It’s time to talk about the ‘Dark Side’ and I don’t mean DSTV’s new channel.
Every sex documentary I have ever seen lingers on this subject. I think it’s because we are fascinated by the bizarre. It’s a bit like having to look at an accident as you drive past. I’m talking about Fetish.
Let me start with a disclaimer. What I refer to is from research I have done so if it is inaccurate let me know. ‘Fetishism’ is from the Portuguese word ‘Feitico’ which means ‘obsessive fascination’. It has been around since the early 1800s although I’m sure that fetishes have been around for way longer than that.
Fetish is classified as ‘sexual arousal from an object which is not sexual in nature’ – like being turned on by a flower pot! Lingerie and sex toys are specifically excluded because they are meant to have an intimate relationship with sexual pleasure.
I believe that somewhere in our Psych we all have a bit of kink. You may be as kinky as a cheap garden hose but that does not mean that there is something wrong with you. A fetish is only considered to be a problem when it interferes with ‘normal’ sexual and social functioning, where sexual arousal is impossible without the fetish object. Imagine not being able to get and erection unless the flower pot is close at hand. Be careful of your definition of ‘normal’ because your definition may not be in the same room as your spouse.
I once heard about a man who could only get aroused when there was a fish flapping on his feet. My only thought, and I’m not being judgmental – but how would you know?
Nobody knows where the fetish comes from. Freud naturally had things to say about this as have many therapists after him. They all seem to think that it is triggered from something in your childhood. Take Fishy for example, chances are as a young child he went fishing with someone he loved dearly, like his father. The excitement of catching a fish and it flapping on his feet in the water and the praise or scorn of the father could be the catalyst.
Many many people, both men and women have a foot or shoe fetish. I have one but not in the way we are talking about. I desire Jimmy Choo and I’ll even develop a fetish if it means I can fill my wardrobe with them.
Back to the task at hand…
It is alleged that the shoe fetish is born very early on, probably as early as crèche or nursery school. Maybe you got excited at hearing the clicking of your mother’s heels when she came to fetch you. Chances are Mum was wearing high heels.
I watched a fetish being born a couple of years ago. I walked into a party wearing black, patent leather, red trimmed, killer heels, thigh high boots. Yes
I stopped all conversation when I entered but also in the room was an impressionable young man – probably about 6. He caught sight of these boots and was hooked. I could literally see him fall in lust with them. He followed me the entire evening and took every opportunity to touch them, as did an adult man at the party. I’d love to meet this boy in 20 years time and see whether they left a lasting impression.
I think that some fetishes are becoming more acceptable in the main stream. Think blindfolding, spanking, domination and submission, thank you Fifty Shades of Grey.
Spanking is more than just about the pain. The back of the thigh is an extremely sensitive erogenous zone. Researchers seem to think that spanking, domination or submission has a lot to do with humiliation and childhood.
Humiliation is a word that keeps popping up in the research. I am going to assume it’s because they release some sort of hormone that is inexplicably related to arousal. I hate being humiliated so I don’t really get it.
Foot and shoe worship mentioned earlier are fairly common. It is alleged that out of those of you with fetish, 90% are men. Clearly purchasing shoes is not considered a fetish – so I am off the hook.
Voyeurism and exhibitionism are also both high up there. According to the Carolina Institute, 2 out of 3 people like to watch. I can believe it if the porn industry is anything to go by. Exhibitionism can get you into trouble with the law. Exposing the bikini bits is considered public indecency, so save it for a nudist beach or a fetish club.
Rubber, latex and leather fetish is also fairly common. Either you wear it or your partner. It can be extremely arousing. I know a man who loves to dress like a rubber doll. He dresses in latex from head to toe. This alter ego is a beautiful, big busted woman. Because rubber or latex does not breathe, you sweat in the outfit adding to the sensation.
I love the smell of condoms. It reminds me of illicit sex! This fetish can range from balloons to gas masks. A cat suit is particularly popular. These outfits are inevitably tight fitting which is a different fetish altogether.
Cross Dressing in some definitions of a fetish is excluded. It’s a touchy subject at the moment. It can be because of gender identity or sexual arousal. It’s easier for women to get away with it than men. If you feel like wearing pink frilly panties under your business suit just pray that you are not involved in an accident and make sure they don’t have holes.
There is nothing wrong with having a fetish as long as it doesn’t impact negatively on your relationship. As long as it is safe, sane and consensual but if it’s affecting your life negatively, it’s time to seek help.
Sexual role play is also common and can barely be identified as a fetish. Think nurse-doctor, headmistress – student, cop – criminal.
I thought I’d end off with some of the less common fetishes.
Adult babies, including nappies and bottles, no cell phone allowed. Water sports, the smell and feel of urine. Agalmatophilia, being in love with mannequins. Hybristophilia, being in love with criminals. Salirophilia, getting dirty during sex. Mechanophilia, being aroused by gadgets, cars etc and Acrotomophilia, being aroused by your lover having an amputated limb! Mmm, makes me wonder.
Till next time. You can email me at Sharon@lolamontez.co.za if you want to share any stories.