Usual and Unusual Fetishes

Some of this blog is tongue in cheek, but the people who practice fetishes are serious about them.  My intention is not to ridicule or show disrespect.  My intention is only to make the subject interesting to readers who might not be aware of certain fetishes.

An erotic story should have a subject that captures the reader’s interest so they keep on reading, should have some sort of plot, and of course, sex.  What could be more interesting and have so many variations relative to sex as fetishes?

Fetishes are popularly defined as an object, body part or act that either creates sexual pleasure or increases sexual pleasure.  Fetishes have been around for a very long time.  People just didn’t discuss them until recently unless writing medical articles that deemed fetishes to be abnormal. Today’s psychologists consider most fetishes to be just another facet of normal human sexuality unless they become obsessions or harm others.

The word “fetish” comes from the French “fétiche which can be traced back to the Latin words “facticius’ (artificial) and “facere” (to make).  In other words, a fetish makes something not usually thought of as sexual into something that is.  

Its first use was in the middle 1200’s by Bertold of Regensburg, a Franciscan monk who traveled and preached.   Given his occupation, he probably didn’t have good things to say about fetishes.  At that time, sex wasn’t supposed to be fun.  It was supposed to only be about reproduction.  Anything that made sex fun was a sin.

The first attempt to classify fetishes was by Alfred Benet, a French hypnotist, psychologist and lawyer.  In 1887, he divided fetishes into two major categories – Spiritual Love, and Plastic Love (no, not that kind of plastic.  If that’s what you were thinking, congratulations, you have a nasty mind.).

Spiritual Love, according to Benet, was the devotion by a person to either a specific occupation, such as the stereotypical French maid or a nurse, or to a specific social class such as a sex slave.  Plastic Love, in his view, was the devotion to objects or body parts.  That’s pretty much how things are today.

There have been many studies over the years relative to fetishes, but only recently have a few studies been conducted to determine if fetishes are only a male characteristic as Freud believed, or if women also have fetishes.  It turns out women do, though they tend to have more fantasies than fetishes because in general, women are less aroused sexually by visual activities than by mental activities.  That’s why many women would rather read a steamy romance novel than watch a porn film.  As one might expect, the reverse is true for men.  It’s that old Mars and Venus thing, and is why a woman dressed only in black lace underwear is guaranteed to put our cocks at attention.

Some of the reports of research also make mention of fantasies in the same paragraphs as fetishes.  It is important to separate them because they are truly different. In some cases, fantasies involve fetishes, but fantasies are thoughts and fetishes involve things that are tangible.

So, what are some common and some not so common fetishes?

Among men, “podophilia” or the “foot fetish” is the most common.  It takes many forms from simple foot massages to kissing and sucking the feet and toes to the “foot job” – masturbation of the male (usually but not always) by the (usually but not always) female using her feet.  If many of the current porn films are correct, the foot fetish is also popular among women, though actual research does not support this.

Some historical research indicates the foot fetish in art and literature increased in response to the gonorrhea epidemic in the 12th century and again during the syphilis epidemics in the 15th and 19th centuries.  Apparently men then believed a woman’s feet were safer than her vagina, and that made “foot jobs” more socially acceptable.  That sounds a little weird, because back then, a lot of people went barefoot and since all transportation was by horse, the streets would have been full of, as they say in Amish country, “road apples”.

Studies of porn since the mid 1900’s show an increase in the depiction of the foot fetish that coincided with the advent of AIDS, so this may verify the cause of the former increases as well.  

Other studies point to the adjacent locations in the brain of the receptors that receive nerve impulses from the feet and the genitals as the reason for the popularity of this fetish.  

The shoe and stocking fetishes are probable closely related to the foot fetish.

