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Coulrophilia is a sexual attraction to clowns. People who have coulrophilia, known as coulrophiles, may find themselves spending a lot of time thinking about clowns or having erotic fantasies about clowns. They might also seek out clowns as sexual partners or prefer to dress as clowns themselves during sexual encounters.
Coulrophilia is sometimes known as bozophilia, clown paraphilia, and clown fetish. It is the opposite of coulrophobia, or a fear of clowns.
While coulrophilia technically refers to an attraction to clowns alone, many people extend the definition to include other similar types of performers, including mimes and jesters. Coulrophiles often prefer a particular type of clown, such as a scary,silly or sexy clown. Coulrophiles may be attracted to the physical look of clowns and also the acts associated with clowns, which they may adopt in a sexual nature, such as spanking with rubber chickens or smashing a pie into someone’s face while having intercourse.
While there has been little formal research into coulrophilia, some people believe that coulrophiles become attracted to clowns, or attracted to dressing as clowns, because of some event or occurrence in their childhood. Another theory suggests that clowns are alluring because underneath their makeup, they could be any person, strange or familiar. Research shows that coulrophilia is more popular amongst males than females. It also appears that coulrophilia is equally prevalent amongst heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual communities.
Pornographic videos featuring clowns are created to appeal to coulrophiles.
Coulrophilia is a fairly harmless fetish, so treatment is rarely sought for the condition. However, if a coulrophile feels their attraction to clowns is becoming disruptive or damaging to their relationships, therapy or hypnosis may be useful.