Fetishes: know the characteristics, causes, types and more!

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Jennifer Sherman

What are the fetishes?

All human beings have sexual preferences. Besides the sex of the partner, the way the act is performed also varies according to the taste of each one. In this sense, fetishes are desires for certain objects or beings with the aim of achieving personal satisfaction.

Fetishes are natural and, if they respect all the individuals involved, are healthy practices. In this article you will know what is fetish and some of the most famous types. Curious? Read on and find out if your fetish is listed here!

Meaning of fetish

Fetishes are sexual fantasies involving inanimate objects, or body parts, that bring as much excitement, or even more, than the sexual act itself. Thus, people who have a fetish feel stimulated by the very object of their fetish in question. Read on to understand more!

Origin of the word fetish

The origin of the word fetish first occurred in the year 1756 by a French writer known as Charles de Brosses. Since then the understanding of the word fetish has been changing over the centuries.

Its derivation is of Portuguese origin as fetisso, meaning that is related to the word spell. The notion used by Charles was directed to African cults and their symbols. This term was later rescued by other thinkers such as Freud, Kant and Marx, for example.

Soon, its meaning was transformed and its concept suffered several types of contextualization depending on the branch studied. Fetishism can be explained by both psychoanalytic, philosophical, anthropological and psychological biases. Today it is believed that this term does not necessarily refer to perversion.

Causes of fetishism

At the moment the causes of fetishism have not yet been established, and to this day it is the object of study in academic circles. In order to explain this human relationship with fetishism and its causes, the theory of conditioning is approached. Thus, the fetish is perceived as an unconscious reaction that was conditioned during the individual's childhood.

The experiences in childhood led this individual to relate the state of sexual excitement to an object or part of the body. This is the type of association that will accompany him until adulthood, so that his behavior will be conditioned even when he is an adult.

However, there are those who believe that the fetish does not follow the dynamics described in the conditioning theory in childhood. They go further, stating that there is a direct influence at puberty when masturbation is more present.

Considered "normal"

The fetish is considered normal in human society, being present in the most diverse cultures in the world. Although there are some fetishes that may seem quite strange and absurd. This is the kind of normal behavior for most of us, and can be observed on a smaller scale.

Fetishism is acceptable and considered healthy for human beings to the extent that it does not affect others and boundaries are set with society. The fetish is only healthy to the extent that the person is developing and discovering themselves sexually.

When it poses a danger

The fetish offers danger to people in that it conditions all forms of stimulation and pleasure. That is, you enslave your sex life around the fetish only feeling pleasure when it is realized. Soon, you could only maintain any kind of sexual relationship with your fetish.

When this happens, fetishism has gone beyond the field of mere stimulation and has become a sexual disorder. In this case, you may even put your physical integrity and that of your partner at risk. You will then need the help of a professional such as a doctor or therapist to help you treat this disorder.

Characteristics of fetishism

There are several types of fetishes and some characteristics help to classify them as fetishes, and not just a different sexual habit. Read on and learn what are the requirements for a sexual practice to be a fetish.

Always have available

Sexual relations only happen and you will only get pleasure from sex if the goal that awakens your fetish is present. Fetishists may not use it with constancy, but its presence is already enough to fantasize and project its image to generate pleasure.

Doing this will help them stimulate their body and feel aroused. Only then will they be able to feel comfortable to the point of reaching orgasm.

Needs little stimulation

There are times when just visualizing and imagining are not enough for fetishists. He will need to pick up, smell and rub the object on his body to feel excitement and pleasure. The same may request that your partner use the object while you are having sex.

Therefore, people with some kind of fetish need some kind of stimulus in the sexual act. For they depend on the fetish to achieve pleasure and satisfaction in sexual intercourse.

Deep Worship

It is possible that the person has a deep adoration for the object of fetish, worshipping and adoring it to the point of blindly dedicating himself to it in sex. In this way he will be taken to complete subservience of the body, that is, there will be no other way to feel pleasure except through his fetish.

Love of the thing

Those who have a fetish for an object or a part of the body come to really love the thing. Being very important to live these experiences with your partner and leaving them closer and more passionate in the relationship when both feel pleasure for the same fetish.

However, for the practice to be healthy will need to respect some limits. Especially if your partner does not feel interest or is uncomfortable with the fetish. Soon, dialogue is worth it so that your paraphilia does not affect your relationship.

Fetish types

Are you ready to know the 11 most famous types of fetish? Maybe you've already heard of some, but you're sure to be surprised. Read on and find out!


The French expression "ménage à trois" has the literal meaning in Portuguese as "family of three" and it refers to a relationship between a couple and a third member, male or female. Soon, the fetish would involve one more person in the sexual relationship, having three people having sex at the same time.

There are other specific cases of ménage that occur when one of the spouses has only the desire to see his or her partner having sex with another person. It can even be a stranger, the important thing is that the act is performed in his or her presence.


