By Lizzy Bliss
What is a fetish? A sexual fetish is described as an unusually strong desire, need, or liking for a particular non-living object or non-genital body part to get sexually aroused.
The object of desire is called the fetish, while the person with the fetish is called a fetishist.
Do I have a fetish?
Probably yes. Research has shown that approximately 75% of people have experimented with (and enjoyed) at least one type of fetish in their lives, so it appears to be pretty common.
But then again some people might think blindfolding their partner with a bit of light spanking is super kinky, while others consider it foreplay and only really get turned on once the ball-gag and leather paddles get whipped out.
This is all still pretty tame and part of a normal, healthy sex-life. After all, who doesn’t
like to spice things up and try something new every now and then? You don’t need a full pleasure room to tie up your partner or suck on their toes, do you?
Apparently, some of us do. And this is where things might become problematic. For a small percentage of us, a simple fetish can turn into an obsession. This is known as Paraphilia or a Paraphilic Disorder. A person with a Paraphilic Disorder will often have intense, persistent, sexual fantasies that involve another person’s psychological distress, injury, or even death in some cases.
These sexual deviances are much more common in males and include exhibitionism, voyeurism, or frotteurism, to name a few.
While there is no denying that fetishism has a dark side, it turns out some of us get excited by much more than whips and chains. Here are a few fetishes you might not have heard about:
Urophelia (also known as golden showers) is a sexual act that involves urine. This could include urinating on your partner, in front of them, being urinated on, or just watching them urinate. There doesn’t seem to be any rules, other than the fact that it involves urine.
Rumour has it that Donald Trump is a fan of Golden Showers, but the soon to be ex-leader of the free world has dismissed these claims as fake news.
Also known as Paraphilic Infantilism, Diaperism is when a person (usually male) derives sexual pleasure from using or wearing adult diapers. For some diaper enthusiasts, just wearing a diaper seems to be enough, while others go as far as soiling the diapers and gaining sexual satisfaction from being cleaned.
Turns out being a big baby has an upside for some people.
Coulrophilia is known to be a sexual attraction towards clowns (probably the opposite of what most of us have). The origin of this paraphilia is thought to be a poor childhood, but others claim that that the idea of not knowing who’s behind the make-up is a turn-on. Coulrophilia must take watching the movie IT to a whole new level.
A Kleptolagniac is a person that has sexual fantasies, behaviours, or urges that involve stealing (a slightly more fun version of kleptomania we assume). Oddly this is one of the very few paraphiliae that affects more women than men, with more than 65% of kleptolagniacs being female. Getting caught with your pants down just got a whole new meaning.
As if finding a suitable partner isn’t hard enough, Spectropheliacs are humans that are sexually attracted to ghosts or spirits. Actual evidence of people having sexual encounters with spirits or ghosts is understandably hard to find, which is why most spectropheliacs are often also attracted to images in mirrors or objects that cannot be seen.
Most of us like Teddy Bears, but some of us really like Teddy Bears. Ursusagalmatophilia (try saying that three times fast) is defined as: “sexual attraction to stuffed toys or people in an animal costume, such as theme park characters”.
This paraphilia gained fame when, in 2012, a Cincinnati man was caught having sex in public with a Teddy Bear for the fourth time in two years. What’s even worse is that it was a different Teddy each time. You might want to think twice next time you walk into someone’s room and find their whole bed covered with stuffed animals.
Psychiatrists believe that there are more than 540 different kinks, fetishes, and paraphilias, and most of them develop during your early childhood or teens. It’s only later in life though that most people start acting on these urges or desires. Many of them are obviously not considered as healthy behaviour.
But, the golden rule is: As long as you’re not hurting yourself, animals, or anyone else against their will, you’re probably in the clear.
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