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A Quick Look at Sexual Fetishes

By HERWriter
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Fans of HBO’s Sex and the City will most likely remember the episode in which Charlotte came across a shoe salesman with a foot fetish. The shoes were discounted when she allowed him to hold her feet as he helped her try on the footwear. Sounds great, right? Charlotte certainly was delighted by her assumed good luck. That is until the man’s fetish got the better of him and he climaxed while “assisting” her. Now that’s not so great. And it makes some of us wonder, what exactly is a sexual fetish?

The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices lists a sexual fetish as “an object that replaces people as the primary love object.” The idea was introduced by French psychologist, Alfred Binet, who studied sexual behavior.

Sexual fetishism describes individuals whose sexual arousal or satisfaction comes from an article of desire. That article can be lingerie, shoes, leather garments or underwear. The fixation also happens with body parts, like in Charlotte’s shoe salesman’s fetish, feet.

People with fetishes, known at fetishists, can turn practically anything into a fetish. Sex researchers say fetishes come in three types, media, form and animate.

A media fetish is all about the material the fetishist obsesses over. This includes material like rubber, leather, latex, and silk. With a form fetish, the object’s shape holds the significance. Think stiletto heels. Fetishes like feet, hair and other body parts are called animate fetishes because they are human.

Fetishists are typically men who often masturbate while looking at or touching the object of their desire. However this is not a sexually biased practice, women have fetishes as well.

How fetishes come to life in a person can be difficult to pinpoint. Modern psychology takes the stance that fetishism has been conditioned, imprinted or is the result of a strong emotional experience. Some sex therapists theorize that an experience with masturbation as a young child could develop into a fetish. Certain objects can serve as a subconscious reminder resulting in a sexual fetish.

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EmpowHER Guest

Well,i got a big foot fetish.the way sexy feet looks in heels are overwhelming to me.the arch,toes,and sole works wonders.it seems the guys who have a foot fetish are more sexually active and has more sexual endurance.Im a 17 year old teen who loves a girl with sexy feet.If you think foot fetish is weird then your an asshole who cant accept it.The guys with a foot fetish are unique through my eyes because they seek more in a woman and bring something new to the plate.If guys like legs,boobs,hair,lips,and ass then why not like feet.IT MAKES no sense!!!!

August 14, 2010 - 6:36am
EmpowHER Guest

I can only speak for myself as a hair fetishist. I don't feel it is any different from how 'normal' men feel about breasts. It is just another body part that I get obsessed with. In my case it doesn't apply that it is a love for objects anymore than you would call it that for breast fetishism. Without the woman to wear it, the hair is also uninteresting to me.

Fetishes create diversity. We should embrace them. Especially women. It enables a more diverse set of ideals of beauty. I, for example, don't require the typical perfect female shape as long as her hair is thick and healthy. This way, women don't have to aspire for the Hollywood/supermodel look in order to find someone who is attracted to them. It ensures the "every pot has a lid" proverb.

July 28, 2010 - 5:12pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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