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Paraphilia (from Greek παρά para "beside" and -philia φιλία "friendship, love") describes the experience of intense sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, or individuals.

No consensus has been found for any precise border between unusual personal sexual tastes and paraphilic ones. There is much current debate over which, if any, of the paraphilias should be listed in diagnostic manuals, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or the International Classification of Diseases.

The DSM-5 draft adds a terminology distinction between ipso facto psychiatric disorders and paraphilia, stating that "paraphilias are not ipso facto psychiatric disorders", and defining paraphilic disorder as "a paraphilia that causes distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others", meaning that if an individual is not bothered or disrupted by a specific act, and their act does not harm others, then there is no reason to judge that it is a psychiatric disorder.

What this indicates is that those that enjoy their varied sexual tastes, to include practices of BDSM and do so in a well adjusted manner, are not at all crazy.

In many cases studies have shown that better mental health can be correlated with BDSM practices.[1]