10 Common Sexual Fetishes

Every lover knows that warm liquid feeling that typifies a turn-on in a potential sexual partner – it could be a physical feature in a partner or an attractive piece of accessory. However when a turn-on approaches the sphere of obsession then fetishism can come into play. Technically, a sexual fetish is an intense focus on an inanimate object like high heels, a body part like a foot or a medium such as leather or silk that's essential to a person's arousal but does not have any inherent sensuality. Paraphilia is the medical term for the sexual deviance triggered by objects or situations that are not typically considered erotic. A serious fetishist cannot have a satisfying sexual experience without the involving the fetish in the sexual experience even though the fetish may end up having the potential to  interfere with real intimacy and sometimes even result in destructive behavior. Despite such possibilities, sexual fetishes are largely common and are ten that can be found across most bedrooms in western society.

  1. Feet

    Feet are the most common fetish based on body part, if one goes by a 2007 study1 published in The International Journal Of Impotence Research. The study found that feet – as well as features and objects associated with them like toes and shoes –  were the most highly fetishized body part, with nearly half of the thousands of survey respondents choosing them over all others which included breasts and buttocks. Again an ABC news report2 found feet fetish highly common, especially among men. “It's that sexual excitement via association," according to Joseph Plaud, the Director of Applied Behavioral Consultants in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, and a practicing clinical psychologist, who explains that feet are often the object of fetishes because they lead to a leg, which in turn leads to genitals. Then again there are those who believe that feet and genitals are closely connected in brain circuitry and hence attractive images of one are enough to stimulate sensations in the other.
     

  2. Shoes

    Among inanimate objects, shoes are one of the most common fetish and this is particularly true of men. Guys though may differ on the particular aspect of the shoe that they find arousing – for some it could be knee-high boots or over-the-knee boots while for others it could be a strappy sandal or deep crimson stilettos that is particularly titillating. Even Lucite heels can make some men go crazy, if one goes by the acts of performers in strip clubs. In most cases, it is the appearance of the shoe that matters -- how high the heel is, the pointiness of the toe, the shaft length of a boot. One reason for a shoe fetish could be the proximity to the leg, which inevitably leads to the genital region and that makes shoes so very provocative to so many. However there may be many women too who have bizarre sexual habits with relation to footwear – for instance having sex with nothing on except for shoes or heels.
     

  3. Leather

    This is another very common sexual fetish with entire clubs catering to lovers of leather. Women dressed in leather, particularly black leather are one of the most common images of male desire in popular culture and there are more than a couple of women out there who can't resist a bad boy in a leather biker jacket either. The fetish for leather though takes this turn-on much further with practitioners going for leather pants, corsets, boots, chaps, full-body costumes, masks, full-length coats, gloves – you name it. Leather in fact is at the center of sado-masochistic sex play where inflicting  and/or receiving physical pain is central to sexual gratification. For leather fetishists, perhaps it is the animalistic association of the material that is the source of sexual pleasure, or the way it can act as a shield for tender, human skin. Or maybe it just looks kind of tough and scary and for some, there's nothing hotter than fear.
     

  4. Silk

    On the opposite end of the sensation spectrum is silk or satin whose very smoothness and opulence function as the source of sexual fetish. Many people get aroused by feeling or wearing articles made of silk or satin or sometimes merely by looking at them. Such interest is usually directed towards the person wearing silk or satin, but it can also be directed towards the garment itself, or to the feel of the garment when worn. The main source of such attraction lies in the physical properties of the garment, such as softness, smoothness, drape and shine but in a wider sense it could also be due to its association with elegance, glamour, romance and opulence. For those with a silk fetish, the principal materials which are considered erotic are charmeuse silk which is silk woven so that it has a sheen and satins such as acetate satin and rayon satin though even other materials with similar properties, such as spandex and polyester can also bring on the feelings of sexual desire.
     

  5. Hair

    A gorgeous mane has always been considered as a prime attractive feature in women, something that is reinforced in commercials for hair products all over the world. Even men going bald are exhorted to take urgent measures to retain their appeal for women. Thus hair as an important factor for sex appeal is a long-standing and almost universal concept; however hair as fetish goes deeper. In this case,  the fetish primarily, but not only, affects men, many of whom like to involve women's hair in the sexual experience in some way and it can be highly specific – for some men the feeling of silky hair all over their body can drive them crazy while for others, only a specific color or look of hair is sexually arousing – this could range from long blond hair, curly brown hair to redheads or the fake, bleached-blond look. Then again there are those who are turned on by women with closely-cropped hair like perhaps the pixie style. In case of women, hair fetish can take the form of preference for male lovers with a stubble or a beard as for them rough feel of facial hair against their body is particularly exciting. Even the lack of hair can have fetishistic connotations – comparatively rare but still out there is a group of men who find bald women incredibly irresistible while the new trend of Brazilian waxing which does away with hair in the bikini area has avid followers among both men and women.
     

