You’re pretty happy with your current partner. He or she is sweet, considerate and fun to be around. The sex has been enjoyable, but nothing out of the ordinary. You’ve got it down: guy on top, girl on bottom, fifteen minutes and you’re done. There are no surprises, but you like it that way.
Then one day out of the blue your partner shyly confide that he or she has been secretly fantasizing about tying you up with human hair and force-feeding you Cheetos.
You freak. The person you’ve swapping spit with for months has turned out to be a genuine pervert, and so you dump them without a second thought. In addition, you blab to all of your friends about the weird fantasy, turning your ex into the object of ridicule.
Wait a minute. Wasn’t this the same person that was sweet, considerate, and fun to be around? Why did that all go out the window the second you discovered their strange sexual quirk?
Everybody has “sexual quirks.” They’re a fact of human sexuality. From fetishes to fantasies, what turns one person on might disgust another. You like sex missionary-style every Sunday night? Some people would rather be (and often are) whipped with barbed wire.
Let’s talk about fantasies first. Most people fantasize about things that they would never do in real life, because fantasies often lie in the realm of impossibility. Thus the meek office secretary becomes an all-powerful dominatrix, if only in her mind.
Sometimes fantasies remain just that — fantasies. But sometimes people want to turn these fantasies into a reality. Who wouldn’t want to do something they found arousing? But realizing these fantasies usually means voicing your desires as well as finding a willing partner (or two, or three). Admitting a fantasy can be embarrassing, so most people will only tell a partner they trust.
Since not everybody shares the same fantasies, you’re bound to find someone else’s a little strange. But unless it truly turns you off, there’s not reason not to indulge a partner’s fantasy. If it makes them happy, then what’s the downside? You might eventually find that turning them on turns you on, and you’ve instantly added some spice to your otherwise blah sex life.
If you’re the one with the fantasy, make sure you trust the person you’re telling. Bring it up in an off-handed way to see if it piques their interest. If they don’t want to do it, don’t pressure them. But you might find that they’ve been fantasizing about the exact same thing!
Fetishes, on the other hand, are defined as sexual arousal from otherwise non-sexual objects or situations. A fetish can be a body part, a physical characteristic, or sexual practice. They often play a part in people’s fantasies. Contrary to popular belief, fetishes aren’t unusual. If you think about it, most men share a common fetish: black lingerie.
So keep an open mind. Try something new. And most importantly make sure you’re being safe and consensual.
For your entertainment (and hopefully some educational value) a list of common fetishes:
1. Light Bondage: A lot of people fantasize about being tied up or tying other people up. It introduces an element of power play that wasn’t there before. You can use scarves or ties to comfortably tie someone up, or invest in a cheap pair of handcuffs. Just make sure that you’re not tying up circulation and that the person is comfortable. And never, EVER tie anything around someone’s neck.
2. BDSM: Light bondage’s more intense cousin, BDSM stands for Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, and Sadism and Masochism. It usually involves a power relationship, and people who are into BDSM are often aroused by pain or by causing pain to others. There are entire counter-cultures that revolve around BDSM, and most sex shops carry BDSM materials (including leather clothing, whips, chains, paddles, dog collars, and the like). If you’re into BDSM, have a “safe word” (something non-sexual, like “paperclip”) to make sure that there’s a clear way to end BDSM play if you’re not enjoying it.
3. Feet: It’s mostly men that have this fetish, for one obvious reason: High heels are sexy. And the upside for women? Foot massages are awesome. Just keep your feet clean and your toenails nails short (or painted bright hooker red.)
4. Clothing: Whether it’s that short schoolgirl skirt or a black corset, what your wear can be incredibly sexy. Role playing often includes a costume of some kind (like a nurse’s outfit). Silk, satin, and lace are common fetishes, as are leather and PVC (a black rubber material).
5. Agrexophilia: Arousal by being caught. This usually applies to people who enjoy sex in public places, where they have a chance of being discovered. If you do decide to partake, just make sure you’re willing to face the legal consequences if caught.
Some not so common fetishes:
1. Bodily fluids: Coprophilia (sexual pleasure from human feces), urophilia (urine), and emetophilia (vomit, also called Roman Showers). There is strong evidence that Mozart may have been a coprophiliac.
2. Acrotomophilia: Sexual attraction to amputees. King Adolf Frederick of Sweden (1751-1771) was an acrotomophiliac.
3. Acrophilia: An erotic fixation on heights.
4. Axilism: Sexual attraction to armpits.
5. Dentrophilia: Sexual arousal from trees.
Some illegal fetishes:
- 1. Pedophilia: Sex with a minor (someone who is under the age of 18) is highly illegal in the United States. There are some states that have the consenting age as young as 16, but any sexual act with a child is considered statuatory rape and is subject to law.
2. Necrophilia: Sexual arousal from corpses. Necrophilia is more common among those who handle corpses (i.e. those who work in morgues or cemeteries).
3. Bestiality (or Zoophilia): Sex with animals. Many societies throughout history have accepted bestiality (including the Egyptians, the Hopi Indians, and the African Masai tribe). In the United States it’s only illegal in twenty-four states.