Autoeroticism is traditionally understood as ways for the subject to obtain sexual satisfaction without the participation of another person. However, such an interpretation of this term actually turns it into another synonym for masturbation. At the same time, pathological autoeroticism is a qualitatively different category and is a dominant way of achieving orgasm, distinguished by obsession, by a particular person, including with the help or under the influence of any stimuli of a physical nature. Constantly repeated self-excitation with the use of specific sexual stimuli (for example, a jet of water, specially adapted tools or instruments, a mirror image of one’s own body, pornography, specific rituals, etc.) leads to the fact that its quantitative and qualitative forms are replaced in the subject as other sexual stimuli and other manifestations of sexual activity. The persistent substitutionary autoeroticism that develops in this way lies in the fact that the subject can achieve orgasm only by self-excitation, and this form of sexual activity becomes for him a more acceptable and effective way of obtaining sexual satisfaction than sexual contact with a partner. Often these individuals do not (or never had) sexual relations at all, or their sexual contacts are sporadic. than sexual contact with a partner. Often these individuals do not (or never had) sexual relations at all, or their sexual contacts are sporadic. than sexual contact with a partner. Often these individuals do not (or never had) sexual relations at all, or their sexual contacts are sporadic.
Anancastic autoeroticism consists in persistent, forced (obsessive) sexual self-excitation, often carried out outside of an actual sexual need and bearing the features of dependence. More often, such a condition is one of the symptoms of borderline neuropsychiatric disorders and less often – a symptom of mental illness or mental retardation. In extreme cases, self-stimulation lasting for months and even years, repeated throughout the day, is noted. The mechanism of this phenomenon is that a given person can get a discharge of nervous tension only in the described sexual way, and over time, orgasm becomes like a “medicine” that has a calming effect.
A specific type of female autoeroticism is the so-called Havelock-Ellis syndrome, in which sexual self-stimulation is carried out using a jet of water that acts on erogenous zones. It is believed that this type of self-stimulation is quite widespread in the female population. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that a woman gradually consolidates the connection between the occurrence of an orgasm and the impact of such a specific sexual stimulant. Subsequently, such women, as a rule, have difficulty achieving orgasm under the influence of stimulation produced during sexual intercourse by a partner.
No less specific kind of pathological autoeroticism is the syndrome of sexual asphyxia. In this case, obtaining sexual satisfaction is associated with a very definite risk to life, since it is achieved in the process of developing suffocation during self-hanging.