What Is Your Innermost Desire — What Is A Sexual Fetish?

Table of Contents

Sexual fetishes have been around since the beginning of sex. What is a fetish? There are so many different sexual preferences or fixations that you can have and whole communities that embrace them.

If you are interested in exploring a sexual fetish with your partner—remember that partner explorations are all about trust, communication, and radical acceptance. Both partners should feel comfortable. It is imperative that neither party feels pressured into anything.

What to learn more? If you have ever wondered:

  • Why do people have fetishes?
  • What are some common fetishes?
  • How to stop a fetish?
  • What is a sexual fetish?
  • Do women have fetishes?

Keep reading and we will go into all of these questions.

What Is a Sexual Fetish?

A sexual fetish is a fixation or attraction in a sexual way to something that is usually not sexual. While there might be very specific mainstream ideas about fetishes, they can be practiced in various ways and look very different from each other.

You don’t have to rock an all pleather BDSM look to have a fetish. You don’t have to practice whatever that fetish’s most extreme expression is, either. A fetish is what you make it.

How Does Someone Develop a Sexual Fetish?

Why do people have fetishes? The answer depends on each person.

Some experts speculate that the roots of fetishes come from various experiences in childhood. Some even think that fetishes stem from trauma or bad experiences. However, none of these theories are proven. Additionally, there is no way to irrevocably prove the cause of a human’s desire.

What Percentage of Men Have a Sexual Fetish?

A 2017 Canadian study reported that between 46 and 23 of the men they surveyed said that they had the desire to engage in one of the five most common fetishes. They also found that 50 to 13% of men had acted on those desires at least one time in their life.

Generally, more men are reported to have or have acted upon sexual fetishes than women.

What Percentage Of Women Have A Sexual Fetish?

That same Canadian study reported that between 34 and 27 percent of women desire to do one of the five most common fetishes. In comparison, 23 to 21 percent of those same women had acted upon them.

The myth that women don’t have fetishes is incorrect.

The most popular sexual fetish amongst both men and women is a foot or shoe fetish. This is proven both in some studies and the vast online foot fetish community. In this study, it was found that 47 percent of the participants had a foot or shoe fetish.

Is It Normal to Have a Sexual Fetish?

Statistically, it is not normal to have a sexual fetish. Around or less than half of the population has the desire to or has acted on their fetish.

Perhaps instead of wondering if what you desire is normal, you should wonder how you can turn your fantasies into realities. How can you turn this desire you have into fun while also consensually involving others?

What Is the Difference Between a Sexual Fetish and a Sexual Kink?

Sexual fetishes are different than kinks. A fetish is a kink, but a kink is not inherently a fetish.

The word fetish implies a fixation on an object or a specific thing. A sexual kink is just a sexual preference or practice that is not normative. An example of this could be domination, role play, or scenes involving torture.

What Are the Most Common Sexual Fetishes and What Are Some Not So Common Sexual Fetishes?

What is the most common fetish? We’ve already discussed how foot fetishes are the most common fetish of all. But what are some fetishes that aren’t foot fetishes?

Common Sexual Fetishes

The second most common category of a fetish is bodily fluids. This usually includes but is not limited to:

  • Breastmilk
  • Semen
  • Feces
  • Spit
  • Urine

Clothing and fabrics are also very common fetishes to have. These manifest with fixations on leather, latex, lingerie—or even cross-dressing and acting as another gender. Peachwood has a fantastic offering of products that accentuate certain body parts or set the tone. Things like ball stretchers, gags, strap-ons, and collars just take a fetish to another level.

Not So Common Fetishes

According to a 2007 study from the International Journal of Impotence, the body parts that are the least common to have a fetish for are:

  • Body hair
  • Body odor
  • Ears
  • Nails
  • Noses
  • Necks

That same study found that the least common fetishized objects are:

  • Catheters
  • Diapers
  • Hearing aids
  • Pacemakers
  • Stethoscopes
  • Watches or bracelets

What Are Some Sexual Fetish Objects?

The objects that people usually have fetishes for can be broken down into two categories:

  • Objects related to the body
  • Objects completely separate from the body

Examples of Body Related Fetish Objects

Some of the most popular body-related objects are stockings, high heels, socks, or anything foot-related. Other clothing items such as bras, underwear, and t-shirts are also quite popular.

Less common but still prevalent are medical objects. Things like diapers, hearing aids, or catheters are also known fetish objects.

Examples of Non-Body Related Fetish Objects

Certain fabrics can be the center of a fetish. Think latex, lace, leather, or pleather—for example. Some people have fetishes for stuffed animals, which can be a part of a wider kink for acting like an adult baby.

How Do You Explore a Sexual Fetish With a Partner?

All good sex is sex that both parties really enjoy. The best way to reach that is through communication and understanding. Perhaps you might even need to answer this question for each other: What is a sexual fetish?

If you have a sexual fetish and you want to introduce it to a partner, be sure to talk to them about it before you try it. Let them know and start slowly. Make sure you both check in about what levels you each enjoy the fetish at. Toys like electrosex devices and sex swings can get the party started—but what really gets it going is communication.

Can a Sexual Fetish Become a Concern if Not Careful?

The short answer to this question: Yes.

If you find yourself constantly fixated on your fetish to the point where it significantly hinders the quality of your life and you can’t stop thinking about it, that can be cause for concern.

If you have a fetish that could be harmful to others or could involve having sex with someone non-consensually, you should immediately seek help from a therapist or other mental health care provider.

We All Fet a Little Bit, Right?

Does everyone have a fetish? Having a fetish can manifest as anything from liking the way your partner’s feet smell to needing to wear diapers before sex. It is a huge wide world with its peaks and valleys. If you are just starting, check out BDSM starter kits or dive right into the wide world of restraints.

We all fixate or prefer certain scents, fabrics, objects, or body parts in erotic ways—so it could be said that we all have a fetish in some way.

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What Is The Real Difference Between A Fetish And A Kink?. (November 2019). Well+Good.

The Prevalence of Paraphilic Interests and Behaviors in the General Population: A Provincial Survey. (February 2017). The Journal of Sex Research.

What Is A Sexual Fetish?. (January 2015). WebMD.

What Is A Fetish? (October 2020). Very Well Mind.

What Causes People To Have Sexual Fetishes?. (October 2019). Healthline.

Sexual Fetishes: What You Need To Know. (February 2021). Men’s Journal.

Relative Prevalence Of Different Fetishes. (December 2007). International Journal of Impotence Research.