It may come as no surprise, but second on the men’s list is voyeurism and exhibitionism.  One study found that one third of the population studied admitted to enjoying one or both fetishes.  While voyeurism and exhibitionism are acts and not objects, the objective of voyeurism is to view body parts and activities that are banned from display in public and without the knowledge of the person being viewed.  The objective of exhibitionism is the public display of those same body parts and activities in hopes of being seen.

Up until the invention of the VCR and subsequent publishing of porn for home consumption, voyeurism and exhibitionism were risky because both are illegal in most jurisdictions.  Porn movies aren’t true voyeurism and exhibitionism because they’re staged, but it was close enough.  With the invention of tiny spy cameras, the DVD player and the internet, true voyeurism and exhibitionism have become easier to practice, which may also explain its popularity.  

While it’s still illegal to strip naked and run through the center of town, most exhibitionists aren’t prosecuted for conduct of this type or if they are, it only results in a small fine.  True voyeurism is still risky though.

It is still illegal to peep in your neighbor’s bedroom window, use hidden cameras to capture someone unawares, and to hang out under open steps in hopes of seeing some panties.  Someone would have to lodge a complaint, but if you’re caught, your picture will probably end up on the six o’clock news and in some states, you’ll have to register as a sex offender.  

The usual deciding factor is whether the person being watched had a reasonable expectation of privacy in their location at the time.  Such a location includes houses, changing rooms, automobiles to a certain extent, and back yards with high fences.  As a result, most of the supposedly “unaware” amateur voyeur videos and pictures on the net are in reality staged by exhibitionists.  

This technology also gave birth to a new industry, that of the “life cam”.  In order to earn some cash, a woman would place a camera or cameras around her home that upload the live video to a web site 24/7.  She would then proceed to do what she always does.  In order to view the resulting video, it was only necessary to pay a monthly recurring charge to your credit card.  That’s about as close to true voyeurism as it’s possible to get without the risk of being labeled a sex offender.  More than one girl has paid her way through college that way.

Voyeurism laws are pretty clear cut – if you peek and get caught, you’re guilty unless you can prove the voyeured person was actually hoping to be seen.

Exhibitionism laws are varied and often confusing.  In some jurisdictions, displaying your body in public isn’t considered indecent exposure (the legal term)  unless it can be proven you had an intent to be seen, so you can usually walk around in your house naked as long as you aren’t spending all your time in front of that big picture window that faces the street where anyone passing by has a good chance of seeing you.

The confusion comes into play with public displays like “mooning” and women who flaunt their bare breasts from a balcony at Mardi Gras.  Neither are usually considered to be indecent exposure, nor is spending a day at a nudist resort or going to a clothing optional beach.  It’s obvious someone doing any of these things fully intends to be seen, but the activity is not usually considered illegal. Breast feeding in public, while frowned upon in some social media posts, is not considered exhibitionism.

While this is a mostly male fetish, some women also enjoy both looking and showing.

The third most common fetish among men is the latex/rubber/vinyl/leather fetish.  The main element of this fetish is clothing, usually worn by women, that is manufactured of a relatively elastic material and fits very tightly to the woman’s body.  

Straight men who enjoy this fetish may call themselves “rubberists”.  Gay men with the same fetish may call themselves “rubber men” or “leather men”.  It is interesting that in Germany, some men who practice this fetish call themselves “gummies”.  That kind of makes you wonder about the name of the popular bear-shaped, chewy candy that originated in Germany, and the song, “I’m A Gummy Bear” by German composer Christian Schneider doesn’t it? It is also interesting to note that women seem to have this fetish as well.  Many women report being sexually aroused by a man in a leather motorcycle jacket.

Hair is among the most popular of fetishes, and is enjoyed by both sexes in many forms.  Men are attracted to a variety of hair colors, both natural and colors that would never naturally occur.  They are also attracted to certain hairstyles to include women with shaved heads.  Both men and women like ponytails because they’re a convenient way of pulling a woman’s hair at that magic moment.  Hair pulling is also a part of this fetish.

