, "devotee" is synonymous with acrotomophiliac
- in plain language, an unusual erotic reponse to amputees
. This erotic focus is in the range of psychosexual adaptation known as paraphilia
The reciprocal paraphilia is apotemnophilia, the persistent erotic fantasy of having one's own limbs amputated, or of being an amputee. As with many paraphilic reciprocal pairs, a devotee is likely to fantasize about being an amputee as well as harboring fantasies of amputee sex partners. The stump of an amputated limb is often a fetish-like stimulus of sexual desire in devotees.
Recognition and study of these paraphilias has only surfaced within the past few decades, starting with the publication of "Apotemnophilia: Two cases of self-demand amputation as a paraphilia" in the Journal of Sex Research in 1977, by psychologists John Money, Gregg Furth, and Russell Jobaris.
According to OverGround, a Belgian web site serving the subculture, the term "was coined by a group of amputee women to describe their admirers"1, and seems to have stuck as a soft alternative to clinical, hard-to-pronounce terms of Greek derivation.
1. "What are disability paraphilias and who are devotees?", by Margaret Child, http://www.overground.be/features/theory/whata.html ©2003 OverGround.