Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1229–1230 | Cite as

Depathologizing Consensual Sexual Sadism, Sexual Masochism, Transvestic Fetishism, and Fetishism

  • Susan WrightEmail author
Letter to the Editor

The DSM-V Paraphilias Subworkgroup’s suggested revision to differentiate between paraphilias and Paraphilic Disorders appears to be a step forward in depathologizing unusual sexual interests. Paraphilia diagnoses are regularly misused in criminal and civil proceedings as an indication that individuals cannot control their behavior; these individuals turn for assistance to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), a national advocacy organization that advances the rights of, and advocates for, consenting adults in the BDSM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities.

One recent child custody case referred to NCSF illustrates the common misunderstanding that legal and social service professionals have with the DSM-IV-TR, and is the first documented reaction to the proposal to differentiate between paraphilias and Paraphilic Disorders. The children were removed in July 2009 while psychological evaluations were performed on the mother and the children, which concluded there...


Sexual Minority Antisocial Personality Disorder Fetishism Hypersexual Disorder Paraphilic Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Krueger, R. B. (2010). The DSM diagnostic criteria for sexual sadism. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 325–345.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. (2008). 2008 Incident Response Report. Available at
  3. National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. (2009). 2009 Incident Response Report. Available at
  4. Wright, S. (2008). Second National Survey of Violence & Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities. Available at

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Coalition for Sexual FreedomBaltimoreUSA

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