Fetishes and Philias
Both fetishes and philias are unconventional sexual attractions and can include certain body parts, unusual physical contact, role playing, or objects. Although the majority of fetishes and philias are not illegal, immoral, or problematic, and are within the normal spectrum of sexual behaviour, some behaviors are viewed as taboo by partners, society, or even by the person with the fetish or philia.
As a result of this, you may feel the need to keep them hidden from your friends, family, or even your partner.
Symptoms & signs of problematic fetishes and philias
- Feeling of uncontrollable sexual urges and impulses related to the fetish or philia
- Your fetishes or philias are not fun or exciting but rather a compulsion or obsession
- Overwhelming need to keep these urges and impulses hidden
- Inability to concentrate on anything else besides the fetish or philia
- Inability to function normally due to distress or activities of keeping the fetish or philia secret
- The fetish or philia is causing you physical distress or requires medical attention
When is it time to get help?
When these behaviors start to become overwhelming, and/or infringe on your day-to-day activities, these behaviours then move into the problematic and distressing area. If your fetish or philia is interfering with your sex life with your partner, or you are feeling excessive shame, then it’s time to get help.
Problematic fetishes and philias treatment methods
To gain control over an out-of-control fetish or philia, there are several treatments that may work. Your therapist will talk with you to determine the best method for you and your unique needs. Some that have been effective include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Sex therapy is the treatment of sexual dysfunction and also includes working with concerns about sexual feelings and intimacy, less common alternative sexual practices, kink, gender issues, sexual offending issues, or work on optimizing or exploring new experiences. Sex therapy can also include distressing sexual behaviour, sexual abuse, and trauma.
- Solution focused therapy views people as inherently strong and resilient, and capable of creating change and discovering solutions to their everyday problem.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
If you feel that your fetishes and philias have become overwhelming and problematic, then Insight Psychological is here to help. Our specially trained psychologists/sex therapists will be able to work with you in order to determine a plan and follow through with a course of action. There is no shame in getting help for your fetish or philia – we are open-minded, nonjudgmental and we’d be honoured to support you on your journey to better mental and sexual health.
Insight has therapists who specialize in gender identity, sexuality, and intimacy. If you are struggling, please contact us and we can help you find a therapist that’s right for you.