“The APA has made it clear that being kinky is not a mental disorder,” says Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF. “That means people no longer have to fear being diagnosed as mentally ill just because they belong to a BDSM group.
The following are some statements about the various paraphilias in the DSM-5. Although highly clinical in language, they show the APA’s intent to not demand treatment for healthy consenting adult sexual expression:
- “A paraphilia is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having a paraphilic disorder, and a paraphilia by itself does not necessarily justify or require clinical intervention.” p. 686
- “In contrast, if they declare no distress, exemplified by anxiety, obsessions, guilt or shame, about these paraphilic impulses, and are not hampered by them in pursuing other personal goals, they could be ascertained as having masochistic sexual interest but should not be diagnosed with a sexual masochism disorder.” p. 694
- “Many individuals who self-identify as fetishist practitioners do not necessarily report clinical impairment in association with their fetish-associated behaviors. Such individuals could be considered as having a fetish but not fetishistic disorder.” p. 701
- “Clinical assessment of distress or impairment, like clinical assessment of transvestic sexual arousal, is usually dependent on the individual’s self-report.” p. 703