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Dacryphilia (also known as dacrylagnia) is a form of paraphilia in which one is aroused by tears or sobbing.[1][2]

The term covers all forms of pleasure from the tears of others. The arousal is achieved when viewing a person in emotional distress. It carries the theme where a person (often a Top in a BDSM relationship) induces another (the bottom) to cry, or otherwise show a strong emotion.


Dacryphilia may be a form of humiliation in the 'pain/restriction/servitude/humiliation' spectrum of BDSM; for example, a dominant may verbally abuse the submissive in order to elicit a tearful response. In contrast, a Dominant may instead physically torture the submissive to draw tears in a pain scene. In this way, dacryphilia is a form of sadism. A Sensual Dom or dominatrix may instead choose to elicit tears by making the Sub feel safe enough to become emotionally vulnerable.[3]

The psychological aspects of dacryphilia are that the causative entity displays the power to control the psychological response from the receiver. This form of power-play therefore brings pleasure, and for some, sexual arousal. Passive dacryphilia involves a third party who also achieves pleasure in watching someone in emotional distress, usually caused by the scening dominant, though the reason does not restrict the pleasure – a person may enjoy the tears of others, whatever the cause.[4]

Non-BDSM dacryphilia[edit]

Dacryphilia is not limited to BDSM and may be experienced by those who do not consider themselves a Dom or Sub. They may be aroused when their partner cries during a movie or from the normal emotional vulnerability and strong feelings of love that may make a partner cry during intercourse. [5]

Other usage[edit]

Dacryphilia is sometimes used to express the pleasure experienced through one's own tears, often as an emotional release.

A dacryphiliac is someone who gets sexually aroused from watching other people cry.


  1. ^ Holmes, Ronald M. Sex Crimes: Patterns and Behavior. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. p. p. 244. ISBN 0-7619-2417-5. OCLC 48883594.
  2. ^ Aggrawal, Anil (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unususal Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press. p. 373. ISBN 978-1-4200-4308-2.
  3. ^ "Sensual Domination". Kinkly. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  4. ^ BDSM Dictionary
  5. ^ Mark D. Griffiths (14 January 2016). "Can Crying Be Sexually Arousing? A brief look at dacryphilia". Psychology Today.

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