How many fetishes can a person have

Not perverse: that's how common fetishes really are

If you think of fetishes, you see people in lacquer and leather and tied up sex partners. For some they are pure perversion - for others normality. Most of these sexual preferences are only practiced by a minority. But some are now widespread.

The term fetish has a completely different meaning in the original sense. Fetishes were objects that were idolized or that were ascribed magical powers. For example, a hare's paw, which should bring luck to hunters. At the end of the 14th century, the psychologist Alfred Binet first described fetishism in connection with sexual arousal. He understood sexual fetishism to mean arousal and sexual pleasure that is experienced with objects. For him, sexual fetishism was seen as a psychological deviation from sexual behavior.

From a medical point of view, this view is still valid. Fetishes are regulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Psychological ManualDiagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) classified as sex preference disorders. This refers to deviations from normal sexual behavior that can develop into a mental illness. These deviations are also called Paraphilias designated. Fetishism is just one of the listed paraphilias:

Sexual arousal from watching a nude person or person having sex.
Sexual arousal from inanimate objects or parts of the body.
Rubbing on other people in public for sexual satisfaction.
The desire for sexual submission.
Other sexual preferences
  • Erotophony: sexual pleasure during phone sex with strangers.
  • Gymnophilia: sexual pleasure in being naked.
  • Narratophilia: sexual arousal through erotic conversations (dirty talk).
  • Olfactophilia: sexual arousal from smells.
  • Podophilia: Foot fetishism.
  • Exhibitionism: Sexual desire to be observed naked or during sex by other, mostly strangers.

People with fetishes are still sometimes condemned as "abnormal" today. Fetishes have become more and more common over the past 30 years. You have had a major impact on fashion and the entertainment industry, for example. Clothing that is considered body-hugging or sexy often comes from the world of fetishes. Just like sex toys. Even more obvious is the influence on films and books like “50 Shades of Gray”. Fetishes are becoming more and more normal.

It is difficult to draw a line between fetish and apparently “normal” sexual preferences. According to the psychological definition, some men's obsession with breasts is a fetish, if not a morbid one. But despite the great influence on our everyday life, there are hardly any figures how many people exactly live out fetishes.

Women are just as likely to have fetishes as men

In 2016, a Canadian research team shed some light on the subject. In their study, they asked 1,040 people from Quebec (Canada) about their experiences with fetishes. 45.6 percent have had the desire to try out one of the sex practices that are considered paraphilia. A third stated that they had actually done such a practice at least once.

By the way, according to the study, men havecontrary to the common cliché no more often a fetish than women. The researchers also suspect that many more of the respondents acted out fetishes but refused to admit it out of shame. But despite these unreported numbers, the study shows that these four tendencies are very popular:

Fetishes can become a disease

The connection between fetish and satisfaction with one's own sex life is particularly interesting. In particular, people who said they had tried masochism were more satisfied with their sex life. The result of the study: The division into “normal” and “abnormal” sex life must be reconsidered. Because there are some fetishes that are practiced by a large number of the population.

It is also decisive how strong a fetish is. The question is: is it just a matter of a change in sex life or is it already pathological behavior? In the case of a simple change, fetishes are only an extension of sex practices and are not absolutely necessary to achieve orgasm. In addition, all parties involved agree. A fetish is pathological when sexual preferences interfere with everyday life. That is, without this particular stimulus, it is impossible to feel sexual arousal. In extreme cases, pathological fetishism can lead to abuse. But mere preferences for lacquer, leather or feet are far from this.

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