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Hello, Dr Saltzman,

I'm a 22 year-old boy and I live in a country in Eastern Europe. I stumbled on your site by chance while seeking for some psychological help. My biggest problem is that I have weird sexual fantasies - I get turned on by beheading. I've been so since I first masturbated when I was about 6-7 years old (or perhaps even younger). When I was a child I got turned on by me and some girl I liked being in extreme peril - about to be executed and I fancied saving her life. However when I became 13 I started fancying girls being sentenced to death, carried to a block and sometimes beheaded, although I've never felt excited by the execution itself, but by the preparation for it and perhaps the fear the girl is feeling. I also got excited by imagining myself being beheaded. I somehow felt sympathy for the girl about to be beheaded and after the masturbation I felt guilty about what I've done.

I grew up as a shy and restrained person, although I always had the desire to socialize, something always hindered me. Maybe it was my asthma, maybe my fantasies - at the end I turned into a school nerd. It deepened the social isolation I was in. I'm a virgin now at the age of 22 and I've never even kissed a girl. I did not have the opportunity to get known to real sex, which left me to my fantasies during the puberty. I was still excited by executions, i imagined the girl's or my head chopped off. I seldom do it out of hatred in my fantasies. Once or twice I really masturbated with the intention of doing harm to a particular girl, but it is not the general case. When I was 17 I decided it's very perverse and cruel and I was determined to stop it. I utilized my whole will to stop masturbating. In the beginning it was difficult, but after several tries and failures I began to abstain from sex for periods as long as a month. Maybe it's a coincidence, but then the happiest period in my life set in. I became part of the school theatrical group, made a lot of new friends and felt sociable, adequate in every situation and I began to attract girls attention. However this period ended far too shortly - I returned to my old sexstyle. I managed to abstain for so large periods of time because I maid oaths to god that something bad happens to me or to other people if I masturbated. And when I started failing these oaths I started feeling guilty.

I personally do not believe strongly in god, I do not believe in the Christian god, perhaps more in Budhism.I tell you that because I remember my first masturbations, when I was a child were religiously related  - I'd watched a film about Jesus and I masturbated on myself being executed, on sacrificing myself for someone (for a girl for example). however it was gradually replaced by turning on by the girl or me being executed (while tryng to save her). I omitted to tell you that when I was 12 i also  tried not to masturbate. I did not for 3-4 months or more. There was an icon of Virgin Mary in my room and I started to have erotic dreams related to her and to Jesus. I was very ashamed and these thoughts were haunting me all day long. When I finally masturbated it was my first real masturbation ( you're a man, you know what I mean). I felt guilty and I had some strange nightmares associated with that freaky icon ever since.

But let's cut a long story short - when I was 18-19 I began varying my sex fantasies - I forced myself to masturbate on porn, on tits - and it worked! However, I'm still aroused by beheadings and I worry much. Sometimes I prefer beheadings, sometimes sex, tits, the normal things. I've met a girl now that I really love, she's tender, mild and sweet. I turn on in my dreams by fucking her, but i'm sometimes tempted to start fancying her being in danger. When I think of her there is some kind of blockage that stops me from fancying her about to be executed, but there is some temptation and it irritates me very much. There is another  girl that I' m attracted to only sexually - she's hotter and there I feel the need to exert some more power, maybe I feel more passion, maybe I want to tame her and i fancy her on the block and so. I emphasize that these are only fantasies - I'm a virgin and I've never gone further than a hug. I've been to a therapist and he told me not to pay so much attention because these are only fantasies and during sex I'd be aroused by the normal sexual intercourse. But I think that there is something dangerous and not sane in it and it should be treated.

How could I get rid of these fantasies. I like girls - they are so beautiful - i do not want to harm them. But when I see a girl with a slender neck I get mad about it. I'm really a neck fetishist. I fancy her little neck on the block, or in the guillotine. I want it to stop. I told you i try to think about different things during masturbation - about woman genitalia, about breasts, sex, and so on, but it does not always work. What would you advise me - shall I try to avoid or make masturbation rarer (I do it once every two days usually), or should I try to gradually replace my faulty fantasies with saner ones, or something else? Am I a sadist in your opinion? I never really hurt anybody, but sometimes when there is a knife or another sharp object suddenly a thought appears urging me to stab somebody around. Or if someone has insulted me I imagine fighting and kicking him while in my room, swinging hands and feet in the air. I do not know. Am I a sadist, am I dangerous to society? Is it dangerous for the girl I'm in love with to make sex with her?

Sorry for the long letter and thank you sincerely for reading it till the end. Hope I've not wasted your time. I expect your answer with anxiety.

ask dr-robert

Hello, Jotdan--

Some of your fantasies are sadistic in content to be sure, but that does not make you a sadist. A sadist would be carrying these fantasies out in real life, and I hear that you do not want to do that. As long as these ideas remain only fantasies, you will be OK, so in that regard I agree with your therapist. However, if you are still worried about this, you might like to continue with some regular therapy aimed at reducing your need for violent fantasies in order to become sexually aroused. This would best be accomplished by exploring the content of your fantasies in relation to your actual life experience.

You would, of course, immediately speak with your therapist if you began to feel that you might really hurt the girl you mentioned or anyone else. If you do begin to feel that way, you must ask for professional help right away. I am sure you know this, but I write it here for emphasis. Be free in your thoughts and feelings, but don't hurt anyone.

There is nothing wrong with masturbation, and I would not suggest that you stop.

I think that this is a good question for the Dr. Robert Forum. If you post it there, you may hear from some people who have similar experiences to share.

Be well.

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