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Thread: What is psychological view on fetish?

  1. #1 What is psychological view on fetish? 
    Forum Freshman HB3l1's Avatar
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    Why do people have fetishes?


    Last edited by HB3l1; August 11th, 2013 at 06:47 AM.
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    I HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT what you said.


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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT what you said.
    Now don't go playing all innocent with us!
    (We know you have slept with many theatres!)
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    I guess that some people have (sexual) fetishes due to childhood experiences (not necessarily traumas) and/or due to a different wiring of certain neurons in the brain.

    Since neither psychology nor neurology are my specialities, I hope that someone will come up with better and more scientific answers.
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; August 11th, 2013 at 09:57 AM.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    Why do people have fetishes?
    Sigh.

    Did you mean sexual fetishes, and why some people develop them? Or did you mean fetish in the form of talismans, and why people believes that it works?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    Why do people have fetishes?

    The question is too broad.
    unless you would rather read a textbook or 2 or 3 or...

    generally, a fetish is an emotional response to an inanimate object.

    let us rather, focus on a particular fetish and the physiological response to that fetish
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  8. #7  
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    Did you mean sexual fetishes, and why some people develop them? Or did you mean fetish in the form of talismans, and why people believes that it works?
    Heh, sexual fetishes.

    The question is too broad.
    unless you would rather read a textbook or 2 or 3 or...

    generally, a fetish is an emotional response to an inanimate object.

    let us rather, focus on a particular fetish and the physiological response to that fetish
    I am speaking generally about different sexual fetishes, what triggers them?Is it something that happened in childhood , media, traumas, curiosity, fear or is there any other explanation? Or you imply that there is a special explanation for each fetish?

    '' a fetish is an emotional response to an inanimate object.'' ? I think that sexual fetishes includes emotional responses ti object that are generally not associated with conventional sex, which means an inanimate objects and many more..
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  9. #8  
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    and many more:
    agree

    A) level of attachment to sexual fetish?
    B) results with or without stimulii from fetish?

    eg: story of a woman who, as a girl had her first orgasm(s?) while bareback riding her horse.
    which led to some rather dangerous attempts to have sex with the horse(s?) until
    she discovered that all she needed was the scent of horse sweat to orgasm from sex with one of her own species.
    cured?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    What is the psychological view on sexual fetishes?
    Based on some of the materials I've read, it is an uncommon state of sexual arousal linked with inanimate objects, but in pop culture; its more commonly associated with uncommon sexual arousal based on certain characteristics possessed by the object/subject of desire. Such as BDSM, ladies stockings, body "art", etc.

    Without going into the aroused state, the development of various sexual fetishes is suspected to be based on a combination of conditioning and sexual imprinting. You can read up on the term "paraphilia", perhaps it will help expand the scope of your knowledge.

    Is there a more specific question you have in mind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT what you said.
    Now don't go playing all innocent with us!
    (We know you have slept with many theatres!)
    Hush......theatre BUILDINGS!!! *glare*
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    I guess that some people have (sexual) fetishes due to childhood experiences (not necessarily traumas) and/or due to a different wiring of certain neurons in the brain.

    Since neither psychology nor neurology are my specialities, I hope that someone will come up with better and more scientific answers.
    Does, some people like kinky stuff, work? Guess probably not!
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  13. #12  
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    A question.

    What determines something that someone likes while having sex, a fetish?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    What determines something that someone likes while having sex, a fetish?
    The quantity of feathers or latex involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    What determines something that someone likes while having sex, a fetish?
    The quantity of feathers or latex involved.
    You left out a few items....*cough*.

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  16. #15 Classical conditioning 
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    The easiest explanation I can come up with is that fetishes are a form of classical conditioning. You learn to associate the object/material with sexual activities, so that object then becomes a conditioned stimulus that you respond to with arousal.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    What is the psychological view on sexual fetishes?
    Based on some of the materials I've read, it is an uncommon state of sexual arousal linked with inanimate objects, but in pop culture; its more commonly associated with uncommon sexual arousal based on certain characteristics possessed by the object/subject of desire. Such as BDSM, ladies stockings, body "art", etc.

    Without going into the aroused state, the development of various sexual fetishes is suspected to be based on a combination of conditioning and sexual imprinting. You can read up on the term "paraphilia", perhaps it will help expand the scope of your knowledge.

