What is a Fetish?
A fetish is sexual fantasy. An attachment to an object or thought that a person finds sexually arousing, while others might not associate it with sex at all.
What are types of fetishes?
The fetish might be partial, as in a body part (buttocks, breast, feet, hair) or inanimate object (mirror, shoes, corsets, panties, heels)
Arousal may happen as soon as the person sees, smells or touches the subject of his fetish.
How does a fetish start?
Generally, it is believed that a fetish starts during infancy or childhood, and requires a very powerful stimulus for that fetish to register in the brain.
“Classical Conditioning” for example is the most common reason according to psychology as to how a fetish develops.
This is when an object becomes gradually associated with a sexual response indirectly.
For example…boots by themselves provoke no sexual response. But if it happens that there was a sexual stimulation or feelings of affection in the presence of these boots….gradually, the person will start linking those boots to sex…thus the boots become a fetish.
According to this theory, really…anything can turn into a fetish if it was gradually linked with sexual stimulation.
It is also believed that fetishes can occur from childhood among children living especially in societies that enforce sexual repression by threats of punishment, loss of affection, and where it is programmed to intensively link sex with sin.
For example…child that has never received affection from his parents, and was raised by his aunt, if he was to massage her foot In an affectionate non sexual way, he will grow up , progressively linking affection , sex, and foot altogether , developing a foot fetish later on in life.
Another child grows up in a society obsessing about sex as a sin, will grow up, possibly developing a fixation about sex in sacred places, with inappropriate people. Or sex in a religious fantasy. Developing a sexual religion fetish.
Of course, there’s no logic or fixed rules as to how a fetish develops. But what I state in this article are the most common reasons agreed upon by sex researches, real life patients’ stories and psychological analysis.
However, some fetishes do develop later in life, and have no root in childhood.
If a thought is found sexually stimulating to you, it may become a fetish even you find no logical explanation to it.
Fetishes happen beyond our conscious mind…and don’t necessarily reflect a need or a complex.
After all, the way humans get aroused sexually, is by nature anti-logical. And the more a thought becomes shocking to our mind, the more likely we’ll tend to desire it sexually.
Fetishes are usually thoughts that are taboo, inappropriate, unaccepted by society.
They often represent a temporary escape from the roles societies impose upon us.
For example…A powerful man in work or society or politics, will commonly fantasize about being submissive and masochist, humiliated and controlled by a less powerful creature such as a woman.
This represent to him a temporary escape from the everyday pressure of always being in control and in charge, having the chance to let go and experience freedom and rebel against those imposed roles, using sexual role plays and fetishes.
Fetishes and Marriage
One of the main downsides about having a partial fetish (body part fetish) , is marrying someone solely because a partner has a fetish about the other’s body part …be it an overweight woman, long hair, flat chest, big bust, etc
If the woman happen to cut her hair, lose weight, have a mastectomy, the sexual attraction can disappear over night, sometimes even causing impotence within the marriage.
The worst scenario for a married fetishist is to have their fetish rejected or judged by their partner, this only alienates them more and creates more dependence on the fetish object.
When a fetish does become a nuisance or a sickness?
Fetishes are by definition unusual sexual fantasies that are harmless. Once a fetish becomes an obstacle to a person’s functioning, or an impairment to his well being, or a threat to others, or the only way for him/her to sexually perform,
The fetish is then no longer a fetish, it turns into what professionals call FETISHISTIC DISORDER or Paraphilia. A case that will need medical attention or/and Psychotherapy.
For example…a man who gets sexually stimulated by the thought of having sex with a teenager, despite how disturbing this thought is, his fantasy/fetish will not be considered Paraphilia, until, the man becomes obsessed about it, to a point that he is unable to have normal sex with a woman. This is an example of Paraphilia that will need help.
By Sara Essam
Just a passionate person interested in Psychology,
self development, and sexual knowledge