The American Psychiatric Association is set to publish the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in May. The DSM is more or less the standard text for all psychiatrists, clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and policy makers.
If you’re into sexual masochism, fetishism, transvestism, and sadism, you should be excited about the DSM’s fifth edition because it no longer classifies any of these fetishes as a mental disorder!
For something to be named as a mental disorder, a person must “feel personal distress about their interest.” The APA has finally realized that happy, normal people can be into these kinky things without having a mental disorder.
However, if you are unhappy practicing these fetishes, it still counts as a mental disorder. The same thing happened to homosexuality in previous editions.
The first edition in 1952 declared homosexuality as a mental disorder. It wasn’t until 1973 that they realized that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and substituted “sexual orientation disturbance” and “ego-dystonic homosexuality” in the subsequent editions.
That medical mumbo-jumbo means that if you were happy and gay, you didn’t have a mental disorder. If you were unhappy and gay, you did have a mental disorder
It’s a small victory for people with fetishes, but a victory nonetheless. As you can see with the way homosexuality was treated in previous editions of the DSM, fetishes are on their way to be considered normal.
Hey, progress is progress. Whatever fetishes you have, please enjoy them to the fullest tonight because no one can call you officially crazy if you do.