    Is there a more specific question you have in mind?
    Not only inanimate but non primary or secondary sexual parts of the body, such as the feet.

    As someone said before the OP question is rather broad. Also, I suspect that acceptability is often used as the standard, rather than actually commonality. Foot fetishes, for example, are probably quite common.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HB3l1 View Post
    What is the psychological view on sexual fetishes?
    Based on some of the materials I've read, it is an uncommon state of sexual arousal linked with inanimate objects, but in pop culture; its more commonly associated with uncommon sexual arousal based on certain characteristics possessed by the object/subject of desire. Such as BDSM, ladies stockings, body "art", etc.

    Without going into the aroused state, the development of various sexual fetishes is suspected to be based on a combination of conditioning and sexual imprinting. You can read up on the term "paraphilia", perhaps it will help expand the scope of your knowledge.

    Is there a more specific question you have in mind?
    Not only inanimate but non primary or secondary sexual parts of the body, such as the feet.

    As someone said before the OP question is rather broad. Also, I suspect that acceptability is often used as the standard, rather than actually commonality. Foot fetishes, for example, are probably quite common.
    Knew a fellow who had a thing about feet.....he'd look at you and ask if he could just SEE your feet.....it was a sexual turn on for him ......it was a creepy thing for me!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitkat View Post
    The easiest explanation I can come up with is that fetishes are a form of classical conditioning. You learn to associate the object/material with sexual activities, so that object then becomes a conditioned stimulus that you respond to with arousal.

    Could you illustrate that with an example?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitkat View Post
    The easiest explanation I can come up with is that fetishes are a form of classical conditioning. You learn to associate the object/material with sexual activities, so that object then becomes a conditioned stimulus that you respond to with arousal.
    Not in my case, and not in the case of most other people with unusual fetishes I have talked to.
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    I am a Clean Queen.....I hate clutter dirt and mess....DO I HAVE A fettish?
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    You will find sound answers from Freud. Probably not Sigmund Freud himself, because although his work was innovative and highly respected, it is largely outdated. Psychoanalytic Theory would be my starting point. Fetishes are a psychosocial phenomena and that is addressed by modern Freudians and Psychoanalysts.

    You get a broad recommendation for asking a broad question.
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    But, I think the absolute most specific answer you will find is the Hypothalamus, unless there's some research I'm not aware of.
    If at first you don't succeed, it wasn't meant to be. It's just a waste of time 'cause the unions just gonna take your money anyway, 'cause they jealous that we got an extra bone in our body that makes us smarter, but don't nobody in science care to acknowledge that, and you were an unwanted pregnancy, and you ruined my dirtbikin career, and get outta my sight you disgust me! You talking bout that one daddy?
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am a Clean Queen.....I hate clutter dirt and mess....DO I HAVE A fettish?
    Not unless mop handles REALLY turn you on . . .
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am a Clean Queen.....I hate clutter dirt and mess....DO I HAVE A fettish?
    Not unless mop handles REALLY turn you on . . .
    OH NO!!! You weren't supposed to tell!!!!!
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  26. #25  
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    Firstly you have to describe what fetish is, because many cultures have different meaning of this thing. For ex. African tribes.
    He is numb from his toes down
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    Firstly you have to describe what fetish is, because many cultures have different meaning of this thing. For ex. African tribes.

    Member HB3l1 is talking about sexual fetishes.

    Fetish (ˈfe-tish):
    "an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression"
    (Merriam-Webster)
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Fetish (ˈfe-tish):
    "an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression"
    (Merriam-Webster)
    Seems like a poor definition. By that definition, someone who spends most of their life living a BDSM lifestyle, but occasionally has (and enjoys) vanilla sex, would not have a fetish.
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  29. #28  
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    Hmmm…I disagree with the ‘standard’ definition of fetish. I don’t believe that fetishes start and stop at body parts or a fixation upon said body parts in order to ‘get off.’ I don’t liken fetishes to unhealthy sexual behavior necessarily, as it seems to be implied through the standard definition.
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    I don't think I have any sexual fetishes....DAMN!!

    I NEED ONE!....suggestions? *chuckle*
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Fetish (ˈfe-tish):
    "an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression"
    (Merriam-Webster)
    Seems like a poor definition. By that definition, someone who spends most of their life living a BDSM lifestyle, but occasionally has (and enjoys) vanilla sex, would not have a fetish.
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Hmmm…I disagree with the ‘standard’ definition of fetish. I don’t believe that fetishes start and stop at body parts or a fixation upon said body parts in order to ‘get off.’ I don’t liken fetishes to unhealthy sexual behavior necessarily, as it seems to be implied through the standard definition.

