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Monday 12 September 2011

5 Most Common Fetishes

The subject of sexual fetishism is one of those taboos that is, well, not all that taboo. In the right atmosphere, people barely hesitate to share what "really turns them on," and you'd be hard-pressed to find a women's magazine that hasn't delved into the subject of fantasies, sex toys and stuff-he-won't-tell-you-he-wants.

Are these fetishes? Sometimes. Technically, a sexual fetish is an intense focus on an inanimate object (like a shoe), a body part (like a foot) or a medium (such as leather or silk) that's essential to a person's arousal but does not have any inherent sensuality. A true fetishist cannot have a satisfying sexual experience without it, and it's a problem, often interfering with real intimacy and sometimes resulting in destructive behavior.

But in the more common use of the term, a fetish is pretty harmless. It plays a supporting role, not the lead, in a person's sexual experience. There are literally countless fetishes out there. Almost everybody's got their "thing." Still, there are those that turn up over and over in conversations, surveys and bedrooms around the world -- a handful of sexual preferences that seem to be almost hardwired.

Here, five of the most common fetishes out there, beginning with one that's relatively new…

5: Body Piercings
While not at the top of the list across all age ranges, the piercing turn-on is big with the under-40 set. Tongue, lip, nipple and genital piercings have particularly high fetish value, what with their often-direct involvement in sex acts; but other locations count, too. It's often the piercing itself -- the thought of the piercing act, the feel of the cold metal, the contrast of hard-on-soft and even the perceived deviance that, for piercing fetishists, can contribute to the arousal.

Other body modifications, too, have their place on the fetish lists of the young. Tattoos drive a lot of people crazy, ear discs can induce swoons, and surgical implants (which can make a human look, say, alien or demonic) have deep sex appeal for a select group.
Kids these days.

4: Hair
It's no secret that hair can be sensual. All those tousled, wind-blown Victoria's Secret models are a pretty big hint. But hair-as-fetish goes beyond the obvious.

This one primarily (but not only) affects men, many of whom like to involve women's hair in the sexual experience in some way, and it can be highly specific. Hair, it seems, can make the woman. Some men are only attracted to women with long blond hair, or curly brown hair or very short hair. There are those who are turned on exclusively by redheads, and others who require the fake, bleached-blond look.

And there are those driven crazy by feeling that hair all over their body.
Women, too, may have their preferences, usually in the facial realm. To some women, sex just isn't sex without some scratchy facial hair in the mix.

It can also be the lack-there-of that gets people going. Rare but still out there, a select group of men find bald women to have an irresistible appeal, and a whole lot of men (and women) enjoy the newly exploded, Brazilian bikini-waxing trend.
Also on the keratin-based-fetish menu? Nails, especially the long, bright-red ones.

4: Leather
With entire clubs dedicated to it, this fetish scores pretty high on the most-common list. Leather, and particularly black leather, has become almost inextricably associated with sex -- at least when a woman wears it; and there's more than a couple of women out there who can't resist a bad boy in a leather biker jacket.

The leather fetish, though, takes it further.
Often associated with sadomasochistic sex play, leather is a fetish that crosses generations and genders. Leather pants, corsets, boots, chaps, full-body costumes, masks, full-length coats, gloves -- you name it, there's a leather fetishist who can't get enough of it. Perhaps it's the animalistic nature of it, or the way it can act as a shield for tender, human skin. Or maybe it just looks kind of tough and scary and for some, there's nothing hotter than fear.

Leather is not alone, though, in the media-fetish realm. Rubber, latex, fur and silk are also highly popular options, as far as these things go.

2: Shoes
Shoe fetishes are one of the most commonly encountered in the inanimate-object realm, and we're not talking about the woman with 500 pairs. We're talking mostly about men, mostly about high heels, and mostly about a woman wearing them (and possibly nothing else) during sex.
Sure, there may be women out there with this fixation, but the majority of shoe fetishists (and fetishists in general, in fact), are men. It's the appearance of the shoe that matters -- how high the heel is, the pointiness of the toe, the shaft length of a boot. Some say it's the proximity to the leg, which inevitably leads to the genital region, that makes shoes so very titillating to so many.

Stylistically speaking, knee-high and over-the-knee boots are extremely popular. For some, a pair of red stilettos or very strappy heels is the key to arousal. And then, if strippers know their thing, and they probably do, Lucite heels could be the unsung hero of the shoe-fetish world

1: Feet
To most people, feet are just, well, feet. They tend to sweat, and can be stinky. They've got callouses, and occasionally a second toe that's oddly longer than the first. For many people, "sexy" they're not.

But to others -- a lot of others -- feet are about the biggest turn-on imaginable. A 2007 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that feet (and their little piggies) were the most highly fetishized body part, with nearly half of the thousands of survey respondents choosing them over all others (and that includes boobs and butts!).

Why? No one is entirely sure. There are those who believe that feet and genitals are closely connected in brain circuitry. Others suggest it may simply be that feet lead to legs, and legs lead to genitals.

Whatever the cause, feet (and toes and shoes) hold an unmatched rank in the realm of everyday fetishes, and that's just fine. If a man dumps a woman because her second toe is a bit long -- well, that may call for some therapy.

Otherwise, go with what works. Everybody's got their thing.

15 Strangest Sexual Fetishes: Photo Gallery. CBS News. (Aug. 1, 2011);contentBody
Dobson, Roger. "Heels are the world's No. 1 fetish." The Independent UK. Feb. 25, 2007. (Aug. 1, 2011)
Fetishism. Psychology Today. (Aug. 1, 2011)
Friedman, Emily. "What's in a Fetish? Traumatic Sexual Experiences Often Shape Arousal Patterns." ABC News. October 28, 2009. (Aug. 1, 2011)
Paraphilias. Psychology Today. (Aug. 3, 2011)
Top 10 Fetishes. AskMen. (Aug. 1, 2011)

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