Our sexual preferences are just as wide as our culinary preferences. She might like being tied up, you might like mac & cheese. He might love steak, and you love wearing latex clothing. Despite some research into the causation of fetishes, most experts can't agree on a specific reason for any type of paraphilia. There are a bunch of hypothesized reasons - including prenatal development, associations during puberty, and conditioned responses - but, like a lot of things in life, fetishes seem to stem from a mixture of environment and genetics.
That said, there are some pretty unusual fetishes out there. Here are 12 that you've probably never heard of - or even imagined.
(Remember that your personal sexual enjoyment, no matter how abnormal you may think it is, is not a problem unless you're harming yourself or others or find that the fetish causes distress or impairment in your life or with your sexual enjoyment.)
Bad boy lust taken to the extreme! Someone with hybristophilia has a sexual attraction to criminals. In extreme cases, this manifests as an attraction to those who have committed horrific crimes. In less extreme cases, it can be an intense attraction to someone who lied or cheated outside of the relationship. Ted Bundy, a famous (and generally considered attractive) serial killer, used to find his courtroom packed full of women vying for his attention.
You love your car, but how much do you love your car? People with mechanophilia have a sexual attraction to machinery. While lots of people are machine-specific (such a bicycles, cars, helicopters, motorcycles, or airplanes), some people have a generalized sexual attraction to all types of machinery. In some countries, like the UK, people caught in the act can be placed on a sex offender's list.
Sounds out-there, right? Well, statistically, you're probably a teleiophiliac! Teleiophilia is the sexual attraction to reproductive-aged adults. Now go out and impress your friends with this new word to describe yourself.
If you find it arousing to watch your partner sleep, you might have somnophilia. Somnophiliacs enjoy sexual activity with someone who is sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise unable to participate. While this fetish can be acted out consensually between two people, it can commonly present itself alongside necrophilia (a sexual attraction to the dead).
Centuries ago, phyisicians used to judge the taste of patient's feces to learn about their patient's health. Modern medicine and cleanliness tends to avoid any contact with feces. Coprophiliacs do the opposite. Aroused by scat, many enjoy watching others defecate or defecating on someone themselves.
A lot of us freak out when we find a bug or insect crawling on us, but not formicophiliacs. This is an arousal caused by the feeling of small insects crawling on or nibbling on them. This paraphilia tends to focus on the genital area, but other areas of the body may be pleasurable as well.
Based on the Latin word "vorare" which means "to swallow" or "devour," vorarephiliacs are aroused by the fantasy or act of being eaten or eating another person. As this is not a fetish that can be enacted easily in real-life, most vorarephiliacs turn to stories, elaborate images, and videos to indulge in their fantasies.
"MILF" is a popular porn category, but gerontophiliacs take it a step further. This is a sexual preference for those who are eligible for retirement benefits. Minimal studies have been done on this paraphilia. The prevalence of gerontophilia is unknown.
Some of us find it annoying. Others find it painful. If you're into knismolagnia, though, you find tickling to be sexually arousing. A form of physical intimacy that entails sensual touching of very sensitive areas on the body, tickling is often used in non-sexual settings for bonding between people. A common sexual game is the "tickling game." This fetish can include restraining someone to avoid the person interfering with the tickling.
While you've probably never heard of this one, it's a surprisingly common fetish in most parts of the world. Partialism is a sexual attraction to any specific part of the body that doesn't include the reproductive organs. In many societies, mazophilia (arousal by the sight of breasts) and pygophilia (arousal by the sight of a butt) are relatively common partialisms. Other highly partialized areas include the feet, the stomach, the neck, and the ears.
Perfect for those who enjoy the spotlight, autagonistophiliacs achieve sexual arousal by any type of public performance. Whether through a webcam show or a non-sexual performance such as a theater role, people with this fetish aren't going to get the stage fright that so many of us are used to.
You might love nature, but do you "really" love nature? If you're a dendrophiliac, you do. This fetish may include contact or penetration with trees. Dendrophilia is most commonly portrayed in anime. For those who prefer a tamer version of the fetish, don't forget that some manufacturers make dildos from wood.There are so many non-normative sexual fetishes out there. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Including what arouses you in your sexual play can be a fulfilling experience. As long as it isn't causing you significant distress in your life or harming others, it's fine to start accepting what helps make you unique.
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