Updated: DECEMBER 17, 2015

Kleptophilia, also referred to as kleptolagnia, is a fetish in which people gain sexual arousal from stealing. It is a sexual form of the more widely recognized condition, kleptomania. Kleptophilia is derived from the Greek prefix “klepto,” meaning thief or to steal secretly and “philia,” meaning a love of or obsession with.

More About Kleptophilia

True kleptophilia is defined as someone entering someone's residence and stealing from them with the source of arousal being the act of thievery. Some people break into houses for the sole purpose of taking a particular item and using that item in a sex act. An example of this may be a person who breaks into women’s bedrooms, steals their underwear, and uses them to masturbate with. While this action does have a component of stealing, it is not the source of the sexual arousal, the object is. These types of examples may more rightfully be considered a fetish for the type of item stolen rather than true kleptophilia itself.

Some kleptophiliacs practice their kink ethically and legally by arranging a mock break in and/or theft ahead of time with a consenting third party. Others, however, commit crimes to satisfy their compulsions. Although there hasn’t been much study on it, some experts speculate a small but notable portion of home burglaries may be fueled by some sort of sexual compulsion rather than strictly monetary gain. In their most extreme cases criminal kleptophiliacs may go as far as sexually assaulting residents if they are found home during the break-in.


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