What’s Your Fetish? The Beginner's Guide to Fetish Fantasies
No two people are the same when it comes to pleasure. While most of us can easily be turned on by simple foreplay or dirty talk, others will need the presence of something - feet, armpits, underwear, or even balloons - for them to become sexually aroused. That is called a fetish.
A few years back, simply hearing the word “fetish” disgusts and turns people off, leaving those who are into such stuff worried about being judged.
But fetishism is no longer bizarre nowadays. Many fetishes are becoming more commonly discussed and accepted in mainstream society. And why not? There’s nothing wrong with having unusual desires as long as no one is being hurt and forced to take part.
What Exactly is a Sexual Fetish?
Fetish comes from the Portuguese word feitico, which means “obsessive fascination”. It is a sexual excitement or an extreme interest in an object or body part that’s not usually considered sexual, such as feet or hair. According to some sex experts, fetishism is more of a guy thing.
A person with a fetish must fantasize about that particular object or have it at hand to get turned on or have an orgasm. Fetishists pleasure themselves by holding, rubbing, or smelling the object or asking their partner to use the item during sex.
Simply put, a fetish is something you need in order to get off. It is different from kink. For instance, if someone has a foot fetish, they need feet to be involved in the sexual act to experience orgasm. Or if a person has a spanking fetish, they don't just enjoy spanking; they must be spanked to achieve sexual climax.
People can fetishize anything they could imagine. But essentially, fetishes come in three categories:
Media fetishes are being obsessed with specific materials such as leather, rubber, latex, or silk. With form fetishes, it is the object's shape that turns on the person, like high heels. Animate fetishes involve a fascination with body parts like breasts, feet, buttocks, or hair.
The Most Common (And Not-So-Common) Fetishes
Foot fetish is the most common fetish for a body part. People with this type of fetish love kissing or touching their partner's feet, watching videos of feet, or looking at pictures of sexy feet or footwear. According to studies, 47% of people with fetishism for a body part had a foot fetish. Things associated with feet, such as shoes or socks, are also some of the most familiar fetishized objects.
BDSM, role-playing, and orgy are also typical in the fetish world. Some people get sexual excitement from being tied and whipped, playing characters, and participating in group sex.
Apart from these, there are also other fetishes that people are into (and perhaps you have never heard of before).
- Voyeurism - People with this fetish get turned on by watching other people having sex.
- Agalmatophilia - The sexual attraction to mannequins, statues, and dolls.
- Underwear Fetish - As the name implies, it is the sexual arousal from panties or other similar types of underwear.
- Trichophilia - Also known as a hair fetish. If you have this, you get turned on by a specific type of hair, like curly, long and straight, and hair of a particular color.
- Balloon Fetish - “Looners” or people with a balloon fetish get deeply aroused by popping balloons, blowing up balloons, or sitting on them.
- Dendrophilia - The sexual attraction to trees. Dendrophiles find thick and muscular tree trunks arousing.
- Cuckolding / Cuckoldry - The fetish where a person feels arousal by watching their partner having sex with someone else.
- Hybristophilia - If this is your fetish, you are sexually attracted to people who do bad things, like those who commit crimes.
- Spankophilia - Also called Spanking Art, this type of fetish is getting arousal from being spanked or spanking a partner.
- Katoptronophilia - A sexual fetish for reflections. People with katoptronophilia get turned on when doing sexual activities in front of a mirror.
- Quorofilia - The fetish for hands. Those who have this are sexually attracted to fingers, palms, nails, or the hand itself.
Exploring Your Sexual Fetish
So, how do you get started with fetish play, or how can you incorporate it into your sex life? We recommend beginning solo. Do your research and experiment with yourself.
As Daniel Saynt, a sex educator and the founder of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW), says:
“You may not know you're into a fetish until you try it, which is why I always encourage people to try new things and be curious.”
You can watch videos on Youtube or free porn sites like Porhhub or XVideos to explore the different kinds of kinks and fetishes out there. Almost all porn sites have the category “fetish”, and you can just browse and watch whatever it is you’re into.
Watching fetish videos can help you understand more about your sexual obsession and how you can explore it further.
If you’re a creative person, you can also write or create art about your fetish. That way, you can have something to show to your partner once you’re ready to talk to them about your unusual desires.
You can also read magazines or books on fetish to get started in your exploration. Try checking out The Fetish Fact Book by Paul Scott or Fetish Sex: A Complete Guide to Sexual Fetishes by Violet Blue.
Joining online communities or Facebook groups is also a great way to explore your fetishism, especially if you don’t have a partner or friends that share the same interests. Through communities, you can have someone to talk to about your inner desires, learn tips, and discover more about how you can safely explore fetishes.
Lastly, experiment with a partner. It is more thrilling if you have someone to share your fetish with. But keep in mind the importance of consent, safety, and not crossing the line.
Never surprise your partner with your fetish because not all people are into it. Have an open and honest discussion with them first, create rules, and thank them for being open-minded and listening to your secrets.
Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., an internationally recognized sex educator and a Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute, says that when opening up to your partner about your fetish, it’s best to begin by sharing your ‘vanilla’ sex fantasies first and then acting on those.
“This will allow you to build up trust and communication skills at the same time, which can lay the groundwork for introducing more adventurous fantasies later,” Lehmiller said.
Once your partner is comfortable with your fetish, it’s time to incorporate it into your sex acts. For most fetishes, you will only need the object of your attraction. Don’t forget to add other fetish and kinky accessories to the mix, too, to make the experience more fun. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Leather Bra, Skirt, and Slapper Fetish Set and Leather Catsuit if you’re sexually attracted to anything leather.
- Bling Flogger, Noir Whip, and Bondage Paddle to satisfy your Spankophilia.
- Costumes for your role-playing kink.
- Pleasure handcuffs, ropes, spreader bars, and ball gags for your BDSM fantasies.
Having a fetish doesn’t mean you’re bad, weird, or dangerous. Let’s stop demonizing fetishes and start embracing our unconventional obsessions without shame.
Did you enjoy reading our beginner’s guide to sexual fetishes? You can also check out our other quick guides:
- The Beginner's Guide to Bondage and BDSM
- The Beginner's Guide to Swinging
- The Beginner's Guide to Pegging
- The Woman's Guide to Vibrators