Some women are attracted by men’s body hair and some by the lack of the same.  Some women report sex just isn’t the same unless the man has body hair or a scruffy face.  Others are excited by a man with the male equivalent of a bikini wax and a clean-shaven face.  Some women are sexually aroused by a man’s bald head.

For decades, women have shaved the hair on their underarms and legs.
For just as long, some men have been aroused by a woman who let that hair grow naturally.  The porn explosion brought about by the VCR and DVD launched a bevy of actors and actresses who shaved everything, and this too became a hair fetish, or more properly, a lack of hair fetish.  It also gave birth to the bikini wax.

There are probably as many different fetishes as there are people, so the above are only a very few of the most common.  Reference material is readily available on the internet so there is no need to list them all here.  Some just beg to be listed though, because while they may not be common, they’re nothing if not unique.  Their common names and a short description follow.

Infantilism – an adult dressing and being cared for like a baby to include oversize cribs, diapers, pacifiers, and other baby stuff.  Some “babies” even employ women to nurse them, and yes, it’s for real.  The women either use drugs to initially stimulate lactation or just keep pumping once they’ve stopped nursing a baby.  

Water, thunder and lightening – both sexes say showers are erotic, and some women report being sexually aroused by rainstorms.

Medical – using medical instruments and settings simulating medical procedures, especially those involving the body parts associated with arousal and sex.  Speculum, anyone, or maybe just latex gloves and a tube of KY?  Both men and women enjoy this fetish.

Balloon play – a fetish involving the inflating, wearing, popping, and deflating of balloons.  Don’t ask.  I don’t understand it either, but some people wouldn’t have it any other way.

Food – What ever did we do before whipped cream came in aerosol cans?  What does one do if the banana breaks?  How many donuts …, how many cherries…well, you get the idea.

Pegging – this is an act by a dominant (usually female) and the object enjoyed by the submissive (usually male) is a strap-on dildo worn by the dominant.  No, the men who enjoy this aren’t secretly gay.  It’s just a role reversal.  Some men can achieve orgasm from pegging due to the dildo massaging the prostate.

The hot, sweaty, dirty man who fixes things – some women are sexually aroused by men who are hot, sweaty, and dirty after fixing the car or something else.  It didn’t work when I tried it, but….

Pregnancy – this is a fetish that takes two forms – one for men and one for women.  

For men the fetish is a strong, sexual attraction to pregnant women.  The attraction is explained by some men as follows.  A pregnant woman is already “claimed” by a man by virtue of being pregnant with his child.  Having sex with that woman is essentially “stealing” her from him.  It’s probably our biology at play.  Another explanation that is probably a holdover from Victorian times is that a pregnant woman should not want to have sex.  If she indicates she does, that makes her all that much more erotic.

For women, the fetish is often the concurrent fear of and desire for becoming pregnant by having unprotected sex with a man who is not her regular partner.  This is sometimes known as the “breeding” fetish.  

Last, but certainly not least – Furries.  There are many people who are “furry fans”, meaning they like dressing up as animals that exhibit human characteristics.  Usually these animals are taken from movies, books, or television shows.  This isn’t a fetish any more than dressing up as a “Star Wars” or “Harry Potter” character.  It’s just a way of showing how much the person likes the character.  

There are a small number of people, though, who like dressing in these same animal costumes and find sexual stimulation and enhancement in doing so.  Think Winnie The Pooh, Chip and Dale, or Vixie, the fox from Disney’s “Fox and the Hounds”.

The costumes usually have strategically placed openings so the furries can have furry sex.  Some furries just get aroused by wearing the costume and masturbate.  There are furry conventions from time to time where they all get together and do their furry thing.  There’s even furry porn.

As with all things involving the human mind, the above descriptions and explanations are only cursory at best.   So, pick a fetish, do some more research so you understand it and won’t offend anybody, and then write it into a story.  You’ll no doubt find some readers out there who enjoy it.




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