The stigma surrounding kinks has started to bog down. Although still the epicenter of a raging controversy, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in its 5th edition has finally mustered the decency to upgrade the status of out-of-the-ordinary sexual behavior – it’s now been given a different, much-improved status.
Interestingly, this diagnostic bible of sexual behaviors characterized homosexuality as a sexual disorder back in the 80s. As a consequence, gay men and women were subjected to horrifyingly inhumane exercises, disseminated in society under the guise of “cures”. Conversion therapy was the crown jewel of this movement and the ink of its horrors is still fresh in the scientific literature.
So, the characterization of kinks in DSM holds paramount significance.
Despite this forward stride to uplift, the taboo-status of kinks, are kinks still considered mental health issues?
That’s going to be the focus of our discussion in this article.
Keep reading: 11 Signs You Might Be Kinky Than You Originally Thought
Conditions where Kinks Considered Mental Health Issues
To answer this question, we have to dig deeper into the DSM-V. In its stipulations, it enlists certain paraphilic disorders that don’t fall under the umbrella of sexual kinks. This changes the entire ball-game.
According to a clause of the DSM-V, paraphilic disorders include sexual masochism disorder, fetishistic disorder, and so on. Noticed the use of the word “disorder” here? It clearly implicates many kinks and drags them into the category of mental health diseases.
The DSM-V further goes on to point out that the diagnostic condition for these disorders is that the individual must have a bitter distaste about their interests.
If the arrangement between two adults is consensual, then how in the world will their kinks lead to them feeling like they want to vomit?
Despite this, the DSM-V refuses to strip out atypical sexual behaviors from their listings, and eradicate their taboo status once and for all.
The Implications of Characterizing Kinks as Mental Disorders
What two consenting adults do in their homes shouldn’t be a mental health discussion.
So, while the proponents of atypical sexuality have shot through the roof in contemporary times, and despite the fact that it’s no longer given the same treatment as homosexuality in the 80s, it’s still considered as a mental disorder in some nuances by the DSM. And this isn’t healthy at all – not for the mindset of the people who display these unusual behaviors, or the society at large that banking on the judgments of the DSM, wrongfully condemns their activity.
What can we do to help our Fellow-“Kinkers”?
More public awareness and change of medical legislation needs to take place to ensure that kinks are not thrown under the bus of mental health issues. This constant mischaracterization might lead to completely sane people developing a sense of societal neglect – and in worse cases, depression, which actually is a mental health disorder.