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Teratophilia is a term for a sexual attraction to monsters, or individuals who are deemed to be “monstrous-looking.” The term comes from the Ancient Greek words teras, meaning monster, and philia, meaning love. The word terato, which derives from teras, refers to birth defects and other physical abnormalities.
People with teratophilia are known as teratophiles.
Other paraphilias such as acrotomophilia, an attraction to amputees, and stigmatophilia, an attraction to scars, are often classified as types of teratophilia.
While the term teratophilia is most specifically used to denote a sexual attraction to monsters, it can also be used more generally to describe an attraction to deformed or "monstrous-looking" people. While it is classed as a paraphilia, some people suggest this classification is a little unfair. Rather than view the condition as a kink, defenders of teratophilia believe it allows people to see beauty outside of societal standards.
People with teratophilia often find themselves most attracted to specific types of deformities, such as those that cause an unusual gait or strangely-shaped limbs.
As teratophilia is a fairly harmless condition, most teratophiles manage to find sexual gratification in appropriate ways, such as by using costumes during sex play, viewing images of monsters online, or pursuing sexual relationships with people who may not fit society’s standards of beauty. However, if teratophilia does interfere with one's day-to-day life, they may decide to pursue therapy, hypnosis, or some other treatment to help control their urges.