There are many questions about whether or not some sexual behaviors are "normal".
Often people chiandono "will I be normal?" and they wonder how to understand when a fantasy is legitimate and when it should cause concern.
First of all, we cannot deal with the subject unless we first understand the meanings of the words "transgression" and "perversion", understanding above all the differences.
Not sure there are differences? I'm here to clarify your ideas.
At one time, both transgressions and perversions were considered recurrent and intensely arousing erotic behaviors towards objects and people, concepts with a purely negative and dysfunctional meaning.
With the socio-cultural progress also the concepts of transgression and sexual perversion have changed in psychological thinking, allowing to clear some concepts related to sexual practices.
When can we talk about transgression?
Dal in Latin "transgression" meaning andare oltre.
Exceed the allowed limits.
Beyond the breaking of socially shared canonical schemes and beyond respectability.
In sexuality the individual is ready to differentiate himself from others, against stereotypes, through fantasies and imagination, through the desire to experience a certain type of eroticism, a private expression of pleasure, a personal and personalized dimension of sexuality.
All seasoned with pleasant, fun and satisfying elements.
When do we talk about perversion and when can a practice be considered pathological?
From the Latin "perversum" which means "distorted", "distorted".
An attitude that deviates from common sense.
Today the word is replaced by a more elegant term "paraphilia" and refers to any intense and persistent sexual interest, an erotic variant towards objects, people and circumstances.
The most recent DSM-5 (Diagnostic Manual that defines psychopathological disorders) states that paraphilia is not a mental disorder but, it becomes a disorder when it causes discomfort or impairment in the individual, or a paraphilia whose satisfaction causes or risks harming oneself or others, becoming an out of control obsession and becoming the only way to find sexual arousal.
Among the best known forms we find voyeuristic disorder, exhibitionistic disorder, masochism disorder or sexual sadism, fetishism, pedophilia, transvestism (not to be confused with gender dysphoria) ... but there are over 500 types, for every type of interest in objects , people and circumstances.
The substantial difference between what is "normal" or "pathological" lies in some interpretations.
The transgression is born to get closer in intimacy, therefore to find something intimate and new, something that can add pleasure to the couple, a game of complicity that expands the knowledge of oneself and of the other, with a totally positive and constructive value.
Instead, the perversion that moves away from intimacy to give space only to that unique form of arousal (a condition in which one gets to feel pleasure only if one practices that perversion) becomes a disturbance, escapes control, causes discomfort, puts the partner, it causes me complex conditions even outside of sexual life (problems at work, lack of concentration, obsessions and obsessions towards that sexual thought) becoming a real addiction that does not provide alternatives.
Another key to understanding is being consenting ... where there is a conscious choice then sexual behavior is healthier and safer, implemented under the pressure of curiosity, and it is precisely the management of transgressive behavior and sharing that creates a mutual game between partners.
So how can I tell if everything is ok?
You can try to answer some questions.
- How do i feel?
- How does my partner feel?
- Do I feel discomfort, difficulties, fixations or do I feel in harmony and satisfied?
If you feel trapped in your fixed thought, without choice and control, I recommend that you contact an expert who can listen to you, understand you and find solutions.
If you feel psychophysical well-being, if you feel satisfied and amused, aware of your choices, then don't be afraid of your fantasies, being in harmony in the intimacy of a couple is the secret of success!
Maura Montagnini, born in 1979, is a psychosexologist working in the Brescia area.
Graduated in Psychology in 2004 with a thesis entitled "The boundaries of the body image" and with a Master in Psychosexology in 2020 with a thesis entitled "Voyeurism: a journey through history, theories and representations".
She deals with well-being in couples and with investigating how sexuality is often a mirror of impulses and desires coming from life outside the sheets.