Sadomasochism is inserted in the BDSM universe, or better known as Bondage. It usually involves a couple and one of them must fulfill the role of dominator, while the other must be submissive to their wills. It is common for the couple to find pleasure through pain, either through sadism or masochism of each individual.

Contrary to what is commonly thought, the practice of this fetishism happens from an agreement between both parties. For, Bondage could become an abusive and violent practice to the point of being a crime, to prevent this from happening the couple usually has a safe word to preserve the limits of the submissive.


The podophilia, also known as one who has desire for the feet, is very present among most men. They like to caress, smell and even lick the feet of his partner, in some moments is even requested by man that your body is stimulated through interactions with the foot.

Soon, in this fetish the person will feel pleasure to be stimulated by the feet of the other, and can often achieve orgasm and sexual satisfaction only with these stimuli. It is also quite common that foot fetishists ask the other person to use shoes, clogs and other footwear.


This is one of the types of fetishes that can bother many, besides being considered one of the most absurd and strange. Coprophilia means that the person has a desire for feces. Some people claim to have this desire as a form of anal eroticism.


Another type of fetish that has a greater occurrence among men. The mecanophilia comprises those people who have as fetish object the machines, especially cars. Soon, pleasure and satisfaction will be achieved by these people to relate close or interact with your car.


You may have seen in investigative series cases of killers that despite the nature of their crimes they receive letters from fans and other people who treat them as an idol. This is the fetish known as Hybristophilia, which is nothing more than the sexual attraction to violent killers.


The trichophilia persists in sexual excitement from the use of hair and hair of the partner. This is the type of paraphilia that can be divided into different categories such as hirsutophilia which is the attraction to human body hair, or pubephilia which refers to the attraction to pubic hair.


Acrotomophilia, on the other hand, is related to those people who feel arousal with the parts of their body that have been amputated. Any part that has been amputated, from a finger to an arm, or a leg will serve as a fetish object. And its perception will arouse sexual satisfaction in the relationship.

Therefore, the origin of this fetish is precisely related to the absence of this part of the body. It can also be confused with other fetishes such as apotemnophilia which is when there is an excitement when the member of one's own body is amputated. This type of fetishism could be considered a risk to life, so it should be treated.


This is the type of paraphilia that is considered a crime with a penalty provided by law, which can be executed from three months to one year in prison, or a fine depending on the severity of the crime.

Zoophilia consists in the fetish for animals, so the person will feel pleasure when relating sexually with animals. This practice is also known as bestialism, or in Latin as coitus bestiarum, being recognized in human history.

But regardless of its presence, it is considered a sexual disorder that requires treatment because it is capable of endangering the health and life of the individual who practices it.


Insufflation is a way of feeling sexual excitement by blowing on other people's orifices. This is a practice that requires care, because depending on the orifices that are used can bring negative consequences to the body of the individual. Being able to generate even health problems.

For example, if you blow air into the vagina of your partner during oral sex it can even result in an embolism. And in some cases it can even be fatal for women. Since depending on the sexual position this air introduced into the vagina may not come out, thus causing a gas embolism, generating bubbles and clogging blood vessels.

The air that goes into the bloodstream can generate a condition capable of killing the woman in up to 30 minutes. In case she suffers from heart or lung diseases the probability of this happening can be even higher!


There is a term that has become popular on the internet known as golden shower, it refers to the desire of the person by urine. Soon, the person will feel sexual pleasure to receive a stream of urine from the partner or urinating in it. In some cases, it may even happen to have pleasure by drinking the urine.

The practice of urolagnia fetish is commonly known as ondinism, urinary eroticism can arouse even other forms of paraphilia such as coprophilia. Therefore, it is worth being careful, because using excrement in the sexual act could attract diseases and put your health at risk.

Can fetishes be healthy?

Fetishes occur naturally in human beings, becoming an impulse capable of resignifying their desires and transferring their satisfaction around the object of the fetish. Despite being quite associated with sex, there are other cases of fetishism in which the individual is able to direct their desires to the arts, for example.

This is a practice that arouses many prejudices, arousing in some cases the repulsion of the person and his fetish. However, its meaning should be understood as a sexual preference of the individual and his option should be respected. The important thing is to stay alert so that your fetish is not negatively affecting people.

For, the fetish can evolve from a paraphilia to a sexual disorder, becoming something dangerous especially for the individual. If you, or your partner, do not feel comfortable with your fantasy is necessary to create limits not to damage the relationship and seek treatment so that this psychological disorder does not evolve.

When you become dependent on your object of desire and can only achieve sexual satisfaction through it, you will need professional support. Not only to treat your dependency, but also to understand the origin of your fetish. Then you will be able to better deal with your impulses.

As an expert in the field of dreams, spirituality and esotericism, I am dedicated to helping others find the meaning in their dreams. Dreams are a powerful tool for understanding our subconscious minds and can offer valuable insights into our daily lives. My own journey into the world of dreams and spirituality began over 20 years ago, and since then I have studied extensively in these areas. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with others and helping them to connect with their spiritual selves.