Not sure if there's a complete split. I'm sure there are plenty of variations where some people like seeing some helplessness, but at the same time are turned on by someone overcoming that.
As for wanting to BE an amputee, there is a definite overlap, but they are still distinct. I don't know anything about being sexually aroused by the idea of being an amputee, but there is a neurological condition where a person feels one or more limbs are foreign. It's not in the DSM, but has been studied under the terms Body-Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) and Xenomelia, and it also covers disabilities beyond amputations. From what studies I have found it seems to share similarities with Gender Identity Disorder in that there's a disconnect between what your body is, and what your brain thinks the body should be. It's actually something I suffer from (I'd like to lose my legs above the knee and can draw a line exactly where I feel I shouldn't have legs), but it isn't something I talk about much since it's easier for people to dismiss you as a crazy person that take time to understand what's going on.
Interestingly, it doesn't seem to influence my tastes in amputees. I enjoy pretty much anything, but tend to like arm amputations more (though below knee pairs well with prosthetics and I am a fan of athletes).
Now the conjoinment/multilimb fetish is an interesting intersect, since there seems to be some overlap in people with the fetishes (futa as well), so just having a different body than normal seems to be a factor. For my part I don't mind conjoinments, but I only really enjoy the sort where two torsos share a lower half.>>7882169
Definitely true, and it does make discussions interesting when the reasons for having the fetish can be so seemingly opposed (amputees are weaker by their nature vs. amputees are stronger because they overcome)>>7882702
Yeah I miss that guy. Acerbi too; he's posted a couple non-amputee stuff recently, though. maybe there's hope.