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Hi. My question is how does one determine what is "normal" or "abnormal" when it comes to a person's sexual desires and fantasies? I am a woman in her thirties who has occasional fantasies involving necrophilia. And sometimes I fantasize about being killed. I find the idea of being strangled especially erotic, and have fantasied about being raped, someone having sex with my dead body etc. I feel a lot of guilt and shame about these thoughts, and don't understand where they come from. But I have had these thoughts since I was very young. There were times when I would be watching a movie for example, and become aroused when someone was killed, especially by means of asphyxia. This is strange because I am NOT a violent person, and in real life I hate the thought of any living thing or person suffering. I am extremely sensitive and empathetic, and literally would not harm a mouse! I have no desire to act on my fantasies, and of course I would NEVER want them to come true. Although I think it would be great if I ever found a partner who was open-minded enough to try roleplaying some of these scenarios with me. Of course, I don't know if I would ever have the courage to share them for fear of judgment. I am taking a chance here, and hoping you will not judge me or think ill of me. I would really like some insight into this aspect of my self, and also wonder how it is that mental health experts determine was is "normal" or "deviant" in terms of a person's sexual behavior. I mean, does anything go so long as it is consensual and everyone involved is an adult? What role does or should morality play in our sexual choices? I know that my fantasies are not common and that most people would probably think they were strange, weird or even sick. Thanks in advance for your help.

Answer
Normal is simply a statistical term.  When a certain percentage of people do a thing, it becomes a norm.  Necrophilia is not a norm, but it is a common enough fetish that most people have heard of it.  I think that whatever you fantasize about is fine.  Where a fetish crosses the line into a paraphilia is when a person is not merely fantasizing but acting out.  

I suspect there are message boards out there where you could interact with fellow necrophiles and discuss this with them.  You are probably not as weird as you imagine.

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Doug Adams, Ph.D.

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I write from the point of view that masturbation is normal, healthy, and fun, and even necessary to sexual health. I am able to answer questions in all areas of sexuality.

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I am the author of the web site HealthyStrokes.com and have been answering questions about sexuality (especially masturbation) from both males and females for over 13 years.

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I have a Ph.D. in a field unrelated to sexuality from one of the leading educational institutions in the world.

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