N is for Normophilic

'Normophilic' is the term used to describe sexual desires and activities that aren't 'paraphilic'.

Normophilic sexual interests are those that conform to laws, customs and social norms, and are also psychologically typical (i.e. normal and healthy). So 'normophilic' is of course near impossible to truly define. Trying to categorise what is "normal" in sex appears to be a difficult and pretty useless exercise. What is considered "normal and healthy" in sex, historically has depended more heavily on political and sociocultural factors than on medical or scientific evidence (which is quite lacking in the sexuality department anyway).

According to the DSM-5 a paraphilic sexual fantasy is one that concerns aspects outside of "genital stimulation or preparatory fondling with phenotypically normal, physically mature, consenting human partners". So having penis-in-vagina sex or performing/receiving oral sex would be considered 'normophilic' but, for example, watching two women have sex or being spanked or kissing someones feet would be paraphilic.

One study last year examining sexual fantasies within a normal population found 57% of the sample met the criteria of paraphilia1. Another more recent 2016 study found almost half of their sample expressed interest in at least one paraphilic activity2.

There is a growing body of research that is finding that many desires and fantasies that would be considered paraphilic are surprisingly common among the general population. What is considered a "normal and healthy" sexuality isn't necessarily a reflection of what is truly common, and quite often isn't necessarily healthier either.

See related:

Paraphilia Sex A-Z entries

Posted on May 10, 2016 and filed under N.