Monday, February 21, 2011

What is a fetish?

Lately I’ve been doing research on fetishism for a story and I’m amazed at what I found. First, what is a fetish? A fetish is defined as any inanimate object given unreasonable attention, or any part of the body not of a sexual nature that arouses erotic feelings. In other words, a fetish is when an individual is sexually aroused by a specific object or objects and is generally unable to achieve sexual satisfaction without that object being present.

But the different kinds of fetishes run such a wide range.

Knismolagnia is the term for sexual arousal from tickling.

Formicophilia is deriving sexual pleasure from insects crawling on the body, specifically on the genitals. It is more common in developing countries, perhaps because homes are infested with insects. This could lead to an individual's genitals being exposed to insects (especially if they have outdoor bathrooms, as many developing countries do), and if this happens at a young age when they are sexually developing, they may derive pleasure from it.

Plushophilia is liking one of your stuffed animals a little too much as a child can lead to this fetish. It is being sexually attracted to stuffed animals or people dressed in animal costumes. Some plushophiles like to masturbate using small stuffed animals, and some like to dress up in costumes and have sex with others wearing costumes. Someone who is into bestiality, but doesn't want to actually have sex with animals could also enjoy this fetish.

Vorarephilia, one of the weirdest ones I found, is arousal by the thought of being eaten by someone, eating someone else, or watching someone eat somebody else. It is called "vore" for short and involves pure fantasy.

Inflatophilia can vary in what the inflatophile enjoys. It can be an attraction to inflatable animals and toys, deriving sexual pleasure from wearing inflatable suits, or just being aroused from the thought of people inflating like balloons.

Erotic asphyxia is a dangerous practice wherein a person enjoys cutting off their air supply while having sex or masturbating. Those who practice this fetish claim that it makes orgasms more enjoyable, but sometimes they can't get the rope, belt, or seatbelt that they use to strangle themselves loose fast enough, so it can be deadly.

Robot fetishism is a fantasy that involves the thought of having sex with a robot, having sex dressed as robots, or having sex with a person who is transformed into a robot. I guess someone who really loves technology or science fiction could be into this.

Burusera is a Japanese term for a panty fetish. It is an extremely prevalent fetish in Japan. There are burusera shops in Japan that sell used schoolgirls' panties, and there even used to be vending machines on the streets where men could buy them. The men buy them to smell them.

Erotic lactation is simply the breastfeeding of an adult by a lactating woman for sexual arousal. Nipple stimulation during sex is widely practiced, but erotic lactation is much more taboo.

Klismaphilia is deriving sexual pleasure from receiving an enema. It's not too surprising that people can get aroused from it, especially if they enjoy anal sex.

Hybristophilia is often known as the Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome. It is a sexual attraction to someone who has committed a gruesome crime. Many inmates who are imprisoned for outrageous crimes receive love letters from women.

Then there is the Zuni fetish, an object, most often carved, which usually represents an animal or Being revered by the Zuni Indians of New Mexico, whose word for fetish is wemawe (wuh-may-wuh). Fetishes have been carved for personal use for ages. An outgrowth of this aspect of Zuni culture is the modern animals, figures, and fetish pots created exclusively for trade.

And finally there is the man who cannot become sexually aroused unless he’s wearing cowboy boots. This is for real. Maybe I could interview him for one of my many cowboy stories! Might be something interesting for a change.

The whole point of this is that many people have sexual fixations on certain acts or objects and cannot become aroused or achieve sexual satisfaction without them. Certainly gives me a lot of food for thought as I plot my next stories.

Come see what I'm cooking up at


  1. It's fascinating that so many different objects can be sexualized by people. Yes, some fetishes are difficult to comprehend, but this brings the point home that humans are very sexual beings and this part of our nature cannot be denied. Great information, Desiree.

  2. Animals as a fetish? I think you need to expound a bit more anonymous.