Sex Study Reveals Just How Normal Our Fetishes Are

Some behaviors defined as abnormal are relatively common
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2016 6:05 PM CST
Sex Study Reveals Just How Abnormal Our Fetishes Are

A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research shows that our unusual turn-ons, fetishes, and sexual proclivities might not be so unusual after all. Researchers set out to see how abnormal the eight abnormal sexual interests—fetishism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, frotteurism, masochism, sadism, transvestism, and pedophilia—laid out by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders actually are, the Globe and Mail reports. To do so, they surveyed more than 1,000 Quebec residents. According to Medical Daily, they found four of those sexual interests are actually statistically normal. Approximately 35% of respondents were interested in or had experienced voyeurism. It was 26% in regards to fetishism and frotteurism (rubbing oneself against a non-consenting stranger), and 19% for masochism.

Overall, nearly half of people surveyed were interested in doing something in one of those eight categories, and one-third already had. Researchers believe those numbers would be similar across North America and Europe, Inverse reports. While four of the sexual activities considered abnormal—voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, and pedophilia—are illegal because they involve non-consensual partners, study co-author Christian Joyal believes the others should no longer be considered as such. “If people are happy, if everybody is consenting, I don’t know why it should be abnormal, especially in 2016,” he tells the Globe and Mail. (The film version of 50 Shades of Grey sent sales of masochism-related sex toys skyrocketing.)

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