The disorders pertaining to the sexual sphere can be divided in three distinct groups - dysfunctions, unsuitabilities and deviations.
If we take the model of human sexual response of Kaplan (desire (appetite), arousal and orgasm) - its concepts, etiology, classifications and treatments will be viewed opportunely – we will find the disorders of desire (characterized by the decrease or absence of sexual desire – Lack of sexual appetite), the disorders of arousal (consisting of problems of vaginal lubrication and erectile dysfunction) and disorders of orgasm (male and female anorgasmy and ejaculatory dysfunctions). These disorders (mostly with psychosomatic origin), we will call sexual dysfunctions.
Sexual unsuitabilities, as the name says, appear when the individual or the couple endures problems related to their sexuality referring to disorders of arousal, orgasm dysfunctions or when they present sexual deviations. When the individual or the couple present these kind of problems (highly factors that result in anxiety and anguish), we say that they are facing a sexual unsuitability. For instance, a couple becomes sexually adequate when both display the same sexual appetite, but if one of the partners have more sexual appetite than the other, it may become a factor that results in conflicts, leading the couple to a state of sexual unsuitability.
We call sexual deviation some behavior or sexual orientation that’s different from what is considered “normal”, so it’s a concept that may vary. Some are very well known, while others are less common and more curious. Here are some examples of sexual deviations:
- Self-erotism: A kind of psychological intercourse, in which orgasm occurs without any sexual contact;
- Erotomania: happens when the person is in love and everything she does deals with this platonic love. It may happen with or without sexual contact;
- Narcissism: an exacerbated appreciation the person would develop for his/hers own body, lacking the interest for the opposite sex.
- Exhibitionism: the pleasure is limited to an impulsive obsession in exposing the genitals and/or inviting other people to have sex.
- Fetishism: obsession for some specific body part or object. Voyeurism: pleasure in watching other people having sex.
- Pedophilia: sexual attraction for children. It may vary from obscene behavior to intercourse itself, which is considered serious crime in several countries. However, it’s a common practice in New Guinea and India to name a few.
- Sadomasoquism: a preference for sexual practices that imply pain, humiliation or submission to the partner.
- Senile Dryness: an exaggerated increase in sexual impulse caused by arteriosclerotic factors, which occur during senility.
- Troilism: also known as pluralism, it’s the sexual activity that involves three or more partners at the same time (currently, it has been also considered just as behavior, since this practice doesn’t become exclusive).
- Gerontophilia: young people attracted to older partners.
- Coprophilia: sexual pleasure with the act of defecating or the contact with feces usually followed by orgasm.
- Urolagnia: sexual pleasure with urine or the sound of someone peeing.
- Coprolalia: a compulsive necessity to hear obscenity to feel aroused.
- Bestialism or Zoophilia: sexual attraction to animals.
- Incest or Epidism: sexual attraction to close relatives.
- Onanism: obsessive desire for genital manipulation. Common during puberty, but a psychopathology in adulthood.
- Necrophilia: sexual attraction to corpses, usually followed by sexual practice.
- Pigmalionism: sexual attraction to statues.
- Riparophilia: constant sexual attraction to dirty people, with low hygiene and a very low social condition.
- Homosexualism: constant sexual attraction to peoples from the same gender, with or without sexual practice.
- Intersexualism: the individual has the internal or external genitalia not completely defined.
- Transexualism: when the individual does not accept his own gender, usually denying the homosexual practice. Or, poetically speaking: “a woman’s spirit trapped in a man’s body".
- Travestism: the impulse of dressing up with clothes which are designed to the opposite gender.
As we’ve already said, these behaviors may vary through time and according to social and cultural factors. Thus, some terms previously considered, as deviations today are common practices. Homosexualism and transexualism are some examples that are no longer considered pathologies or sexual deviations.
So, it’s not up to us to judge or even condemn couples or individuals that find themselves facing any of the situations or behaviors already described. The question is that sexuality is a singularity, and considering the fact that are social, cultural and religious factors that translate the moral values of a specific time and place, we can say that sexual deviations are caused by biological, psychological and behavioral factors.