    How would you modify the definition?
    Or are there other and better definitions provided elsewhere?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  32. #31  
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    Hi Cogito: I think that I'd modify the definition of fetish to include fantasies, as well. I also would amend the definition to not seem akin to fetishes being a necessary means of achieving sexual fulfillment. (aka climax, although that is not the sum total of sexual fulfillment, I think that is what the definition infers) Of course, there are some or maybe many people who have fetishes that border obsession, but I don't believe that a person's proclivity for certain fantasies or objects (or pondering said object/body parts) in order to heighten his/her sexual experience should be automatically viewed as a negative. If two (or more lol) consenting adults are "okay" with their partners' "fetishes," then that is all that matters.Having said that, a fetish, if it causes a person to do something illegal or abusive to another person, should not be socially acceptable. Probably goes without saying. Overall, I see nothing psychologically "wrong" with fetishes if they heighten one's sexual experience, so long as the fetish doesn't become an obsession.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    How would you modify the definition?
    "A sexual attraction to an object, body part or situation not commonly considered sexual." For example, attraction to feet, attraction to being watched during sex or attraction to restraints would be considered a fetish. Attraction to breasts or videos of intercourse would not be (at least in our society.)
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  34. #33  
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    Actually, a definition that already exists with respect to fetishes, doesn't specifically categorize the object or situation as being commonly or uncommonly thought of by society, as sexually stimulating. That is what I thought. A fetish can be any object or situation or fantasy, that one feels he/she "requires" to heighten their respective sexual experiences. In other words, someone could have a fetish for feet in the same way another could have a fetish for breasts. The object or situation is the fetish, even if they are considered the sexual "norm" or not. What separates a fetish from attraction is that a fetish suggests that the fetishist needs the object/fantasy in order to become aroused, while an attraction is merely what one finds appealing about another. Example: Someone might be attracted to a person with dark eyes, but if that person can only become aroused by thinking about someone with dark eyes, etc...to me, that is a fetish. I'm on my phone otherwise I'd post the source, but I just read some of this from Wikipedia. (fwiw)
    Last edited by wegs; December 15th, 2013 at 01:03 AM.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    How would you modify the definition?
    "A sexual attraction to an object, body part or situation not commonly considered sexual." For example, attraction to feet, attraction to being watched during sex or attraction to restraints would be considered a fetish. Attraction to breasts or videos of intercourse would not be (at least in our society.)
    Many men are all about BREASTS!! I knew someone with a a foot fettish....it was rather strange to say the least......
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I don't think I have any sexual fetishes....DAMN!!

    I NEED ONE!....suggestions? *chuckle*
    You need to live a little, a bit of experimentation. Saying that I have no fetish either. But i do like a nice shaped female behind!
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M W View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I don't think I have any sexual fetishes....DAMN!!

    I NEED ONE!....suggestions? *chuckle*
    You need to live a little, a bit of experimentation. Saying that I have no fetish either. But i do like a nice shaped female behind!
    *laughing*......well my eyes drift from the eyes...my favorite thing in a man...to his smile...my next favorite...but *cough* then they plunge to the *package*....I am SO ASHAMED!!!!

    OK

    Not really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David M W View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I don't think I have any sexual fetishes....DAMN!!

    I NEED ONE!....suggestions? *chuckle*
    You need to live a little, a bit of experimentation. Saying that I have no fetish either. But i do like a nice shaped female behind!
    *laughing*......well my eyes drift from the eyes...my favorite thing in a man...to his smile...my next favorite...but *cough* then they plunge to the *package*....I am SO ASHAMED!!!!

    OK

    Not really.
    well i have been told i have nice eyes, that compliment my nice smile. But as yet no comments on my package! So not sure which way to take the silence!
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M W View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David M W View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I don't think I have any sexual fetishes....DAMN!!

    I NEED ONE!....suggestions? *chuckle*
    You need to live a little, a bit of experimentation. Saying that I have no fetish either. But i do like a nice shaped female behind!
    *laughing*......well my eyes drift from the eyes...my favorite thing in a man...to his smile...my next favorite...but *cough* then they plunge to the *package*....I am SO ASHAMED!!!!

