The science behind fetishes

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Some people are attracted sexually by parts of the body that are not typically considered sexual. This is called a “fetish”. Some people figure out how to sell feet pics online as there is a market for this among people that have a foot fetish.The word “fetish” itself has an interesting etymology, and in this article, we will tell you all about it. After that, we will dive into the world of fetishes and discover the science and theories behind this matter.

Humans have an extremely interesting and multilayered relationship with sexuality, and discovering the reasons behind one of the most common sexual topics out there can be a great way to understand our own species a little better.

What is a fetish?

The word fetish comes from Latin where factitious means artificial. A fetish is often defined as a form of sexual desire in which gratification is strongly linked to a particular object or activity or a part of the body other than the sexual organs. There are many different fetishes out there and it is not yet clear why they develop in individuals but there are several causes that are taken into consideration such as trauma and personality traits and the mere fact that there are many different fetishes could be related to the simple fact that there are many different types of people. 

Where do fetishes come from?

Fetishes are often considered to belong to the world of sexual fantasy, and they are simply seen as an element of our diversity, even in terms of sexual interest and arousal. As we have different tastes in food, we also have different tastes in sexual practices and preferences. 

It is also interesting to consider that many fetishes are developed through simple exposure, as people who try something by accident or chance then continue indulging in it as they find it pleasurable. 

There is also an element of trends and media exposition, as some fetishes are more popular and popularized than others, such as foot fetishes. 

The history of fetishes

Researchers in the past, such as Alfred Binet, claimed that sexual fetishes are a result of simple associations. He claimed that certain vulnerable individuals might develop a fetishism due to an early experience of a non-sexual nature that occurred during childhood. There are other specialists, such as Richard von Krafft-Ebing and Havelock Ellis, who also believed that there is a correlation between associative experiences but disagreed on the matter of personal predisposition, as they believed that a specific type of predisposition is not actually necessary.

There is another line of thought, developed by sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld that should also be taken into account. This theory is referred to as the theory of “partial attractiveness” and it was developed around 1920. Following this line of thought, sexual attractiveness does not originate in a person as a whole, but it is always the product of the interaction of individual features.

Hirschfeld claims that everyone has a special interest in something, and therefore, everyone can develop sexual fetishisms if exposed to triggering agents. This theory is often related to gender-specific behavior; simply put, females present sexual stimuli by highlighting specific body parts through clothes and accessories and males historically have reacted to them in a multitude of ways.

Lastly, it would be impossible to talk about this topic without mentioning Sigmund Freud who believed that there was a strong connection between sexual fetishism in men and the idea of parents and their genitalia. Of course, many of Freud’s theories have proven to be completely wrong but he still remains one of the most famous pioneers of analysis and sexuality in our history. 

More recently, fetish practices have been linked by Donald Winnicott to transitional objects and phenomena. Following this line of thought, childish actions such as thumb-sucking can become sexualized when individuals grow up and develop sexual appetites. This is a very interesting topic, which is still rather mysterious and which will definitely be studied further by researchers all over the world, as sexuality is a big part of our lives, and it is only healthy to want to understand it as much as possible.

We hope this was an interesting read that presented a clear overview of fetishes and the causes underlying this common phenomenon. Now, you have some more ground knowledge on the matter, and there are many other, more in-depth sources that you can consult if this topic fascinates you.