Your fetishes are getting really specific

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Nadia has a very specific fetish. When Nadia became sexually active, the fetish became more obvious. Seeing a man wearing a backwards cap gave her goosebumps. Knowing how many people have fetishes is difficult to gauge because of the sense of shame some can feel around disclosing sexual behaviour, says Dr Sarah Ashton, a sexologist and psychologist. Not everyone is clear on what makes something a fetish, and we can feel alone with our sexual interests in a society that tends to shame anything outside the "norm".

As opposed to a preference for something, like clean sheets or chocolate ice cream, a fetish has a stronger connection to sexual arousal. Dr Ashton commonly hears about fetishes related to clothing, like shoes and stockings, or textures, like PVC and latex. But she says the list is long: "If you can think of it, then people probably have a fetish of it. A comprehensive study from on the prevalence of different fetishes found preferences for body parts or features and for objects usually associated with the body were most common 33 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.

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That was followed by preferences for other people's behaviour 18 per centown behaviour 7 per centsocial behaviour 7 per cent and objects unrelated to the body 5 per cent. Anisa Varasteh, a clinical sexologist based in Adelaide, says that's difficult to determine. She says fetishes are multi-sensory experiences. And because there are so many different reasons people find certain fetishes arousing for example, one person might like feet for the visual element, another for what they represent to them it's hard to say what the origin might be. But one of the most commonly referenced theories is Pavlovian conditioning.

Neen has been into various forms of kink, and the bondage and discipline parts of BDSM for 30 years. Nadia doesn't always ask her sexual partners to wear a backwards cap.

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But it does intensify sex for her. For me the idea of the cap is something I like to include, because I find that for me, for whatever reason, it sparks a higher sex drive. So when I find that I'm really in that moment, I will ask them to wear it just because I think for me it adds another level of intensity.

Ms Varasteh says embracing parts of ourselves that we might otherwise push away due to feelings of shame is the first step to integrating them into our lives and "being more functional". If there are other individuals involved, it's important fetishes are only acted upon with their enthusiastic consent. Dr Ashton says if it's causing harm to you or other people, you might want support from a sexual health professional to reduce or redirect the arousal.

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But otherwise, fetishes are healthy and we should encourage people to explore what feels good for them in a way that is safe, says Dr Ashton. Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week.

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Print content Print with images and other media. Print text only. Print Cancel. It all started as a teen, when she saw a classmate wearing one while playing footy. I found it really hard to resist. But Dr Ashton says there is huge diversity in fetish behavior and preferences. What is a fetish? A fetish involves arousal to an inanimate object or a specific target, says Dr Ashton. Feet and objects associated with feet were the most common target. What causes fetishes? Staying with feet for a moment, why are they such a common fetish target?

They have a fetish for shoes, which they first noticed at a kink show.

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They experienced abuse as and used to wonder if this played a role in their fetish. Is it OK to have a fetish? Fetishes are only harmful if they cause distress to the individual. address. Posted 20 Apr 20 Apr Ways to get out of your head and into your body during sex. This is the first step to feeling sexually confident. How often should couples be having sex? Is your attachment style killing your sex life? I've spoken to hundreds of women about sex. This is what I've learnt. Sexual Activity, Relationships.

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Your fetishes are getting really specific

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What Is a Sexual Fetish?