Each person has the chance to have a fetish, whether it be to specific body parts, clothing, or more. When interacting with someone who has expressed their fetish to you verbally it is important to understand their opinion, but that does not mean you have to also engage in their fetish.
To the other person a fetish can be a healthy way to relieve sexuality, sensuality, and sexual desires. Accepting someone’s fetish is simply a way of accepting another person as a friend, and while they may enjoy their fetish, you are never required to do everything they want to. Instead be their friends, but make clear where your stance is on the subject.
According to a survey done by Ann Summers in the UK approximately 75% of people have at least one fetish.
In an article from Women’s Health by Debra W. Soh, the amount of people with a fetish is 1 in 6. While more stats on sexual fetishes may be hard to find, the Mark Allen Thorton blog published a statistic evaluating the authors of over 2900 books, and graphed them out based on the age group focuses the books were written for. In his studies fetishes were common and varied by different age groups.
Adult babies: Are those individuals that enjoy being a baby again. They may enjoy regressing partially or completely, participating in the act of wearing diapers, being fed by an adult, sucking on a baby bottle or pacifier, dressing up in baby clothes, crawling instead of walking and speaking in “baby” talk. Individuals interested in infantilism most likely enjoy the nurturing aspect. They may be seeking attention or have too many responsibilities in their daily lives, which they wish to escape from.
Swinging: Refers to the act of a committed, usually married couple indulging in sex with another couple or individual with the full consent of both partners. The idea of swinging or experimentation with group sex is usually driven by the male in the relationship (research showing over 75% of the time).
Urolagnia: Is the act of being aroused by urine, whether it is the feel or smell of it. It may involve the consummation or act of bathing in urine as well. Common types of Urolagnia include: wetting one’s self or the observation of another person wetting themselves while fully clothed, watching the act of someone relieving themselves in the bathroom or even acting as a human urinal, also known as receiving or giving a “golden shower”.
Cross Dressing: Individuals that cross-dress wear clothing and accessories of the “opposite sex.” Cross-dressing is more common than you might think, predominantly affecting heterosexual and gay men.
Foot Fetishism: Is surprisingly common. It is the most common fetish of the non-genital body parts and non-sexual objects. Sigmund Freud offered the explanation that people develop this fetish due to the fact that the human foot resembles a penis. But Freud’s theory on this fetish has yet to be proven.
Spanking: The area of the buttocks that meets the back of the thigh is considered an erogenous zone and if contact is made with the right amount of pressure and frequency, it can result in arousal for many people.
Voyeurism: According to researchers at the Carolina Institute, one out of three individuals enjoys watching sex or exposing themselves in public. Studies show that men are more voyeuristic than women with 12% of men being aroused while watching sexual acts compared to 4% of women.
Rubber/Latex/Leather: This fetish relates to those that gain sexual enjoyment by wearing or having their partner wear rubber, latex or leather material. They refer to themselves as "rubberists." The tight material acts as a type of sexual bondage. For some, the smell of rubber/latex/leather may also be a turn on. The fetish can range from wearing the more conventional types of items such as a cat suit to something more unusual such as a gas mask.
Sexual Role-play: Involves two or more individuals acting out different roles in a sexual scenario. It can be any type of sexual fantasy. It may be as involved as the participating individuals wish. Couples could choose to act the role-play out at a specific location, dressing up in detailed costumes or using different props. It may involve individuals assuming a participating role or that of a spectator. Technology has now brought about the possibility of sexual role-playing on the Internet as well, which many individuals and couples indulge in.
Domination & Submission: is a part of an acronym most people may be familiar with called BDSM. It stands for bondage, domination and submission, sadism and masochism. The dictionary defines domination and submission as “a set of behaviors, customs, and rituals involving the giving by one individual to another individual control over them”. It involves the power exchange between two consenting adults. This can be in the form of a one-time occurrence, a specific part time situation or a full time arrangement. The submissive does what the dominant requires within their agreed boundaries of comfort.
According to Debby Herbenick, a sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute and author of Sex Made Easy, “BDSM is a huge umbrella term for a wide range of activities, from fuzzy handcuffs you can buy at a women-oriented sex boutique to the more extreme sexual dungeon set-up.” Interestingly enough BDSM has become more mainstream within the last 20 years as evidenced by the very popular 50 Shades of Grey novel.
As long as there is a high / abnormal amount of interest in something it can be considered a fetish. Below is a list of fetishes that are non-sexual but still hold many people’s devotion.
For those that are looking for others with a similar set of interests, one website that allows the meeting of new people based on specific categories or searches is called meetup.com. This site not only gets people together for dating or fetishes, but it also helps gather people who wish to play sports or other hobbies together.