A: I think you have basically answered your own question by simply stating that you would like to better understand what he thinks and feels about this topic. The only way to understand him better is to talk with him directly. I could make lots of educated guesses and list lots of relevant diagnoses, but the only way for you to truly understand your boyfriend is to talk to him.
I agree that having specific sexual fantasies can be quite harmless and sometimes can be incorporated into a couple’s sex life. However, when the fantasies have to do with death and violence, the lines get a little blurry. Sexual disorders are classified under paraphilias, and a fetish typically involves being aroused by an inanimate object (like a piece of clothing) or a non-sexual body part (like a foot). Sexual sadism disorder involves becoming sexually aroused by the physical or psychological suffering of another person. However, to technically be defined as a “psychological disorder” the individual would need to be experiencing distress or impairment. Even though you find his fantasies distressing, your boyfriend may not.
It’s hard to say where his sexual associations with death may have begun and how ingrained they may be. If you really feel that he has not and is not likely to act on the violent urges, I would first encourage you to speak with him yourself. Just let him know that you were a little concerned by what he has told you and what you accidentally stumbled upon on his computer. Reassure him that you just want to understand him better to improve your relationship. If, however, you feel you need more support or you aren’t sure how to do this on your own, I’d suggest finding a therapist in your area who specializes in sexual dysfunctions. Many couples are able to work through sexual issues in a few sessions and it tends to improve communication in general. I hope this information helps.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts