dangerous because it can lead to accidental death from hypoxia.

    15. Gerontophilia

    This is the sexual preference for the elderly, Or the age is significantly older than that of the gerontophiliac.

    Bibliographical references:

    • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013
    • Colombino Flowers, A. (2002). Paraphilias and sexual variants. Editorial AyM.

    Leave a Comment