Those attracted often cherish early memories of a sexuoerotic tragedy (a "first sighting") involving an object of their future attention, often an older member of the opposite sex, as stereotypical in paraphilic etiology.About a quarter report discovering the paraphilia in puberty and a few in maturity.
However, it can be noted that the DSM-IV includes this paraphilia within the diagnostic criteria of psychiatric pathology.In its middle pretending area is strong desire to reproduce the sensations of disability.At its intense wannabe end is an imperative to acquire a disability which may prompt self-harm.In the standard psychiatric reference Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, text revision (DSM-IV-tr), the fetish falls under the general category of "Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders" and the more specific category of paraphilia, or sexual fetishes; Desires to pretend to be disabled and acquire a disability are extensions of the pathological disorder.About half of all devotees occasionally pretend (43 percent of Nattress , sample of 50).Until the 1990s, it tended to be described mostly as acrotomophilia, at the expense of other disabilities, or of the wish by some to pretend or acquire disability.
Bruno (1997) systematised the attraction as factitious disability disorder.
Such relationships are also reported to be ordinary despite the (mostly undisclosed) attraction to disability on the part of one partner.
Although it is not common knowledge within mainstream communities, the internet has revolutionized the process by which DPWs can meet each other while pursuing meaningful relationships.
Some people with disabilities willingly participate in the fetish subculture, for example, contributing model photos (e.g., Debbie van der Putten).
The Amelotatist found that 55 percent of a sample of 195 DPWs had dated disabled people, 40 percent had been sexually intimate with disabled partners, and 5 percent had current disabled spouses.
"Second-best" options for them are relationships with pretenders and wannabes.