I have found web sites my husband has been visiting (several) that are pictures of amputated women and stories about amputated people. What does this mean?

A fetish for amputees is not as rare as you might think. There are numerous sites about this fetish on the Internet, as well as regional support groups which draw together amputees and the people who find them sexy (their fans are called "devotees").

A fetish does not necessarily say anything about other areas of a person's personality or life. Most fetishists are normal, healthy individuals who have fulfilling relationships, sexually and romantically. A fetish becomes a problem only when it interferes in someone's ability to form intimate relationships, or if it becomes such an obsession that the fetishist can't concentrate on his job, finances, or other daily responsibilities. If your husband is merely visiting the sites for a bit of titillation, then it presents no problem--except for any emotional problems you may have about his sexual quirk.

There is no clear understanding as yet on how people develop their fetishes: all we know is that fetishes are both fairly common and incredibly diverse. Amputee fetishes are only one of hundreds different identified fetishes. The primary erotic attraction is to the stumps, whose rounded smoothness most devotees find extremely sexy. There may be some deeper psychological reasons as well, but, again, if your husband isn't behaving differently, and seems to be coping well with life, he is not in need of counseling.

I'm not sure why you would want to "confront" your husband on his fetish. Are you angry that he hasn't told you about his fetish? Do you feel betrayed by his dalliances on the Internet? If so, then you should talk to him, but calmly. If the whole topic stresses you out, please consider marriage counseling with a fetish-friendly therapist to help you work this out in a loving, non-confrontational way.

It's a tragedy when sexual quirks come between loving couples. They don't have to if both partners keep an open mind and learn to accept that "different strokes for different folks" is in fact the sexual norm.


Gloria G. Brame, PhD

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