What is a Fetish?
Fetishes pertain to a fixation, usually sexual or erotic in nature, to a specific body part or an object, which causes sexual arousal to an individual.
The etymology of the word fetish is derived from the Portuguese term feticio, which means obsessive fascination or spell. It was coined by Alfred Binet, a French Psychologist, used in an erotic context in 1887. It was the described as an unusual sexual attraction to an object, a body part or “oddities”.
According to Sonya Collins of WebMD, this sexual excitement is more common in men than in women, and often manifests in people that the individual must fantasize about or have the object of their fetish in hand, whether it is with a partner or through masturbation to become sexually aroused and climax.
On the same Web MD article, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Richard Kreuger stated that fetishes can be in the form of anything imaginable. From specific parts of the body not commonly seen as sexual like the feet or the armpit; bodily features like obesity (fat women); items of clothing like socks, or even high heels; or specific material like leather or fur.
Given this definition and samples, being aroused by sexually associated body parts like breasts and butts are not necessarily fetishes. It must be something not normally associated with sex for something to be considered fetish.
Psychology Behind Fetishes
In an article written by Debra W. Soh for Men’s Health and Women’s Health, it was mentioned that 1 out of 6 people or 16% of the population were reported to have fetishism. These inclinations can be as common as liking seeing women in high heels to as rare and extreme as vorarephilia or necrophilia.
Psychology Today stated that Fetishism is considered as a disorder, and falls under the classification of paraphilias.
Paraphilia, derived from Greek para, meaning around or beside and philia meaning love, is also known as sexual deviation or perversion and is characterized by an unusual, recurring and intense sexual arousal to objects, situation, behaviors or individuals, without which may hinder their sexual interest. The extent of the emotional disorder may cause distress for the individual, even dependency, and impede their normal daily functions. Psychologist Anywhere Anytime provide a list of known paraphilia for reference.
As per Mind Disorders, the cause of fetishes and paraphilia may be a product of adolescent curiosity or just an association randomly placed between an object and sexual pleasure. It also evolves with the society saying that what men fantasized about centuries ago could be different to what is seen as erotic currently, per Shape.
There are a bunch of theories surrounding this sexual deviation. One of which is the Brain-Overlap Theory, which states that areas in your brain that control your sexual urges are in close proximity to those that control emotions and appendages (i.e. feet), thus explaining the common foot fetish.
Another theory aiming to explain is along the classical conditioning lines of Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov conducted an experiment in which dogs heard sounds prior to feeding them, the dogs associated the sound, a neutral stimulus (which is unrelated to food or feeding), to food and started salivating even before food was presented. A similar study had been done to humans in the 60s where a group of men was shown images of naked women together with photos of boots. It’s just a matter of time before these men became aroused with just images of boots.
Types of Fetish
There are hundreds of fetishes recorded, though what will be discussed here are the most common and popular fetishes.
Podophilia, or foot fetish, is one of the most common fetishes out there. Having a foot fetish is considered normal. There are lots of foot-fetish dedicated resources out there right now curated for the many foot-fanatics out there, some of them are:
http://www.wikifeet.com/ is a collaborative website discussing celebrity feet photos and videos.
http://wusfeetlinks.com/ is one of the oldest foot fetish resource, created as early as 1998.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1519103578330717/ Pies de Mujer is a facebook group about foot fetishes with 28 thousand plus active members.
Anililagnia, or a fetish directed to older women or ‘MILFs’ is also a thing. Given the cult following of MILFs and older women, it has even been ranked one of the most searched porn categories, then we must accept that older women have an inexplicable appeal to younger guys. Ideals of sexual maturity, maternal tenderness and authority seemed to have a sweet spot, that porn sites ensure to cater to the demand of this category. Some MILF resources to check out if this is your fetish are as follows:
www.sexhungrymoms.com, a porn site dedicated to the hottest MILF and mature porn.
www.milffox.com is curated to feature movies and clips of foxy MILFs.
www.naughtymother.com is another porn resource for those interested in mature women and MILFs
BDSM is a type of fetish that involves roleplaying, bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and sado-masochism. With the success of the soft porn ‘bestselling’ book and ‘masterpiece’ of a movie, Fifty Shades of Grey. BDSM often discussed previously in hush by the underground goth scene made its way into the mainstream and had us seeing giggly moms and teens over the idea of this unusual fetish. If you would like to learn more about this, see resources provided below:
http://dominantguide.com/ is a how-to resource for anyone interested in BDSM, specially the dominant role.
http://www.submissiveguide.com/ is the counterpart of the website above, basically with the same dynamics, only this time it is for the submissives who want to explore what is yet to be discovered about this sexual lifestyle.
http://bdsmcafe.com/ is a one stop shop for anything BDSM related, it has a beginner’s guide, articles, short stories, contributor fantasies and movies to quench your thirst for BDSM.
Voyeurism, also known as scopophilia or scoptophilia, is a type where the fetishist has an urge to watch others while naked or having sex without them knowing. When you think about it, it’s likely that everyone has this specific fetish. After all, the naked human body has always been viewed sexually. Porn is mass-produced voyeurism come to think of it.
http://networkeffect.io/kiss an interesting voyeur website which collated videos of people in different states and doing different things, not necessarily undressing but it gives you a voyeuristic view of the world.
http://www.amateurvoyeurforum.com/ is a forum / community that discusses voyeuristic among its members.
http://www.privatevoyeur.com/ is a website where the contents are user-submitted.
https://voyeurmonkey.com/ with a very basic list type layout at the homepage, Voyeur Monkey gives you access to voyeur videos.
