Variance vs. Criminality
It seems to me that as a society we have become confused about individual variance, either in behaviors or thinking, and pathology or criminality. In one example I’d like to discuss, a man in a hostel was found in his locked room by the cleaning staff, apparently masturbating with his bicycle. The man was charged in the case, and ultimately placed on a sex offender’s list, which as many of you may know can lead to severe social isolation and persecution, including severe employment, residency, and financial issues.(Some concerning issues with sex offender’s lists I may take up in another post.)
I have to admit that personally I do not find bicycles to be satisfactory sex objects. However in my daily work, I meet many people who have likes and dislikes which I do not personally share. And to be honest, if a patient of mine disclosed that he or she liked to have sex with his or her bicycle, I would find it interesting, and likely something worth exploring in therapy, but I wouldn’t have the least inclination to call the police, and much less would I feel the need to punish them or “protect society” by having them placed on a public sex offenders list.