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Sexual Fetishes – Essay Sample

Sexual Fetishes – Essay Sample

Sexual fetishism is a type of sexual conduct, in which the source and stimulus for sexual desire are inanimate objects: clothing, shoes, items made from certain materials and so on. The origin of the word is French (from French fetiche – Idol).

In 1887, the famous psychologist Alfred Binet wrote an article, in which he first used the word “fetish” to describe the pathology, when the patient is experiencing heightened sexual arousal from inanimate objects (mainly from the different types of clothing and footwear). Fetishism has always been quite common. However, there is a need to distinguish cases in which fetishism is acceptable from a social and medical point of view, and when it is considered to be pathology.

From the perspective of modern medicine, fetishism can be considered a disease, when it evokes an irresistible desire or becomes a cause of unacceptable actions. It is a common belief that mostly men suffer from fetishism; however, it often manifests in women as well. Among the most common female fetishes are muscular torso and body hair.

A sexual fetish object may serve different purposes: it can be a piece of clothing, body parts, objects and animals, certain behavior and appearance, etc. Every fetishist adores a unique object that sometimes can be extraordinary and unexpected. Among the most common objects are underwear and parts of the body.
As a rule, these objects are related to the opposite sex. Women’s panties, stockings, tights, bras, and shoes are the usual fetishes for men. Sometimes fetishists have a distinct appeal for the body parts, such as hair, breasts, legs and feet.

For a long time, doctors considered fetishism a sexual perversion, a disease, and insisted on a thorough medical and psychological treatment of fetishists. In the middle of the XX century, after the sexual revolution, the attitude towards fetishists improved remarkably. Now it can be classified as a type of paraphilia. Paraphilia is a sexual satisfaction achieved with the help of unusual or culturally inappropriate incentives. The term “paraphilia” does not sound as disgusting as “perversion,” but hardly changes the situation. The problem is that the types of fetishism are so diverse that it is rather difficult to set boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable. However, there is a way to define how unhealthy fetishism is in each case. The fetishist simply has to determine what is more vital to him: the object of excitement or fetish that is associated with it.

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