A fetish is an uncommon sexual obsession that an individual has with a specific object or part of the body. While most fetishes are rarely dangerous to a person’s personal life or mental state, many fetishists can become distressed, as they begin to heavily rely on their fetishes to reach a level of sexual gratification. There are also treatment options available to those who seek to rid themselves of their fetish.

The causes of fetishistic disorder are inconclusive; some theorists believe that fetishes develop from early childhood experiences where an object was associated with a particularly powerful form of sexual arousal or gratification, while other researchers suggest that fetishes are a result of later childhood and adolescent experiences, such as masturbation activity.

In this article, we will look at the three main symptoms of fetishistic disorder.


1. Recurring, intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors that involve the use of inanimate objects

To be diagnosed with fetishistic disorder, a person has to have recurring, intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors that involve non-living objects – such as female undergarments and shoes – or a highly specific focus on non-genital body parts. These fantasies, urges, or behaviors are called “paraphilias” and they have to recur over a period of at least six months for an individual to be officially diagnosed with the disorder.

Common fetish objects include female undergarments, shoes, gloves, and leather clothing. Body parts often associated with fetishistic disorder include feet, toes, and hair.

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