  6. Underwear

    Then there are fetishes involving underwear, which can go to the extent of men pinching women’s underwear from laundry lines and being arrested for the act. Not all forms of underwear fetishism can cause trouble with the law though - some people experience sexual excitement from wearing certain types of underwear. Other people experience sexual excitement when observing or handling certain types of underwear worn by another or watching somebody putting underwear on, or taking it off which can then go on to fall under acts of voyeurism. Individuals with underwear fetish may also differ with regard to the kind of object they are aroused by. For example, a common subclass of panty fetishism are panties that show the exposed buttocks like thongs and g-strings while other individuals may have the opposite preference, and are attracted to panties that cover the buttocks. Pantyhose and stockings are other common types of underwear which are highly popular fetish objects among men, especially due to their association with the feet which, as seen above, ranks as one of the most common sexual fetishes. Bras, corsets and slips are other objects are figure in underwear fetishism with some individuals getting aroused by merely the sight of a lacy or silky bra while others seeking sexual gratification by handling or wearing them. Forms of underwear fetishes involving women's underwear are more common among heterosexual men probably because of their proximity to a woman's genital region.
     

  7. Navel fetishism

    Navel fetishism is another kind where a particular body part becomes the primary locus of sexual desire, often making the navel equal to the partner. This fetish again appears to be more common among men who are aroused by the sight of or touching a woman’s navel. A navel fetishist might like to touch the navel, gaze at it or have it rubbed during masturbation. Some navel fetishists find physical acts involving the navel to be arousing; these can include licking the navel with the tongue or rubbing body lotion or suntan oil. Some fetishists get a turn-on from pouring drops of  honey, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and other such liquids into and around the navel and then licking or sucking it up. Technically a belly button would not meet the requirements of a fetish since the navel is an erogenous zone in itself - the navel and the region below has a heightened sensitivity when touched by the finger or the tip of the tongue result in the production of erotic sensations. However many individuals and particular men find themselves deeply titillated by the sight or touch of a navel and this may range from the seductive shape, appearance of the navel as well as its proximity to female genitals. For all these reasons a female's navel is considered as a secondary vulva by some men – indeed it is also used by some navel fetishists as a target of outercourse. Some men enjoy rubbing their penis around a partner's navel. A close variation of navel fetishism is pygophilia or a fetish for the buttocks. In this case the buttocks, especially of a woman becomes a primary focus of sexual attention and may be even  associated with other forms of fetishism like coprophilia, panty fetishism and sadomasochistic corporal punishment involving the buttocks.
     

  8. Body piercings

    This is one fetish that has more appeal to the younger set than for above forty lovers. Tongue, lip, nipple and genital piercings have particularly high fetish value, primarily because such features are often directly involved in sex acts. However piercings in other locations also work as fetishes mainly because it is the actual act of piercing rather than the site that is highly titillating for its aficionados.  For instance, the thought of a penetrative act as piercing, the feel of the cold metal, the contrast of hard-on-soft, the sensation of pain involved in body piercings and even the perceived deviance can contribute to the arousal for piercing fetishists.
     

  9. Tattoos

    This is yet another kind of body modification that has fetish value among a select group. Though not as invasive as body piercings, tattoos in places like the ankle, navel, neck and back work by highlight the sexually erogenous qualities of these regions. Other than this, like in body piercings, the association of pain, penetration with needles and deviance also works to sexually arouse people with tattoo fetish.
     

  10. Anililagnia

    While cougar dating may be a rising trend these days, the intense sexual attraction that younger men feel for older women can even qualify as a fetish, if it borders on the obsessive. A wider term for this would be gerontophilia which encompasses sexual desire any sex feels for far older  partners.

References:

  1. International Journal of Impotence Research - The Journal of Sexal Medicine - Relative prevalence of different fetishes
     
  2. ABC News - What's in a Fetish? Traumatic Sexual Experiences Often Shape Arousal Patterns