Apotemnophilia

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(From the Greek: apo- from + temnein- to cut + -philia word ending meaning love, or erotic and sexual love of a person, thing, or activity)

Apotemnophilia is the medical term for an individual with the sexual fetish or paraphilia of being an amputee.

First described and named by psychologist Gregg Furth and prominent sexologist John Money in their 1977 article "Apotemnophilia: two cases of self-demand amputation as a paraphilia", until recently any desire for amputation was classified as this "disorder". Recently, however, the psychiatric community has begun to differentiate between this condition and body integrity identity disorder, in which an individual desires an amputation without an accompanying sexual component to this desire. The description and acceptance of this condition has been problematic, principally because the most active proponents for defining apotemnophilia as a distinct psychiatric condition were Gregg Furth, a psychiatrist and wannabe amputee himself, and Robert Smith, a Scottish surgeon who had been carrying out voluntary amputations, much to the chagrin of the British medical establishment.

An individual with true apotemnophilia may be chronically unsatisfied with their sexual relationships, or even completely sexually dysfunctional, until their desire for amputation is realized.

This condition is similar to acrotomophilia, but is differentiated by the desire for oneself to be an amputee, as opposed to one's partner having an amputation.

See Also

Further Reading and References

  • Money, J., Jobaris, R. & Furth, G. (1977). "Apotemnophilia: two cases of self-demand amputation as a paraphilia" in The Journal of Sex Research, 13 (2), pp. 115-125.
  • Furth, G. & Smith, R (2000). Amputee Identity Disorder: Information, Questions, Answers and Recomendations about Self-Demand Amputation 1st Books Library : London
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