Autoeroticism

Autoeroticism, also called autostimulation, is the term used for sexual attraction to one's own body. It may also involve conscious preference for selfstimulation of the genitalia (i.e., masturbation) with the intention of producing sexual arousal and orgasm.

Autoerotic individuals are sexually attracted to, and aroused by, their own bodies, although they may be able to achieve sexual arousal by seeing or touching the bodies of others as well. Autoeroticism is not considered symptomatic of a behavioral health disorder, unless it has a negative impact on the life of the individual. Autoerotic behavior falls along a continuum, like most other sexual practices. In the broadest sense, it is considered a sexual preference, although it may also be deemed a sexual orientation.

Mirror sex is an autoerotic practice that involves imagining the self as the preferred sexual object or partner. A concept related to autoeroticism is autoromance, in which the individual develops a strong attraction to the self as both sexual and romantic object. A distinction between common masturbation and autoerotic masturbation is that individuals may masturbate to relieve sexual tension or out of boredom or frustration but still enjoy or prefer sex with a partner; autoerotic masturbation is considered an end in itself.

See also Paraphilia ; Sex roles ; Sex therapies .

Resources

BOOKS

Balon, Richard, ed. Sexual Dysfunction: Beyond the Brain Body Connection. Basel, Switzerland: Karger, 2011.

Bristow, Joseph. Sexuality, 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2011.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Institute of Gender and Health (Canada). What a Difference Sex and Gender Make: A Gender, Sex and Health Research Casebook. Vancouver: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2012.

Carpenter, Laura M., and John D. DeLamater, eds. Sex for Life: From Virginity to Viagra, How Sexuality Changes throughout Our Lives. New York: New York University Press, 2012.

Crooks, Robert, and Karla Baur. Our Sexuality, 12th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014.

Ferber, Abby L., et al., compilers. Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: The New Basics: An Anthology, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

King, Bruce M. Human Sexuality Today, 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2012.

Meltzer, Donald. Sexual States of Mind. London: Harris Meltzer Trust, 2012.

Rutter, Virginia, and Pepper Schwartz. The Gender of Sexuality: Exploring Sexual Possibilities, 2nd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.

Yarber, William L., et al. Human Sexuality: Diversity in Contemporary America, 8th ed. New York: McGrawHill, 2013.

WEBSITE

Setzer, Leon F. “Evolution of the Self: On the Paradoxes of Personality.” Psychology Today, August 6, 2013. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201308/are-you-your-own-sex-object (accessed September 11, 2015).