Previous: An Appointment With Doctor Doe
Next: Lindsey and Nick answer your Sexplanations questions



View count:217,573
Last sync:2021-10-30 07:30
In which Lindsey talks about different paraphilias and how they are defined and disordered.

You can support Sexplanations directly by going to and subscribing. You can choose a monthly contribution, a one-time contribution, or just subscribe for $0 to show your support.

Go to to get your very own Want/Will/Won't Poster:

You can ask Lindsey Questions at:

Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green
If these are all the typical sexual attractions and behaviors, then what is this all around it? They're called paraphilias. "Para" meaning besides, and "philia" referring to love. 

You may be thinking: isn't this a fetish? Fetishes are a type of paraphilia. It's attraction to body parts or inanimate objects.
It's kind of like in geometry, the way that a square can be a rectangle, but a rectangle cannot be a square. Fetishes are the square. There are lots of fetishes. There are over 500 paraphilias. 500+ ways that people experience love and pleasure beyond this!


Forniphilia is erotic interest in turning someone into furniture. Don't worry Stefan; I'm not going to skin you.

Someone making obscene phone calls for erotic pleasure is called telephone scatology. This not to be confused with another paraphilia, know as scatology, referring to arousal by feces. Better know as coprophilia. We're not going to demo that.

The sexual desire to dress and act like a baby is paraphilic infantilism, or the adult baby syndrome. Trichophilia is specifically the diaper. A diaper fetishism. 

Plushophilia is an attraction to stuffed animals. The toys, not the taxidermy. Kleptophilia: stealing for pleasure. 

Oculophilia...? Breast fetishism or mazophilia. Pygophilia, the butt. 

These are all different types of partialisms, a type of fetish where it's for a specific non-gential body part. The most common paraphilias are...

Frotteurism, rubbing on a non-consenting person. Sadism, pleasure from inflicting pain. Masochism, pleasure FROM the pain, which can also be psychological.

Transvestic fetishism is wearing the clothing of the opposite sex. Exhibitionism is exposing one's self. Voyeurism, watching others undress, be naked or having sex. [whispers] Autagonistophilia.

The seventh of the most common paraphilias is pedophilia: sexual arousal, attraction and gratification derived from prepubescent kids. This is not to be confused with hebephilia, which is early to mid puberty. Or ephebophilia which is late puberty.

This book - well the professionals and scholars that put it together, and the preceding editions - has the say on when a paraphilia is unhealthy.

The psychiatric community uses The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to evaluate clients and patients. For short, it's called the DSM-5. It's the guidebook for a LOT of mental disorders. It's also the guidebook to determine when a paraphilia is disordered. Mainly answering the question: is it causing or risking harm, impairment or distress to anyone. If yes, get treatment. If no, confirm consent.
 Even when a paraphilia isn't harmful, it can still be qualified in a variety of ways. One system describes three levels - paraphilias that are: optional, preferred and exclusive. Optional, which is kind of a take it or leave it system. Preferred, where the person would rather incorporate the paraphilia into their sex play than not. And exclusive, where the only means of sexual gratification, attraction, or arousal are going to come when that paraphilia is present. The paraphilia's not there? Not getting off.
 My hope is that with increased awareness about paraphilias, people won't be ashamed of their differences or their requests for something specific. They'll get help if they need it, and they'll meet communities that understand them. Paraphilias: no shame. 
 The website is a community where this is already the reality. Link below.
 Let us know which paraphilias are most intriguing to you in the comments, and stay curious.