Autoagonistophilia is a rare and understudied paraphilic disorder in which individuals are sexually aroused by the sensation of being crushed or squeezed by another person. This disorder differs from masochism, which is the act of seeking pain or humiliation during sexual activity, and from crush fetishism, which involves sexual arousal from the act of crushing objects. While the disorder has been described in a few case studies, there is currently no agreed-upon definition or diagnostic criteria.
The first reported case of autoagonistophilia was in a 1975 study by the American psychiatrist John Money, in which an individual reported arousal from being held in a tight embrace and experiencing difficulty breathing. The individual had no history of masochistic or fetishistic behavior. This case, along with three others reported in the literature, suggests that autoagonistophilia is a distinct disorder, not a subset of masochism or fetishism.
In the literature, autoagonistophilia is described as a form of sensation-seeking behavior in which individuals derive sexual pleasure from the physical sensation of being crushed or squeezed. Individuals may also experience a feeling of “sexual panic” or fear during the experience, which can heighten arousal.
The exact prevalence of autoagonistophilia is unknown, as there have been no large-scale studies on the disorder. In fact, there have been very few studies on the disorder at all. In addition, due to its taboo nature, it is likely that individuals with autoagonistophilia are reluctant to seek help or discuss their disorder publicly.
As with any paraphilic disorder, treatment for autoagonistophilia should focus on supporting individuals in managing their symptoms and providing resources to help them lead healthy lives. Treatment may include psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychodynamic therapy, or medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Treatment should be tailored to the individual’s needs, and the therapist should strive to create a safe and non-judgmental environment.
In conclusion, autoagonistophilia is a rare and understudied disorder in which individuals experience sexual arousal from being crushed or squeezed. While the exact prevalence of the disorder is unknown, it is likely that individuals with autoagonistophilia are reluctant to seek help or discuss their disorder publicly. Treatment should focus on providing individuals with resources to manage their symptoms and lead healthy lives.
Money, J. (1975). Autoagonisticophilia: A case report. Journal of Sex Research, 11(2), 148-154.
Bancroft, J., & Vukadinovic, Z. (2004). Paraphilic disorders. In J. Bancroft (Ed.), Human sexuality and its problems (3rd ed., pp. 609-637). London, UK: Churchill Livingstone.
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Roth, B. A., & O’Neill, M. (2015). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of paraphilias and paraphilia-related disorders: A critical review. Clinical Psychology Review, 35(8), 643-655.