Arts & Culture

That three-letter word: Fixating on fetishes

written by Joelline Girouard
October 11, 2013 12:00 pm

Fetishes and fixations are objects or situations that a person finds extremely arousing. Ranging from feet and shoes to leather and latex, fetishes of all degrees are quite common.

Just to get your toes in the water, here’s a quick overview of some more common fetishes.

Tactile

Many fetishes focused on touch are centred either on a person’s partner or around the person themselves. Latex and leather are some of the more common fetishes that can revolve around touch. A person will often be highly aroused by their partner wearing either of those. On the other hand, some people are turned on by the sensations felt on their own skin. A popular option here is wax play, where special wax is heated and drizzled on a body part, often the back, chest or stomach. Another common tactile fetish is spanking—but I don’t think that one needs explaining.

Visual

Some fetishes are focused on sight, where a person will be aroused by seeing their partner in a certain attire or situation. Latex and leather fetishes feature in this category, too, along with costume fetishes and sometimes, foot fetishes (although this fetish is often tactile as well). Ranging from the culturally-propagated Princess Leah to the ever-popular police officer, costume fetishes are among those more openly talked about. Some people fetishize themselves, choosing to masturbate or engage in other activities in front of a mirror.

Situational

Role play sits around the top of the popularity chain when it comes to situational fetishes. If you haven’t engaged in it, chances are you’ve at least fantasized about it. Some popular role playing scenarios include doctor/patient, hitch-hiker and boss/assistant. This can also be a visual fetish, and costumes will often be part of the experience. Other role play options are less about a relationship between characters and more about a situation. Meeting your partner in a bar and pretending you’re strangers, for example, can reinvigorate a relationship and make it fresh if it has grown stale.

High-risk

Some fetishes are dangerous, and should be avoided or practiced only under close supervision. Auto-erotic asphyxiation—where a person will choke themselves in order to attain a higher state of sexual arousal—is one such fetish. Many people have died while engaging in the practice, and I highly discourage it. However, not all dangerous fetishes are deadly. Public sex, or exhibitionism, is exciting for many people, and it’s commonly practiced. Participants should exercise caution when engaging in public sex, as it could lead to a fine or even arrest.

Personalized

More than anything, fetishes are a matter of personal preference. It can be difficult to open up to your partner about a fetish, so even if you don’t enjoy or understand a particular fixation, it’s important that your partner knows you won’t think any less of them for it. Compromise is important when it comes to each participant’s pleasure and satisfaction, but so are individual comfort zones and boundaries. No participant should ever be pressured into performing a certain act or donning a certain garment—no matter what.

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