For our first foray into the fetish world I’d like to talk about what fetishism actually is… In a world that likes to label everything, we in the Sexology arena give the term fetishism to those who get off on or are turned on by inanimate objects. This can be anything really, some of the more ‘common’ items that come up are leather, this may be in the form of leather clothing or underwear, it could be an amazing pair of stiletto boots, or as unconventional as an S&M full face mask.
It may also be lingerie or stockings, shoes or perhaps gloves. When that object becomes the source of sexual arousal, rather than the person wearing it, it is then considered a fetish.
Fetishism falls under a bigger umbrella of Paraphilia’s, yes including one we all know from the news, paedophilia (Adults seeking out, touching and sometimes engaging in sexual acts with pre-pubescent children). They should all be castrated and locked away for life!
In most cases fetishism is harmless as the fetishists will masturbate while touching or thinking about the object/s that arouses them. This behaviour only becomes an issue when it involves others who are not interested in being a part of this play. It can also become an issue for that person if they are unable to have a ‘regular’ relationship. It may be at this point they seek the assistance of a qualified Sex Therapist. It is common for someone with a fetish to have more than one.
Fetishism is almost solely the domain of males… sorry guys… it just a fact! Perhaps it’s because you are secretly jealous of all the fabulous things we women get to wear?
So how does it all start…? There has been some research done in this area and there is one theory that seems to be stronger than the others, ‘learned associations’. This is something that grows as sexual development hits teen boys (yes I’m picking on you again!) the boy may realise he has an erection from something out of the ordinary. It may be the smell of new leather shoes. It may be lace underwear he sees on the neighbours clothes line. He will associate sexual arousal due to that object, then seek out this object again and again to feel the pleasure of the erection and eventually masturbate to this stimuli. In extreme cases, the individual will only be able to orgasm with the chosen stimuli in reach. Instead of becoming aroused by the thought of being with a person they are attracted to.
So what’s the problem… nothing really, unless as mentioned the fetishist tries to coerce an unwilling partner to participate in their pleasure to the detriment of that partner’s pleasure.
“Do I have a fetish if I just love looking at and touching breasts (or insert body part of choice)” you may be thinking… If you just love boobs but love to be with a lady even more, the answer is no. Next week I’ll cover Partialism… so if sucking toes gets you off more than anything else… your activity has a ‘label’!
Have a fabulous weekend