Discovering one’s inner fetish

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August 22, 2008

5:28 AM

Beginning college is about unforeseen opportunities. As a freshman you can start new and interesting things, and sometimes even things that make you a little uncomfortable. That’s right; I’m talking about fetishes.

First, what exactly is a fetish? A fetish is a sexual fixation on something not ordinarily considered arousing. Almost anything can fall into this category. The most commonly referred to fetish is the foot fetish. Someone who has a foot fetish may like to lick or suck feet, penetrate or be penetrated by toes, or just admire them. When it comes to fetishes, there is no limit; if you find it arousing, it doesn’t matter what you’re interested in doing with it, it’s a fetish.

There are three main types of fetishes: media, form and animate. Media fetishes deal with materials, such as silk and rubber. If you only like pornography in which the women are wearing leather, you have a media fetish. Form fetishes derive from shapes. Getting turned on by certain types of shoes — like stilettos or combat boots — indicates a form fetish. Lastly, there are animate fetishes, those dealing with parts of the human body. Foot fetishes naturally fall into this category.

Understanding what is a fetish is the first step to discovering whether you have one. If you do, you’ve probably already noticed something’s up, but might have not have made the full connection. Just ask yourself if there is some inanimate or nonsexual object that gets your juices flowing. Can’t pass a shoe store without your heart rate skyrocketing? Figure out what’s turning you on. Is it the curve of the shoe or the idea of someone slipping her luscious toes into it?

Unfortunately, discovery is the easy part. The hard part is putting your fetish into action with a partner. You have to remember that not everyone shares the same fetishes. Often, people are uncomfortable at the thought of focusing sexual energy on something they previously had not considered arousing.

This is no reason not to try, though. I am of the opinion that everyone is a little freaky deep down inside and, given the right situation, can be convinced to try new things. Now, your first time in bed with a new boyfriend may not be the best time to bring up your not-so-innocent love of clowns. But if your fetish is something that is truly important (and maybe even necessary) to your arousal, it’s important that you disclose it eventually.

Some fetishes seem to lie even further out of the mainstream. For instance, some find detailed medical examinations pleasurable. I’m not just talking about your girlfriend in a naughty nurse outfit; I mean urine samples, enemas, cold metal objects and the like. If you have a fetish like this, there is no reason to be ashamed. However, you must learn to accept that it may limit your sexual partners to those who can appreciate your fetish. While many people could get used to having their man obsess over their belly button, you may have trouble finding partners who really get into especially unconventional fetishes.

Whether you’re into feet or rubber, clowns or enemas, you should celebrate your fetish. The beginning of the school year is a great time to get out there and try new things. Welcome to Williamsburg, my little fetishists.

Maya Horowitz is the Flat Hat sex columnist. Don’t mind if she stares, fixated, on the perfect arch of your foot.

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