    OK

    Not really.
    well i have been told i have nice eyes, that compliment my nice smile. But as yet no comments on my package! So not sure which way to take the silence!
    *laughing* Silence is GOLDEN!! AHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHHAHAHHA
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  40. #39  
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    psychologists hate fetishes. anything beyond some archaic norm is "abnormal".
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    A fetish can be any object or situation or fantasy, that one feels he/she "requires" to heighten their respective sexual experiences. In other words, someone could have a fetish for feet in the same way another could have a fetish for breasts. The object or situation is the fetish, even if they are considered the sexual "norm" or not. What separates a fetish from attraction is that a fetish suggests that the fetishist needs the object/fantasy in order to become aroused, while an attraction is merely what one finds appealing about another.
    I think I have two issues with that definition.

    1) By the above definition, a man that is attracted only to women, and needs to see (or be with) a woman to become aroused, would be considered to have a fetish. That doesn't seem to agree with the normal usage of the word.

    2) Consider the case of Midori, a woman who has written a few books on BDSM and fetish. She's been a professional top and a fetish model, and she's taught a lot of classes on the topic. She has lived that lifestyle for decades now. However, since in her books she has talked about how vanilla sex is still quite enjoyable to her, she would not be considered to have a BDSM fetish by the above definition. Again, that doesn't seem to agree with the normal usage of the word.
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  42. #41  
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    @ billvon:

    So, are we saying that the term ‘fetish’ means someone’s ‘need’ for something considered otherwise non-sexual (ie feet, elbows, jelly beans, etc) in order to become sexually aroused?


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    I think I would define it as "a desire for something that is normally non-sexual for the purposes of sexual arousal."

    "Normally non-sexual" of course has a societal component; it wouldn't be accurate to say that a man here has a "female face fetish" but if society traditionally covers all women's faces, it might apply.
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  44. #43  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    I think I would define it as "a desire for something that is normally non-sexual for the purposes of sexual arousal."

    "Normally non-sexual" of course has a societal component; it wouldn't be accurate to say that a man here has a "female face fetish" but if society traditionally covers all women's faces, it might apply.
    I sort of agree, and sort of don't. All things considered, everyone's definition of what turns them on, is different. I don't like labeling someone's desires (if they're not vanilla) as 'fetishes.' That's just me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I sort of agree, and sort of don't. All things considered, everyone's definition of what turns them on, is different.
    Definitely agreed there.

    I don't like labeling someone's desires (if they're not vanilla) as 'fetishes.' That's just me.
    Do you think that "fetish" is something of a pejorative term, and thus to be avoided when describing people's desires? I just see it as a useful descriptive term, but maybe people take offense at it.
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    Do you think that "fetish" is something of a pejorative term, and thus to be avoided when describing people's desires? I just see it as a useful descriptive term, but maybe people take offense at it.
    I see it as an unnecessary term mainly because it subtly implies an abnormality in the person's mindset who has the fetish. Give a real example of when you either have utilized the term (appropriately?) or thought of using it. (in other words, have you ever known someone whom you thought had a fetish, and why did you think so?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I see it as an unnecessary term mainly because it subtly implies an abnormality in the person's mindset who has the fetish.
    Hmm, I don't see that as an 'abnormality' but I can see how, if you saw it that way, you'd want to avoid using it.

    Give a real example of when you either have utilized the term (appropriately?) or thought of using it. (in other words, have you ever known someone whom you thought had a fetish, and why did you think so?)
    Here are a few:

    KP, a woman who, in her mid-30's, "came out of the closet" so to speak and decided to try to meet someone to experiment with. (She's a BDSM bottom, more into the D part than anything else.) She put a few online ads out there and talked to us a bit about safety when you're doing something like that. Obviously you have to be a bit more careful when the expectation is that one person will be "in charge" and calling the shots at least to a degree. The word came up pretty naturally in our conversations.

    "I was thinking of going to this thing with Jim and I'm a little nervous. A bunch of his friends will be there."
    "Is it going to be a fetishy event?"
    "Not really, not like the play party last week. This would be a safe-for-public meetup at a restaurant up here. No collars or anything."

    WA, a guy I've known for 20 years now, has had a foot fetish forever. At skydiver parties he was always offering women foot rubs, and after he'd been drinking a bit would offer to buy them drinks if they'd take off their shoes and he could check out their feet.

