Updated: APRIL 6, 2020

Fetishism is a type of sexual deviance where people become aroused by objects or things that are non-sexual in nature. Items of clothing and body parts other than the genitals are some of the most common fetishes. People with fetishes typically become aroused or experience sexual gratification by viewing or interacting with the objects they fetishize.

Men are more likely to experience fetishism than women. Fetishized items are most commonly women’s clothes or body parts. Fetishes may also have a cultural component.

More About Fetishism

Fetishism may be managed by some people. Some people may be able to engage in sexual activities without their fetish objects involved, although many concede that this kind of sex is rarely as exciting for them. They might masturbate while looking at, holding, or smelling the object they fetishize. With an understanding partner, a fetish may also become a part of their sex life. People who support their partners’ fetishes might agree to wear certain items of clothing, use fetishized objects as sex toys, or engage in certain sexual practices incorporating the fetishized objects.

However, developing a fetish for an object can become a chronic problem. People with fetishes may grow dependent on the fetishized objects and struggle to become aroused or sexually satisfied without them. This can cause problems in relationships. Partners may feel inadequate or resentful of the fetish or fetishized object. People with fetishes may also experience a lower sex drive and sexual dysfunction if they cannot indulge in their fetish.

Fetishes can potentially impact people outside their romantic relationships too. They may spend so much time indulging their fetish that they neglect family members, friends, or their work. Their health may also suffer in some cases. For example, a person with a fetish for feces may contract diseases from indulging in their fetish.

Therapy can help people with fetishes manage their urges. Through counseling, people with fetishes can learn to control their urges and ensure they don’t dominate or cause problems in their professional and personal lives.


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