I read a fascinating article about Fetishes/Paraphilias here (published just this past spring) and one of the things the author suggests is that the terms "fetish" or "paraphilia" are outdated given the contemporary research and thought on sexuality -- much as the term "retarded" is no longer useful in psychology today.
The author writes...Men and women do not suffer from "atypical" or "deviant" fetishes, but rather possess a range of typical sexual interests that can mostly be predicted from the natural operation of healthy sexual mechanisms in the brain. -- essentially saying that liking diapers is within normal human sexual behavior. He essentially says that the dawn of the internet has actually helped psychologists and researchers to discover that their clinical experience with what they considered to be sexual deviants was/is not representative of the actual behaviors of real people. Hence, rather than creating/spawning the behavior, they think the internet has simply revealed its prevalence.
Again, he writes, "the data simply does not support the notion of paraphilias representing something atypical, unusual, or disordered." And so the terms should no longer be used because in light of that context, they are pejorative or shaming...
What do you think?
For me (and for many of us), much of our work has been to come to a place of acceptance of this part of ourselves. In a sense, I have individually done the work he advocates for therapists and counselors to do...come to see this not as something disgusting or problematic or something to be 'fixed' -- but to accept it as part of my normal life and to learn to live with it. Funny how we figured that out long ago, but the 'experts' are just now realizing it.
When I first began seeing my current therapist, I had some anxiety about whether or not she was going to try to convinced me to 'get healed'. I had seen so many other therapists (4-5) and had done so with the express purpose of 'getting over' this problem in my life. But before I started seeing my current one, I had come to make peace with this part of my life and I wanted her to respect that. Because I had no experience with therapists being open/accepting about this kind of thing, I was worried I would have to get in a big debate with her and pretty much explain to her this whole article. To my surprise, she said that if I hadn't come to peace with it before arriving there, she would likely have tried to convince me to come to peace and to relax...because it was never ever going to go away and that my life would be better if I learned how to accept it and myself. Thank YOU!!! It's been a wonderful ride since then.
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In a way - this thought/question is related to this thread but kind of on a broader level.