Somehow linked with voyeurism is Exhibitionism. It is a fetish where the sufferer gets aroused out of displaying their bits in public, whether it is being done for fun (like those girls flashing on spring break) or something that is really hardcore perverted and creepy.
http://www.ipostnaked.com/ is a website that allows users to view exhibitionist videos, submit user photos and videos, chat with strangers in a flashy kind of way and maybe even buy and adult toy or two.
http://www.uflash.tv/ is an exhibitionist amateur porn site featuring public sex and mischief.
Most pron sites have listed categories like public sex, exhibitionism and flashing as well for those interested in this.
Fat fetishism, or attraction to plus-size, fat, overweight or obese individuals is also a thing, usually with men sexually stimulated with the idea of BBW (or Big Beautiful Woman). Also along the same lines is feederism or gaining where arousal is triggered by the process of feeding someone to gain body fat. Apparently, there are tons of resources on this fetish, that is borderline empowering, and for some humiliating (as in the case of hogging)
http://fantasyfeeder.com/ is a fat-positive community highlighting the beauty of BBW and the art of eating, feeding and gaining weight.
https://www.bbwcupid.com/, http://www.chubbybunnie.com/, and http://www.bbwadmire.com/ are dating sites that were created specifically for a targeted market – plus size singles and people who love them.
This facebook group meanwhile feature BBWs for meeting and dating. https://www.facebook.com/bbwmeet/
Of course, leading pron sites have BBW and feedering categories to satiate this specific market’s desires.
Then, there’s Racial fetishism, are just some examples.
You may call it ‘yellow fever’, but the number of websites and porn focused on Asian women is mystifying. There is something about the almond shaped eyes, porcelain skin and petite frame that just pulls men around the world. Check out the asian categories of many tube sites to have your dose of some far-east sexuality.
There is a reason ‘Once you go black you never go back’ is a popular catchphrase. Something about the built of black men and women arouses people. In between the luscious locks, curvaceous bodies, and big everything, black is more than just beautiful for some, it is sexual. http://www.ebonypulse.tv/, http://www.myfreeblack.com/, and http://www.tastyblacks.com/ are just some places on the internet where you can fulfill your dark desires.
Something about the tantalizing eyes, covered faces and bodies, and the restrictive culture of Arabs and pretty much the rest of the Middle Eastern region has got people fantasizing about Arabs. Mia Khalifa is the Arab sex appeal personified, go check her out by searching mia-khalifa.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg, really. Huffington Post and Wikipedia listed more fetishes that somehow, somewhere exists in this world (only not as widespread as those expounded right here). Some of the most peculiar ones found are listed below:
Abasiophilia – arousal to people with impaired mobility
Acrotomophilia – arousal to amputees
Anasteemaphilia – arousal to extreme heights (giant and/or dwarf)
Anthropophagy / Anthropophagolagnia – arousal to cannibalism with rape involved
Autovampirism / Hematolagnia – arousal to blood, involves ingesting blood.
Coprophilia – arousal to feces
Lactophilia – arousal to breastmilk
Nasolingus – arousal to noses
Necrophilia – arousal to corpses
Paraphilic infantilism – arousal to being treated like a baby, with an offshoot of diaper fetishism
Pedophilia – arousal to children (age 10 or younger) with variations in the form of Hebephilia (age 11-14); and Ephebophilia (age 15-19)
Pygophilia – arousal to buttocks]
Savantophilia – arousal to the cognitively impaired
Urophilia – arousal to urine
Zoophilia – arousal to animals
Treatment of Fetish
Fetishes do not necessarily warrant treatment unless the condition is causing trouble to the sufferer or the people around them, making is dangerous. It can start agitating relationships, negatively impacting careers and finances and just interrupts productivity.
However, given its sexual nature, rarely does people share their experiences or seek treatment for fetishes or paraphilia. As with any disorder, there are treatments and counseling available to get rid of it.
According to How to Get Rid of Stuff, one way to get rid of a fetish is by meditation, keeping busy and socializing. It also specified that to get your mind off a fetish, it is also necessary to get rid of things that trigger you to think of your fetish. These are just techniques that you can employ by yourself.
However, if you find the fetish to still trouble you, seeking professional help is always the best way if the situation is getting out of control. Below are just some of the treatments being employed to treat fetishes and paraphilia, as provided by All About Counseling and eMedicine.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one way to treat a fetish per E Under the impression that fetishes are a product of classical conditioning. This works by altering the sufferer’s thinking patterns. One method employed is aversive conditioning. Here, once the urge takes place or the fetish manifests, negative stimuli is applied so that negative association to the fetish will take place, and in effect treat the patient. There are also other methods used like victim empathy, where victims and consequences of the acts of fetishism are being shown to the patient. Assertiveness training meanwhile is a social skills training that is expected to make them react to the fetish in a more acceptable manner. Relapse, prevention, and surveillance system are also part of a lifelong maintenance to treat fetishism.
- Orgasmic reorientation aims to recondition a patient’s psyche to more appropriate sexual stimuli by repetitively reminding them to concentrate on an acceptable fantasy instead of their fetish when masturbating.
- Psychoanalysis is another approach to treating fetishists. Here, the aim is to understand what caused the fetish to manifest instead of just merely stopping the symptom. This includes expressing themselves emotionally and rationally bringing a trauma they had to consciousness.
- Along with these, prescription medication is another way to treat fetish, usually those that limit production of chemicals in the body that turn people on.