Exploring Fetishes

There are all kinds of sex out there—wild sex, kinky sex, “vanilla” sex, exploratory sex, makeup sex, fantasy sex, self sex—every kind of sex you can imagine (and probably some you can’t). And we’re not just talking about different positions or locations here (Mile High Club, anyone?). We’re talking fetishes.

Sexual fetishes are incredibly widespread, not to mention wide-ranging. They are defined as the need for a very specific type of stimulation (be it touching a material, watching someone do something, performing an action, touching an object, looking at a particular body part, etc.) to become sexually aroused. In addition to true fetishes, there are also countless sexual preferences or kinks, which are things that really turn someone on or that they particularly enjoy, but aren’t necessarily required for sexual gratification. But anyway, the whole fetish/kink/”Oooh, I like that” category comes in all shapes and sizes, and we’d like to explore some of them here.

First off, there’s something super important we need to cover: having a fetish does not make you “weird.” It doesn’t make a person bad, or sick, or dangerous (as long as you stay safe and approach it with consent from everyone involved). Fetishes don’t even make you an outcast. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that lots of people have them, and the majority of those with fetishes—yep, just regular, everyday people—are able to easily integrate their desires into their sexual lives.

Also, there are varying degrees of fetishes. Everything from a mild “craving” for something to an absolute, 100% requirement of it to get off. Think about it like this: if someone has a bondage fetish, they may just want to be loosely tied up with a scarf, or they may want handcuffs, a gag and the whole nine yards. It really just depends on the person. Make sense?

Now let’s get into what we’ve uncovered as some of the top fetishes based on a range of surveys from popular publications.

1) Group Sex and Swinging

When it comes to sex, even two people can feel a little lonely for some, so they need some extra playmates in bed. Group sex, including the popular “threesome” is an act that can be a lot of fun when you’re all in it for the same reasons. Swinging is a little different. That’s when couples actually switch partners (sometimes more than once) to have sex with different types of people while still sharing the experience with their spouse or significant other.

2) Role-Playing

This could be anything from adult babies (when someone dresses up as and acts like a baby or child) to teacher/student scenarios, wearing costumes, pretending to be characters from books or movies, and much more. Typically, role-playing is rooted in the desire to escape and be someone else for a while, which can be incredibly arousing to many people. Additionally, this type of fetish may involve other desires, like being spanked or scolded.

3) Domination and Submission

Ever heard of 50 Shades of Grey? We’d be surprised if you haven’t because this steamy novel gets some serious credit for putting domination and submission right in the middle of American pop culture. Often referred to as BDSM (bondage, domination and submission, sadism and masochism), these are among the most common fetishes in the world. They’re based on having power over someone or giving up power to experience a unique sexual high. This could range from tamer activities like having your hands held down to more extreme versions that could involve whole rooms designed for sexual bondage. Shameless website plug: read our Beforeplay blog about the role of safe words.

4) Rubberism

Rubber. Latex. Vinyl. Leather. A desire to be sexually intimate with someone dressed in these shiny, skin-tight materials is a very distinct sexual fetish. “Rubberists” tend to enjoy the pornographic quality that this type of wardrobe can bring to a sexual encounter, and men in particular express a keen desire to be in the sack with a “bad girl.”

5) Urolagnia

This is the act of being aroused by urine, and it’s a fetish that ranges from the desire to watch someone wet themselves through their clothes to wanting a partner to urinate on you (aka a golden shower). Experts hypothesize that people may develop this fetish out of the desire to feel liberated (like the feeling of peeing in public) or to watch their partner look helpless or humiliated so that they can take care of him or her.

6) Voyeurism and Exhibitionism

This fetish is characterized by the enjoyment of watching others have sex or exposing oneself in public. Interesting fact: the adult entertainment industry claims that 80% of its audience is men, so it makes sense that the prevalence of voyeurism is three times higher in males than it is in females. Voyeurism and exhibitionism are based in the idea of the behaviors being taboo—it’s risky, sexy and raw—but you must remember that exposing yourself in public is illegal, so keep your “exhibitions” in safe, consensual places please.

7) Body Worship

Body worship can come in many forms and center on many parts of the human physique, the most common being feet. People with a fetish for a specific body part may enjoy kissing it, licking it, touching it or doing any number of things to it. Besides feet, the most popular body part fetishes are stomachs, breasts, butts and hands.

Other top fetishes include cross-dressing, physical discomfort (spanking, for instance), body piercings, pigtails or braids, makeup (like fingernail polish and lipstick), and many more. Just remember: no matter what you’re into, as long as you #JustTalkAboutIt, respect your partner(s), use a reliable method of birth control to prevent unintended pregnancy and protect yourselves against STDs, there is unlimited fun to be had. So go ahead and explore the unusual. You may find out that you like it more than you thought.