Exploring the relationship between paraphilic interests, sex, and sexual and life satisfaction in non-clinical samples

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Limited research has indicated that paraphilic interests and behaviours do not necessarily decrease sexual and life satisfaction; some research suggests such interests may actually enhance satisfaction. The present study assessed how paraphilic-associated interests and behaviours were related to sexual and life satisfaction in a sample of 173 men and 356 women. Paraphilic interest rates were similar to existing population-based studies. Men reported significantly higher levels of most paraphilic interests than women, apart from masochism. Those with paraphilic interests rarely felt negatively affected. However, those interested in criminal paraphilic interests or both criminal and legally feasible paraphilic interests had lower levels of sexual satisfaction when they did not engage in paraphilia-associated sexual behaviour. The sexual satisfaction of those interested only in legally feasible paraphilic interests was not impacted whether or not they engaged in paraphilia-associated sexual behaviour. Further analyses indicated that those without a paraphilic interest and those who have a paraphilic interest and have disclosed to their partner have higher levels of sexual satisfaction than those who have not disclosed to their partner or who do not have a stable partner. Additionally, among those who had disclosed to a partner, sexual satisfaction was not affected whether the individual engaged in the paraphilic interest with or without their partner. These results suggest a multifaceted relationship that warrants further consideration and examination.


Table 2. Sexual Arousal to Paraphilic Interests by Sex [N male students = 173 / N female students = 356]

Paraphilic Interest
Male PI [Paraphilic Interest] Present n (%)
Female PI [Paraphilic Interest] Present n (%)
20 (12%)
19 (5%)
6 (3%)
19 (5%)
52 (30%)
161 (45%)
48 (28%)
52 (15%)
41 (24%)
N2 (9%)
Exhibitionism (w/o masturbation)
6 (3%)
1 (0,3%)
Exhibitionism (w/ masturbation)
5 (3%)
1 (0,3%)
5 (3%)
2 (0,6%)
Sexually touching strangers
17 (10%)
5 (1%)
Prepubescent females
8 (0,1%) [? n8=4,6%]
1 (0,3%)
Prepubescent males
2 (0,01%) [? n2=1,2%]
3 (0,8%)
Pubescent females
15 (9%)
2 (0,6%)
Pubescent males
0 (0%)
1 (0,3%)


[The authors write about their study:]

The results should be considered within the limitations of the study. The rates of paraphilic interests may have been artificially inflated due to self-selection bias. The study was advertised with the title "An Investigation into Sexual Interests Within University and Online Samples," and described in such a way that it was apparent that sexual interests were being examined; therefore, individuals who chose to participate may have been substantively different than those who chose not to participate. Moreover, the online sample consisted of individuals who frequented an online forum of sexuality, further increasing the likelihood of a self-selection bias. Conversely, the presence of paraphilic interest was coded based on reporting high levels of sexual arousal (very or extremely) to the paraphilic interests rather than providing traditional labels. Future research should examine how paraphilic interest rates, engagement in paraphilia-associated sexual behaviours, and satisfaction change based on how paraphilic interests are coded. Although bias may have been present, the presence of all types of paraphilic interests in this large sample suggest the need to open the discussion of atypical sexual interests in areas other than forensic or psychiatric settings.

source: Research 'Exploring the relationship between paraphilic interests, sex, and sexual and life satisfaction in non-clinical samples' by Crystal L. Mundy & Jan D. Cioe; www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/cjhs.2018-0041; www.boychat.org/messages/1536936.htm; www.boychat.org/messages/1536928.htm; www.boychat.org/messages/1536946.htm; The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp. 304-316; November 2019