    For KM it was straight bondage; for DR it was having sex outside where people could see. It wasn't that she wanted to get caught, it was that she knew she might get caught - and that was her big turn-on. Both of them referred to their drives as fetishes.

    I think the term "fetish" has a lot of the same issues surrounding it that the term "gay" has. People who I know who are gay are generally not ashamed of it, but they also don't tell every person they meet about it. Most of them also have stories about "coming out of the closet" and the fear they had that they would be ostracized, mocked, rejected by their friends and family etc. I think a lot of the same feelings are associated with talking about one's fetishes, which is perhaps why there are some negative connotations associated with the word. "I don't want to talk about that - they'll think I am a freak!"
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    Knew a man with a foot fettish. He's ask you to take off your shoes....he wanted to hold them...well I said, look, don't touch....it was freaking weird!
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I see it as an unnecessary term mainly because it subtly implies an abnormality in the person's mindset who has the fetish.
    Hmm, I don't see that as an 'abnormality' but I can see how, if you saw it that way, you'd want to avoid using it.

    Give a real example of when you either have utilized the term (appropriately?) or thought of using it. (in other words, have you ever known someone whom you thought had a fetish, and why did you think so?)
    Here are a few:

    KP, a woman who, in her mid-30's, "came out of the closet" so to speak and decided to try to meet someone to experiment with. (She's a BDSM bottom, more into the D part than anything else.) She put a few online ads out there and talked to us a bit about safety when you're doing something like that. Obviously you have to be a bit more careful when the expectation is that one person will be "in charge" and calling the shots at least to a degree. The word came up pretty naturally in our conversations.

    "I was thinking of going to this thing with Jim and I'm a little nervous. A bunch of his friends will be there."
    "Is it going to be a fetishy event?"
    "Not really, not like the play party last week. This would be a safe-for-public meetup at a restaurant up here. No collars or anything."

    WA, a guy I've known for 20 years now, has had a foot fetish forever. At skydiver parties he was always offering women foot rubs, and after he'd been drinking a bit would offer to buy them drinks if they'd take off their shoes and he could check out their feet.

    For KM it was straight bondage; for DR it was having sex outside where people could see. It wasn't that she wanted to get caught, it was that she knew she might get caught - and that was her big turn-on. Both of them referred to their drives as fetishes.

    I think the term "fetish" has a lot of the same issues surrounding it that the term "gay" has. People who I know who are gay are generally not ashamed of it, but they also don't tell every person they meet about it. Most of them also have stories about "coming out of the closet" and the fear they had that they would be ostracized, mocked, rejected by their friends and family etc. I think a lot of the same feelings are associated with talking about one's fetishes, which is perhaps why there are some negative connotations associated with the word. "I don't want to talk about that - they'll think I am a freak!"
    While taking out an online ad to gain willing participants for one’s fetish is slightly extreme I don't see these things as fetishes. Barring something illegal, or abusive……I don’t see anything inherently wrong with fetishes, in general. (but, I don't care to label these things, fetishes)I see them as personal ways people choose to lead them to climax, or at the very least, get them aroused. Appreciate you sharing those examples, billvon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I don't see these things as fetishes. Barring something illegal, or abusive……I don’t see anything inherently wrong with fetishes, in general.
    Right and Wrong are value judgements. In the context of psychology as body of knowledge derived from study, it is often viewed as uncommon/unconventional/unusual.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I don't see these things as fetishes. Barring something illegal, or abusive……I don’t see anything inherently wrong with fetishes, in general.
    Right and Wrong are value judgements. In the context of psychology as body of knowledge derived from study, it is often viewed as uncommon/unconventional/unusual.
    Understood, I realize that--good point. I will say that at least in my estimation, it 'seems' that the term fetish has a negative connotation, however...as though 'unconventional' is automatically assumed as a negative. (?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Understood, I realize that--good point. I will say that at least in my estimation, it 'seems' that the term fetish has a negative connotation, however...as though 'unconventional' is automatically assumed as a negative. (?)
    I do not think that unconventional in itself is being viewed as negative. Problem solving by way of lateral thinking too is unconventional and uncommon, and it has no negative connotations that I am aware of. But I suppose it is often present when viewed with civilized human sexual behaviours that people are unable to separate personal value judgements when encountering behaviours that makes them uncomfortable.
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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Understood, I realize that--good point. I will say that at least in my estimation, it 'seems' that the term fetish has a negative connotation, however...as though 'unconventional' is automatically assumed as a negative. (?)
    I do not think that unconventional in itself is being viewed as negative. Problem solving by way of lateral thinking too is unconventional and uncommon, and it has no negative connotations that I am aware of. But I suppose it is often present when viewed with civilized human sexual behaviours that people are unable to separate personal value judgements when encountering behaviours that makes them uncomfortable.
    Well, from post #26...here is a standard definition of the term, fetish: Fetish (ˈfe-tish):
    "an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression"
    (Merriam-Webster) Hmmm...sounds rather negative to me. (which is why I don't like this definition)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Hmmm...sounds rather negative to me. (which is why I don't like this definition)
    Would you prefer the OED's definition instead?

