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Acrotomophilia (from the Greek ákron [extremity], tómos [a cut] and philía [love]), refers to a paraphilia in which an individual expresses strong sexual interest in amputees. It is a counterpart to apotemnophilia, the sexual interest in being an amputee.

Interests and behaviours[edit]

In a survey of acrotomophiles, leg amputations were preferred over arm amputations, amputations of a single limb over double amputations, and amputations that left a stump over amputations that left no stump.[1] According to Solvang (2007), “Devotees adhere to standard conceptions of attractiveness in all other matters outside of amputations.”[2]

Ethical issues[edit]

Some people question whether amputating one's own body parts or operating on a partner for the sake of sexual pleasure is ethical. For some, modifying the body is a private ritual of self-ownership and freedom of choice. Psychiatrists may make a diagnosis of Body integrity identity disorder (B.I.I.D.).[3][4]


The term amelotatism has also been used to describe acrotomophilia. The sexual interest in being an amputee is apotemnophilia.[5][6] John Money (1977) used the terms autoapotemnophilia and alloapotemnophilia to describe the erotic interest of wanting to be or appear as an amputee versus wanting amputees as sexual partners;[7] neither term has been widely used since. The term teratophilia is used to describe arousal from deformed or monstrous people.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dixon, D. (1983). An erotic attraction to amputees. Sexuality and Disability, 6, 3–19.
  2. ^ Solvang, P. (2007). The amputee body desired: Beauty destabilized? Disability re-valued? Sexuality and Disability, 25, 51–64.
  3. ^ Robin Marantz Henig. (March 22, 2005) At War With Their Bodies, They Seek to Sever Limbs. The New York Times. Retrieved: 2008.02.08.
  4. ^ (March 22, 2005) Devotees, Pretenders and Wannabes.
  5. ^ John Money, Kent W. Simcoe. 1984. Sexuality and Disability Journal. "Acrotomophilia, sex and disability: New concepts and case report". Springer Netherlands. ISSN 0146-1044 (Print) 1573-6717 (Online).
  6. ^ Janice M. Irvine. (2005). Disorders of Desire: Sexuality And Gender In Modern American Sexology. ISBN 1-59213-151-4. (p. 4).
  7. ^ Money, J., Jobaris, R., & Furth, G. (1977). Apotemnophilia: Two cases of self demand amputation as a sexual preference. The Journal of Sex Research, 13, 115–124.
  8. ^ Aggrawal, Anil (2008). Forensic and Medico-Legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. CRC Press. ISBN 1-4200-4308-0. 

External links[edit]