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Symphorphilia is a type of paraphilia which causes individuals to become sexually aroused at the sight of disasters or accidents. These may be natural disasters, such as floods, volcano eruptions, or accidents caused by humans, such as bomb blasts or car crashes.
Symphorphilia is a type of sacrificial paraphilia. Autassassinophilia, in which individuals become aroused by being placed in situations where they could die, and autoerotic asphyxiation, in which individuals become aroused when they are choked or strangled, are also types of sacrificial paraphilia.
When symphorphilia is managed, symphorphiles can achieve sexual gratification by viewing disasters as they occur, on television or online. However, some symphorphiles stage disasters for their sexual pleasure. For example, these symphorphiles may cause car accidents or light fires. Some experts suggest that accidents that have the potential to injure or kill bring symphorphiles to to orgasm more quickly.
Because there is a potential for symphorphiles to do harm to themselves and others, or to property, therapy may be sought to manage this condition.
As there is limited clinical data on symphorphilia, it’s believed that this paraphilia is very rare.