Fetish: Plural noun: fetishes
1. a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc. “Victorian men developed fetishes focusing on feet, shoes, and boots”
2. an excessive and irrational devotion or commitment to a particular thing. “he had a fetish for writing more opinions each year than any other justice”
The origin is first Latin (facticius), then Portuguese (Feitico – meaning charm or sorcery), then French (fétiche) then English (factitious) and then finally between French and English in the 17th century – Fetish.
The early 17th century use from its original use originally denoting an object used by the peoples of West Africa as an amulet or charm from the French fétiche and from the Portuguese feitico meaning ‘charm or sorcery’ – originally an adjective meaning ‘made by art’, from the Latin factiitius.
If you look at the use of the word ‘fetish’ over time, you can see how it has increased in use over the last 30 or so years that coincidently tracks the internet.
This implies that the use of search technology has allowed people to investigate their own peculiar interests.
“FETISHES” is a menu item on Fetlife and they also have a scale of the “most popular” fetishes as rated by the number of users of the site who have noted their partular preference for the noted fetishes.
The top 20 fetishes as rated by the users of Fetlife (as of 2/22/2021) are in order:
1. Oral Sex
4. Anal Sex
5. Hair Puling
7. Talking Dirty
12. Ass Play
14. Breast/Nipple Play
15. Collar and Lead/Leash
16. Sex in Public
17. Musutal Masturbation
18. Role Play
20. Candle Wax
The top 20 are mostly all related to sexual interaction, but as you go down the list, fetishes include relationship dynamics such as number 21. Master/Slave or objects such as number 31. High Heels.
Fetishes can be common vanilla expresions suchas number 33. Kissing, or unrelated to particpatory sex at all such as number 25. Erotic Photography.
Fetishes can involve aspects of play that are specific such as number 30. Face Fucking or be more broad in their application such as number 24. Rough Sex.
Even on Fetlife (fetish is in the title) they identify only the top 100 fetishes by particpation of their users. It is not an exhaustive list and I am sure if they were to publish every fetish identified by a user, their list might be into the several hundreds.
The fact is that something is a fetish if you are sexually obsessed about it. Or as noted a the beginning something or an object to which your gratification is linked “…to an abnormal degree.”
If you get aroused by it, it’s a fetich. If you like to have it done to you in a sexual scene, it’s a fetish. If you like to do it to your partner in a sexual scene, it’s a fetish. If it makes you aroused, it’s a fetish.
If you happen to review the list, and you don’t see your particular sexual gratification item on the list, it’s still a fetish.
There is not a “right way to fetish” and a “wrong way to fetish.” Its personal. If you like it that your partner licks ash off the floor, for example, it’s a fetish (I met a girl once who had a “licking dirty things” fetish, so it’s not even something that I made up!)
On our podcast, the Kinky Cocktail Hour we have interviewed a couple of different people who have novel ways to explore the world of kink. In this conversation with the “Kinky Intorverts” (https://www.buzzsprout.com/962578/4023662), they describe how they made a deck of playing cards with different kinks, and how they use those cards to create a scene and how they negotiate who would be Top and who Bottom and then they explore the kink. They went further. They invited us onto their show to talk them through marking with a cane. Then they workshopped it, then they played together using a cane and then they reported back on it. They use this process to explore and play with different fetishes to see if they like them or not. It’s actually brilliant.
Another conversation we had was with the developers of the KinkQuest (https://www.buzzsprout.com/962578/5493526) where they described an online game where a kinkster can learn, experience, and discover more about different fetishes.
If you are a curious person and you are not sure what’s missing from your sex life, strategies such as those described above could be an excellent way to explore you own fetishes. Being fully self-expressed as a kinkster is one of the most enjoyable ways to engage in adult recreation.
It’s not uncommon that individual fetishes are sourced in childhood. This sort of thinking is promoted in movies like Blue Velvet and on TV shows like the Sopranos. It was true for me too. My kink of caning girls and women is directly sourced to me growing up in a school system where classroom corporal punishment was practiced. In my particular case, the girl I had little bit of a crush on got caned in front of the room, then sat on my foot and had an orgasm. Of course not, I use a cane to mark Lady Petra weekly and it’s a deeply meaningful part of our scene where we reconnect each week.
Can a person have more than one fetish? Well yes of course. Anything can be a fetish and you can have as many as you can think of. All that is required is for you to have a “…sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc” and you have a fetish.
We are often asked if fetishes are healthy. The initial answer is “yes”, and it is worth noting that it is quite possible to have fetishes that are risky, such as self-asphyxiation. I am sure you have read about people inadvertently hanging themselves in their closet while they masturbate. If you are going to have a fetish like self-asphyxiation, make sure that you have a fail-safe release or that you have another person nearby. Some people enjoy self-bondage, and they create elaborate schemes to make escape hard, but possible, in a pinch. They may do things like freeze the key in an ice cube, for instance, in order to make their escape hard but inevitable. It goes without saying that if your kink involves another person, that they unqualified consent is required. Especially in such kinks as impact play or rope bondage. Never step over consent.
It is also noted that in many states, several fetishes that fall into the category that is legally known as ‘sodomy’, including oral sex in some stats, are still illegal. If you live in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Carolina, your fetish my still be against the law. For this reason, you should make sure that you and your partner are aware of the law.
It’s always best to check with your partner if your fetish crosses line for them. If they have a hard limit, then you are not free to express yourself in this fashion, not matter how much it arouses you. If they say that it’s a ‘soft limit”, that means that there are circumstances where they may engage in that fetish, and you will need their expressed consent to engage in that fetish.
I am fortunate to have a very kinky sex forward and kink forward relationship with Lady Petra where we are almost 100% aligned in our kinks and our fetishes. The result is that sexual encounters take us to places where time stands still, and the experience is outside of language. Now even with that being said, there are still things that she and I do not engage in. There are common fetishes that hold no magic for us. There are hard limits and soft limits. And I can comfortably say that our real fetish is communication. That works for us because it is out of being fully in communication about our sexuality that we experience the bliss we do.
Communication is the one fetish that I think ALL kinksters should explore.
SafferMaster and Lady Petra offer Kink Relationship Coaching with online, group, and personal coaching options.
You can access the coaching services offered by Lady Petra Playground by reaching out for an initial conversation- LadyPetraPlaground@gmail.com
The Patreon is also a way to sign up: https://www.patreon.com/LadyPetrasPlayground
Lady Petra and SafferMaster also produce the Kinky cocktail Hour podcast available on all podcast platforms
Kinky Introverts says
Thank you for mentioning us!!
Here’s the link to the caning episode:
Caning: Let’s Try It! with guidance from Saffer Master and Lady Petra
very well-written. gives me a lot of ideas 🙂
Love this!!! <3