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Acrotomophilia (from the Greek ἀκρότομος "having the top cut off" (from ἄκρον akron "extremity" and -τομος -tomos from τέμνω temno "I cut") and φιλία philia "love") is 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.


Acrotomophiles may be attracted to amputees because they like the way they look or they may view the amputee’s stump as a phallic object which can be used for sexual pleasure. Acrotomophiles may enjoy the idea of dominating the amputee during couples play and they may also become aroused with the thought of having to take care of 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. Archived February 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  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 978-1-4200-4308-2.

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