    Fetish - "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."

    People have a tendency to make value judgements on that which deviates from the norm, even when no perceivable harm occurs. It may be a worthy exercise to catch one's self when ones make such a judgment. Think of it as monitoring your own thoughts as it happens.
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  55. #54  
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    Just to clarify a point--I'm not putting a value judgment on anything, but much of society does. I don't care for the term fetish in general, as I see much of what is being defined as fetishes, as merely individual sexual preferences that elicit arousal. Whether they can be seen as unique or not, I find no need to classify such "objects or situations" as fetishes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    I do not think that unconventional in itself is being viewed as negative.
    I think for many people that _is_ viewed as a negative. "He's weird." "Why can't you be normal?" That is unfortunate, and I am somewhat evangelic about the idea that weird is OK, and in fact can be quite good overall.
    But I suppose it is often present when viewed with civilized human sexual behaviours that people are unable to separate personal value judgements when encountering behaviours that makes them uncomfortable.
    Agreed, and especially when applied to sexual mores, many people think that you can be normal or promiscuous, conventional or freaky, vanilla or all messed up. Often being prudent is considered synonymous with being conservative in one's sexual practices, and thus more unusual expressions of sexuality carry with them associations of violence, disease etc.

    "Well, no wonder she got raped. She liked to get tied up; didn't she think that might happen?"
    "She's into WHAT? You might want her to get tested before you have sex with her."
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    We all have our idiosyncrasies!!! If it harms no one, what is the issue?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    We all have our idiosyncrasies!!! If it harms no one, what is the issue?
    Yep. The test that is often applied is "safe sane consensual." If it meets those requirements, and involves only adults, go for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    We all have our idiosyncrasies!!! If it harms no one, what is the issue?
    Yep. The test that is often applied is "safe sane consensual." If it meets those requirements, and involves only adults, go for it.
    I have said this in so many words throughout the thread, but another poster seems to be inferring that I think otherwise? *shrug* Oh well. At any rate, I'm a believer in live and let live...and if someone enjoys certain sexual activities or ideas or objects with his/her lover, or even alone...so be it. (I don't see the need to label it a 'fetish.')
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    Some refreshingly thoughtful posts up there. I liked this especially:
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    the development of various sexual fetishes is suspected to be based on a combination of conditioning and sexual imprinting
    That jives anecdotally. I found (during puberty) that both involuntary experience and deliberate attention determined my developing sexual interests. Bluntly: whatever I focused on when jerking off, I'd find more sexually arousing in future. An implication here is that people do have some control over their sexual interests... that must be an unwelcome point of view until people stop feeling marginalized and defensive for any deviation.

    I've explained this (hypothesis) to my 12-year-old son. I don't want him privately spiraling into some fixation because he feels he's powerless to focus his own desires. That path is loaded with self-loathing... we see it in daily news items about teen suicides and adult sex offenders. That's sexual fetish "in the bad way". I told him he may have any sexual desires he wants, so long as he owns his desires and doesn't let them twist him up inside. This same hypothesis - on a brighter note - also suggests another way to "make love". How to literally make love. He got that, and I hope the understanding does good some day.



    Returning to fetishes, I'm wondering if/how voluntary fetishes vs. unbidden fetishes differ. Do they have different underlying mechanisms? On one hand we have examples like billvon's Midori, the career fetishist author, who focuses kinks like a skilled spotlight operator. On the other hand we've all known fetishists to indicate their interests aren't up to them, like it's a compulsion, and some of those (I think) must feel cursed. This last group I'd like to empower and also I suspect some of the most twisted criminals spawn from that place.
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