Approximately 4% of men have a variant (atypical or kinky) arousal pattern. This can involve a fetish, cross-dressing, or BDSM (bondage and discipline) scenarios. What drives variant arousal is a combination of high secrecy, high eroticism, and high shame. Variant arousal is kept secret, especially from his partner. He acts it out on-line, through masturbation fantasies, and sometimes paid sex. When the partner discovers the sexual secret, she is shocked and feels betrayed.

The old approach to variant arousal was to see it as a problem to get rid of. The new approach is to decide among three strategies – Acceptance, Compartmentalization, or Necessary Loss. What is the right fit for the man, the woman, and the couple?

Less than 1% of men have a deviant arousal pattern (exhibitionism, voyeurism, frotteurism, pedophilia). Deviant arousal is illegal and harmful to others. The man commits to ending the deviant behavior. It is counterproductive to shame him, but therapeutic for the woman to confront him and be his ally in the change process.