What the Heck is a Paraphiliac?
Within the therapeutic community there is considerable confusion as to what constitutes sexual addiction, what constitutes paraphilic behavior, and what constitutes sexual offending. In part this is caused by our collective inability as sexual addiction professionals, sex therapists, and sex offender treatment providers to engage in useful, integrated discourse, perform research, create conferences, and most of all to work together. Complicating matters is the APA’s lamentable inability/unwillingness (so far) to provide diagnostic criteria defining Hypersexual Disorder (sexual addiction), despite the way our twenty year tech-connect boom has dramatically increased the average person’s ability to affordably and anonymously access endless amounts of highly graphic pornography, casual sex, online prostitution, and information about and/or depictions of fetishistic and illegal sexual behaviors. As those of us working in the field are well aware, this proliferation of access has led to and/or escalated problematic sexual behavior – be it addictive, paraphilic, illegal, or some combination thereof – in numerous individuals with pre-existing addictive or other psychological disorders such as social inhibition, profound childhood or adult trauma, depression, anxiety, etc.