What Is Fetishism?

person wearing handcuffs on feet

Fetishes and kinks can be healthy expressions of nontraditional sexuality. But they can become a disorder when they cause significant distress and interfere with your life.

For example, if you can only get turned on by shoes, and not by someone wearing them, that’s a fetish. A fetish can also be problematic if it becomes an addiction or if it affects your relationships.

What is a fetish?

Fetishes are sexual fantasies that involve inanimate objects or body parts that are not traditionally viewed as sexual. They are often linked to a specific feeling, such as pleasure or gratification. People with fetishes are called fetishists. They can be turned on by touching, wearing or smelling the object or body part. They may also engage in sexual behavior with it. Some have fetishes that involve drugs or other substances.

While many people have safe fetishes, others can become obsessed with them. Some fetishes are even considered disorders and can cause distress to other people or interfere with normal relationships. If a person’s fetishes are dangerous or cause distress, they should seek help from a health professional or sex therapist.

Some common fetishes include feet, hands, hair, obesity and tattoos. Other fetishes are related to things you wear such as stockings, shoes and underwear. Other fetishes can be animal-related or involve certain textures like leather and rubber. Some people enjoy dressing themselves or their partners in furry animal costumes.

Read:  How to Stop a Fetish

Fetishes are different from kinks, which are sexual desires and fantasies that are enjoyable. Many people use the terms fetish and kink interchangeably but they do not mean the same thing. Kinks are safe and normal and usually do not involve any distress to other people. For example, having a sexual interest in playing cricket or having a partner wear a cowboy hat during sex is a safe fantasy.

Fetishes can be healthy fantasies

Fetishes can add an extra dimension to a healthy sex life and help you learn more about yourself and your partner. As long as it’s consensual and you and your partner communicate about it, fetishes can be a fun way to enhance sexual satisfaction in your relationship. But if a fetish becomes destructive to your relationships or your personal well-being, you should seek help from a professional, such as a therapist or counselor.

The most common fetishes are for feet and objects associated with them, according to one study, with preferences for body fluid, body size and hair close behind. Many people also have a fetish for clothing, such as shoes and stockings, or for materials like rubber or latex.

In general, a person has a fetish if they experience sexual excitement or gratification in response to an object or body part that’s not usually viewed as erotic. The object could be a physical object or it might be something they do, such as masturbating with the object or having it touch them sexually.

Read:  What is Breeding Fetish?

Fetishes are also different from paraphilia, which describes intense and persistent sexual interests in inanimate objects or non-consenting people. There’s no cure for paraphilia, but a sex therapist can help you find ways to manage and control your urges. Generally, it’s easier to treat fetishes than paraphilia.

Fetishes can be destructive

Fetishes can be destructive if they become an obsession. It’s also possible for fetishes to be sexually abusive or harmful to others, especially when they involve non-consenting people or harming yourself or others. In those cases, treatment is required.

The word fetish is derived from the Portuguese word feitico, which means “obsessive fascination.” In psychology, the term refers to an interest in inanimate objects or body parts not usually seen as sexual. A fetish can replace or be integrated into a sexual relationship with a partner, and it’s often seen as a way of dealing with trauma or shameful experiences from childhood or adolescence. A person may even have a specific focus, such as feet or buttocks, which is known as partialism.

Most sex therapists agree that fetishism is healthy as long as it involves consenting adults and does not cause distress or harm to anyone. If it does, then the behavior should be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Most fetishes develop in childhood or adolescence as a result of classical conditioning. If a young boy sees a girl with ginger hair and finds her attractive, this may become an unmet need. Over time, the boy might feel more and more attracted to girls with ginger hair in an attempt to get a sexual fix. This is an example of a fetish that can cause harm.

Read:  What is a Feeder Fetish?

Fetishes can be treated

As with other paraphilias, fetishes are only considered problematic and categorized as a disorder when they cause significant distress or impairment. If your fetish is causing you to spend too much time and energy on it, or if it’s preventing you from having other healthy relationships with people, then you should seek help.

Therapy can help unlink your fetish object from sexual arousal, by pairing it with something that would typically not trigger such a response. For example, if your foot fetish involves stroking or picking at your own feet, you can pair it with things that wouldn’t make you salivate — such as water or even a glass of milk. Over time, thinking about and being exposed to the fetish object will no longer provoke the unwanted biological response.

Therapists can also use cognitive behavioral techniques to reduce fetish-related behavior. They may recommend aversion therapy or arousal reconditioning to change the associations between your fetish and sexual stimuli.

If you’re interested in pursuing treatment for your fetish, find a therapist who specializes in sex and sexual disorders to ensure you get a nonjudgmental approach. You can often find these therapists through online and telehealth resources. They’ll likely take a detailed sexual history to determine the source of your fetish and then utilize methods such as aversion therapy, orgasmic reconditioning and cognitive restructuring techniques to help you gain control over your urges and fantasies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts