What Is A Sexual Fetish?

What Is A Sexual Fetish?

Amanda Chatel explores the topic of sexual fetishes including the main causes and the most common fetishes you might encounter.

 Author: Amanda Chatel

 Comments:  2

Human sexuality is fascinating. It’s not merely a black and white cookie, but a layered cake that’s a little of this for some people, and a lot of that for others. Because of this, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to enjoy pleasure because, simply, there is no one way to enjoy pleasure. And, honestly, if there were, how dreadfully boring human sexuality would be. It’s the complexities of desire and the complications that come with the vastness of what arouses people that makes it truly beautiful. In other words, yes, fetishes are incredible and have a very important place on the spectrum of human sexuality.

What Is A Fetish Exactly?

So what does fetish mean? In the simplest of terms, a sexual fetish is something that’s considered a bit “off-beat” that arouses a person. That something could be a place, a body part, a feeling, an inanimate object, or even a bodily function. Sexual fetishes run the gamut. From being aroused by having sex in public (exhibitionism) to oculolinctus, the fetish for licking eye balls for sexual arousal, it’s safe to assume that for anything one can imagine, there’s very likely a fetish for it. And, as long as everyone participating in a sex act that includes a fetish can consent, then no one is in any place to judge.Did you know? – According to a 2016 survey by erotic retailer Ann Summers, the majority of people report having at least one sexual fetish. Of the 2,300 UK residents who responded to the survey, a whopping 75% of them have fetishes. So, if you were thinking you were in the minority with your fetish — no matter what it is — you’re absolutely in the majority for having one.

What Are the Main Causes Of Fetishes?

Like human sexuality itself, the psychology behind sexual fetishes isn’t cut and dry. Some say that fetishes are steeped in childhood experiences. For example, if you were spanked a lot as a child, your fetish to be spanked as an adult might be a result of that. It’s the brain’s way of processing or reconciling with the past by having a say in the spanking you receive on a sexual level. But for those who weren’t spanked as children, but love a good spanking, then that childhood experience theory doesn’t hold much water.

Other experts report that fetishes arise from wiring in the brain. As Nichi Hodgson, sex expert and former dominatrix, explained to Independent: “There’s actually a scientific theory that says there’s some cross-wiring in the brain of foot fetishists — the areas of the brain that are associated with the genitalia and the brain are next to one another.”

The same can be suggested in regards to BDSM, as philosophers like Descartes found that pain and pleasure are linked as a continuum because of their placement in the brain. There’s also the psychological processing of the reward-punishment system: you will eventually feel pleasure for your pain.

Ultimately, there is no single reason as to why people have fetishes and even those who have them, can’t explain the why or how of them. They just know they like what they like and what’s going to arouse them and eventually take them to orgasm, if that’s their end goal.

Most Common Sexual Fetishes

Although there are hundreds, if not thousands of types of sexual fetishes, even if not every one of them has been recognized or labeled, there tends to be a handful that are more common than others. One thing is for sure, some fetishes can be very strange indeed.

For the most part, the following list of fetishes, in no particular order, are the top 5 that come up most often on most lists:

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