The word “fetish” typically evokes images of black bodysuits and complicated sexual contraptions, but sexual fetishes aren’t what the activity or object of desire is so much as the role it plays in someone’s life. It’s typically referred to as an action that someone cannot get sexually aroused without.
Read on to learn about common sexual fetishes and what they entail.
- Impact Play: This refers to spanking, flogging, paddling, and other forms of consensual striking. Spanking is often an easy and safe BDSM entry point that leads to exploring more, such as purchasing a crop to use with a partner. But as with any sexual fetish, it’s important to negotiate boundaries beforehand. It’s a good idea to start out simply using your hand before investing in bigger impact play toys, such as a whip or paddle.
- Role-Playing: Role-playing means acting out a sexual fantasy with your partner(s), either once or as part of an ongoing fantasy. While it can be a fetish within itself, it’s also a healthy way to act out other fantasies. The beauty of role-playing is that you can have your partner dress up and indulge your fantasy consensually in your own home.
- Foot Fetish: A foot fetish involves a desire to worship feet through acts such as massage, kissing, and smelling, and it’s an extremely common fetish. If your partner shares that they have a foot fetish, it may be initially disturbing, but it’s an opportunity for you to discuss a potentially exciting new part of your sex life together.
- Anal Sex: You don’t need to have an anal fetish to engage in anal sex, but plenty of people of people do specifically get off on it. Anal play can range from adding a finger in the butt during vaginal sex to using butt plugs to having anal sex with a penis or a dildo.
- Lingerie: One of the most common sexual fetishes centers on something that may be sitting inside your dresser right now – lingerie. This may show up in sexual play between and among individuals who may not even consider themselves kinky or to have a fetish. While many people get aroused by sexy underwear, lingerie becomes a sexual fetish when someone needs it in order to fully engage. A common lingerie fetish involves stockings, which can coincide with a love of feet.
- Group Sex: If you’ve ever swiped on Tinder, you’re likely aware that many couples are searching for a third, although group sex can mean more than just a threesome. If you have a group sex fetish, but really only want to have sex with one other person, try using porn, dirty talk, or role-playing with the use of sex toys to explore within your current relationship.
- Sensation Play: This can refer to a large range of activities based on the receiving or withholding of different stimuli. For instance, one partner may blindfold the other to deprive them of their sense of sight, a form of sensory deprivation, or they may drag an ice cube along their skin, a form of sensation play known as temperature play.
- Orgasm Control: Part of BDSM, it involves an element of dominance and submission. Edging, in which the submissive partner is brought to the brink of climax and then forced to stop – often repeatedly – is an example of orgasm control. The idea here is that for as long as you like, you let your partner take the reins and determine when and how you orgasm.
- Bondage: Bondage is when one partner restrains the other. It’s usually a form of dominance and submission and falls under BDSM. You can bind your partner using objects you already have around, or purchase specialty kink items like handcuffs. To engage in restraint play safely, establish boundaries and a safe word, emphasize consent and communication at every step, and start slow.
Remember, regardless of your fetish or kink, consent is vital. Once you obtain consent, expressing your sexual desires is one of the healthiest things you can do for your sex life. Sexual fetishes that are repressed rather than expressed can take their toll on both individuals and relationships.