Brief History of Fetishism

Sexual fetishes are far more common than we think. A recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research, finds that one in three people in the US have taken part in one, at least once in their lives. Most of us have a predilection for something, for instance, a couple might enjoy incorporating bondage, food, or role play occasionally into their sex life, in order to “spice things up.” That doesn’t mean their fetishists. They just enjoy a little kink. Desiring to wear a diaper, to be spanked, to kiss a woman’s foot, don a collar and leash, be tied down, or feel a particular fabric against your skin can all be considered fetishes.

While it's tough to really pin down the true origin of Fetishism, it's hard to believe it hasn't always been a part of sexuality. The word fetish derives from the French fétiche and a fetish is defined as an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others. Fétichisme was first used in an erotic context by Alfred Binet in 1887. He also invented the first practical IQ test. Alfred had a lot going on.

Sex counselor Jessica O'Reilly said that just as people have different tastes for food, they have diverse sexual fantasies. So a fetish may be “one element of our diversity in terms of sexual interest and arousal.” O’Reilly believes that usually, it’s something that’s imprinted in the mind when a person is first becoming aware of their own sexuality. Lots of people remember when they first acquired their fetish.

Though the field of sexology is new, most therapists today believe that having a fetish is perfectly healthy, as long as it's expressed with a consenting, adult partner. But suppressing one or trying to condition it out could cause psychological damage. Dr. Richard Krueger, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University told Healthline, “The literature is limited, but it would suggest that they’re (fetishists) healthy or healthier” than those who don’t have one.

The reality is that fetishes are common and as long as everyone is on board can be a healthy part of your sex life. So get out there and have some fun already.