These are the kinks that used to be taboo - and now aren't

Wearing diapers? Love feet? The cultural processes of the last decade have liberated the sexual practices that were once taboo, making them acceptable bed habits.

Couple in bed [file photo] (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Couple in bed [file photo]
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

In recent years, more and more people are promoting, practicing and accepting sexuality that stops circulating around sexuality and welcomes a wider world where there are many experiences to explore.

That is why sexual practices known as paraphilias (sexual perversions) gradually cease to be considered taboo. Human and cultural evolution has somewhat changed the perception around the question of what sexual perversions are and even cultural prohibitions - as long as they are legal and do not cause physical or mental harm to others.

Fortunately, mankind has learned to enjoy and develop sexually, unlike any other species. In human beings "anything goes", sexuality, where there is love, no love, loving ourselves, using different accessories, postures and positions, three in a bed or ten - the possibilities, are endless.

Even some of the sexual fixations that society considers strange or frightening, customs in a large range renounce the taboo that sticks to them and as much as it seems or sounds "illogical" or "perverse" if there are those who find in certain activities pleasure and discharge, society today tends to accept them relatively easily. In recent decades, it has been understood that sexual practices categorized according to social norms as strange, provocative or even sick have their own audience and although psychiatry considers them much more than simple sex, there is no reason not to engage in them, if there is someone who enjoys sexuality different from the usual.

So what is acceptable? A couple is in bed and that's it? Sometimes he's on top, sometimes she is, oral sex, masturbation, some domination games, a spanking here, latex clothing there, adoring feet and using accessories? What happens if he wants to wear a diaper in the sexual encounter, or she wants to purr, go on all fours and be pampered like a kitten because it "does it for her"? What happens when there is someone who wants to add body fluids to the act of love? Is it considered sexual paraphilia?

 A couple in bed together, sex (Illustrative) (credit: Wikimedia Commons) A couple in bed together, sex (Illustrative) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

From the point of view of psychology and psychiatry, it is impossible to be closed on one thing that is clear, because the idea, for example in the philia of diapers for our life, and deals with the psychological meanings of this no less than in the sexual activity itself.

Filing of fur dolls is a tactical matter, something in the touch of the fur dolls, in the contact itself, gives them great confidence and makes them feel loved, safe and entitled to treats. Even the psychological explanations are still a mystery. Although there are things that appear in the DSM as paraphilias, they do not have a definite psychological explanation and are not considered a problem in itself, as long as they do not require a phrase that disturbs people who do not share this specific sexual interest. Everything in the bedrooms that do not interfere with the day-to-day is indeed defined as paraphilic, but the psychological explanation is that something probably happened between the ages of 3 and 12 whose influence was later deepened and translated into the need to express it in a sexual way.

Therefore, the parameter that determines whether sexual behavior is paraphilic, is not fixed but varies throughout history and depending on the geographical area and practices that were considered paraphilic a few decades ago are now accepted as normal and therefore, are not perceived as perversions, among which are masturbation, oral sex and homosexuality.

Fetish or paraphilia?

A fetish is a paraphilia and there is no difference between the two. Fetishes or sexual preferences and desires can be a way to break the routine between our partners when it comes to having sex and they do not have to be associated with any mental illness. Sex in a threesome or with a few more partners, sex in public places, sex with domination games, use of lingerie, attraction to high-heeled shoes and tights, voyeurism, hair (smell, caress, also body hair), adoration of legs and so on.

The confusion in terms stems from all that today the term "fetish is used in a rather loose way - when you tell someone who has a fetish you mean that it "turns them on or teases them" something that is a little different or less sexually acceptable. But the truth is that the official definition of sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is sexual arousal that a person receives from a physical object, or a certain situation, this is when the term is used correctly. This refers to an unusual sexual need and when someone has a clinical fetish, it is not a nice addition to sex, but rather that the person has to have the item or condition required in 100% of cases to reach arousal and sexual orgasm.

If someone manages to reach an orgasm without the object of his fetish (i.e. the part of the body or the activity that causes sexual arousal) then it is not a real fetish (paraphilic behavior) and more precisely the thing can be described as a kink. Kinky is a term that describes someone who is consistently and erotically evoked by an object, activity, or situation, but is not necessary to reach an outlet.

What are the lesser-known paraphilias?

The paraphilia "furry" causes people, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, to feel a passion and intense attraction towards a person that characterizes an animal or in the simplest of cases, a simple excitement for fur dolls. Furries are able to have sex only with people who wear animal costumes or be the ones who dress up themselves.

The "adult babies" or paraphilic infantilism (in the US, they are known as pumpers - refers to those wearing diapers and pumps), and their libido is expressed in the strong desire of wearing diapers and mimicking baby behaviors. Those people who have it experience a great desire to be treated like small children. The diaper gives them pleasure, confidence and relaxation, whether it is inserted into the sexual game or not - they can wear diapers in their day-to-day and the diapers become an integral part of their sexual experience. This is more common in men than in women.

The "Sleeping Beauty" fetish - somnophilia. It is characterized by arousal and orgasm while the partner sleeps. Some only need to see and caress to feel pleasure, others, on the other hand, masturbate and even have sex while their partner sleeps. What is exciting is the euphoria produced by the fear of being discovered. However, it also has to do with the fact that there is someone in control and completely reserved.

"The Vampires" - hematophilia is suitable for those who want to have a relationship similar to romantic vampire stories, although it seems unreal, it is not far from the behaviors and fetishes of many couples. His popularity even increased after the success of the Twilight Saga and the vampire series derived from the film. Hematophilia includes the use or even drinking of blood during intercourse, or is expressed in erotic thoughts that combine images from the world of vampires.

"Lovers of closed spaces". While a large part of people feels panic in closed spaces (claustrophobia), others feel a high degree of sexual arousal when they are with their partners in small and crowded spaces. This fetish is more common than many think and those who have it often take advantage of places like the bathroom, or cramped toilets, to satisfy their sexual desires.

The "stinks" or stink ones. Most people take care to have a good hygiene routine before having sex, however, for others, hygiene or the smell of perfume may not be erotic at all and even "desensitize." There are those who enjoy and get excited about the idea of getting dirty during sex or getting your partner dirty. This can range from the disintegration of the date's hair to applying makeup and tearing the clothes, to real dirt added to the sex. Most often, this fetish is also accompanied by fantasies of domination and submission.

Lovers of mannequins or "Damis Laver". This is another fetish that refers to the attraction to dolls and the excitement is due to the immobility of dolls or sculptures. Many people even steal or buy dolls with the aim of having sex with them. Aglematophilia has been expressed over the centuries since ancient Greece, with a very great love for aesthetics and sculptures.

These are a small part of paraphilias that are less talked about and treated and joined by a very long line of additional paraphilias.

In all "sexual perversions" or kinky preferences, this boundary must be understood between personal taste that does not harm others and perversion that can cause a lot of turmoil and there is no doubt that all these continue to cause debate in the scientific community.

When it comes to fetishes, kinks, fantasies and in general any paraphilia, one of the most recognized tools in the BDSM world should b used conceptually - the SSC rule, which means safe, sane and consensual. The rule clearly says that as long as there is an agreement, it is safe and does not involve an activity that is unacceptable, or coerced between the parties then everything is allowed and everything is acceptable. Therefore, would it be important to examine psychologically what leads this or that person to want to have sexual relationships different from the usual?

This is a question that the scientific community asks itself quite a bit but in practice, we are seeing more and more sexual investigations that are not aligned with the mainstream.

The writer is a couple's and sexual coach counselor, mediator, group facilitator, workshops and senior lecturer on sexuality and relationships.