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Melissaphilia is a sexual attraction to bees, wasps, and other stinging insects. This preference is a specific branch of zoophilia, which is a sexual attraction to non-human animals.
The term melissaphilia is a combination of the Ancient Greek word melissa, meaning honey bee, and philia, meaning love.
Melissaphilia is sometimes spelled melissophilia.
While intercourse with bees, wasps, and other stinging insects cannot be achieved by humans, melissaphiles tend to receive pleasure by putting these insects onto their genitals. The fact that these insects might sting does not act as a deterrent. Rather, melissaphiles find the idea of insect stings erotic. Some melissaphiles even believe that insect stings increase the intensity and duration of their orgasms, and, therefore encourage the insects to sting them.
Little is known about the cause of melissaphilia. There have not been any academic or clinical studies about this condition to date.
Melissaphilia is closely related to formicophilia, which is sexual arousal that occurs when insects crawl on or bite a person’s genitals.