“People can fetishize anything.”

Fetish Defined

A fetish is sexual excitement in response to an object or body part that’s not typically sexual, such as shoes or feet. They’re more common in men.

Many people with fetishes must have the object of their attraction at hand or fantasize about it, alone or with a partner, to become sexually aroused, get an erection, and have an orgasm.

A person with a fetish might masturbate while they hold, smell, rub, or taste the object. Or they might ask their partner to wear or use it during sex.

There is nothing terrible, dirty, or wrong about having a fetish or exploring your sexual side. Gay men have been known to embrace fetishes at a high rate and even have created communities around them, such as in the Leather and Rubber scenes. Being sex-positive means having a healthy relationship with your intimate desires and respecting those of others.

Where Do Fetishes Come From?

Sexual behavior experts disagree on the causes. Some people can trace their attraction back to early childhood before they were aware of their sexuality.

Another theory revolves around children who transfer feelings of unrequited love from their parents onto an object, resulting in a fetish. This is closely related to displacement in psychology.

The cause of some fetishes may be brain chemistry, which is invisible to the human eye and even difficult for scientists and doctors to understand.  Some researchers believe that the foot fetish is so common because the areas in the brain that coincide with the genitals and feet are adjacent, and the wires get crossed. Read more about the fetish for feet here.

A fetish can also come from seeing inappropriate sexual behavior during childhood or from sexual abuse, says Kenneth Rosenberg, MD. He’s a psychiatry professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The big takeaway is that fetishes are not only “normal” but widespread. Where they arise in our personal history or brain chemistry does not matter. The fact is, this is the way we are wired, and it is wonderful. Don’t stress out trying to figure out why you love the smell of dirty jockstraps; just enjoy the funk and have fun.

Are Fetishes OK?

A sexual fetish is not a disorder, but it can reach that level if it causes intense, lasting distress.

When does a fetish become a problem?

Most importantly, you can engage in fetishistic behavior without adverse effects. Just think of how many people are aroused by a pair of sneakers or a dirty jockstrap. What is a fetish that’s a bad thing? The DSM categorizes a fetish as a disorder only when it becomes the primary source of sexual satisfaction, disrupts regular sexual intercourse, and causes distress. However, this is the case for less than 1% of the population.

If your fetish has become problematic, you may want to seek psychiatric help from a qualified doctor. Several types of therapy have proven effective at treating fetishism when it becomes a disorder, and medication can help, too.

For 99% of people who display some fetishistic tendencies, their best bet is to find a partner willing to experiment with them! Because talking about your fetishes can be difficult, we recommend you read this post about sexual communication. If you’re here because your partner has revealed his fetish to you, cut him some slack. He’s likely been feeling guilty and wants to be honest with you.

For some people, the fact that they have a sexual association with an object leads to guilt as well as arousal. This repeated cycle can turn what was once more casual arousal at the sight of an object into a legitimate fetish, so you cut yourself some slack too. Don’t think about what’s wrong with a fetish. Instead, focus on what a fetish is good for – amazing sex and steamy fantasies!

You Must Communicate

There are lots of gay guys that like particular fetishes but are afraid that their current or future partners will not approve. They may be correct, but many times this is fear talking and not reality. Also, you create a barrier that he will notice by not sharing something as personal as your sexual fetishes with your man. This will eventually create problems in your relationship. The worst thing you can do is search outside of your relationship for ways to satisfy your fetish. At least take the time to discuss your fetish with your partner before you decide that he will hate you for it.

Open communication about fetishes and other sexual desires can lead to a more fulfilling sex life and a deeper bond with your man. If you refuse to talk or either of you makes the other feel bad for having a fetish or paraphilia, it can breed resentment and break down your relationship. If the request is legal and consensual, consider giving it a try. The resulting sex may be the stuff of dreams that opens doors, but you’ll never know if you don’t try!

Who is Beastly?

Alexander Cheves is a respected sex columnist and contributing Editor for The Advocate and known by his friends in the kink and leather community as Beastly. Notably, Mr. Cheves is a sex-positive writer and blogger. (@BadAlexCheves and visit his blog, The Beastly Ex-Boyfriend.)

The Advocate published an insightful piece written by Mr. Cheves about fetishes and the 36 ones that he believes every gay man should know. Thankfully, he began with a quick definition and distinction between “kinks” and “fetishes.”

Kinks are “unconventional” sexual interests, like bondage or paddling, and that’s it. Fetishes — also called paraphilias —  are objects, materials, features, or articles of clothing, like used jockstraps, that people respond to sexually and enhance or facilitate sexual arousal. To clarify: fetish objects are not sexual on their own, like whips or dildos, but fetish objects become sexualized when someone responds to them sexually.

Below are some of the most common and searched from his list, in no particular order. You can check out Mr. Cheves’ complete list, definitions, and descriptions for all 36 by clicking HERE.

  • Leather
  • Urine
  • Rubber
  • Uniforms
  • Rope
  • Used Underwear
  • Armpits
  • Feces (scat)
  • Spit
  • Feet
  • Facial Hair
  • Piercings
  • Socks

The internet has been a tremendous help for gay males as we have worked to express ourselves sexually. Tumblr was one of the greatest assets we had to find others within our community that enjoyed the same fetishes or as a way for us to see guys who looked like us doing something that we were curious about. But alas, that site is gone, but we have done a bit of footwork for you, and here is a link to some websites that should guide you on exploring or expanding your fetishes.

Allgayfetish.com is a premier listing site for gay male fetishes. If they don’t have it, keep Googling until you find what you need.

Speaking of rare fetishes, Mr. Cheves returned for another round at the Advocate for an article on obscure kinks and fetishes. If we didn’t list your “thing,” maybe it is listed here.

  1. The Human Furniture Fetish
  2. Sexual Attraction to trees
  3. Arousal from dipping your genitals in liquid
  4. The vomit fetish
  5. Fetish for religious iconography
  6. Fetish for watching yourself do sexy stuff in a mirror
  7. The sneezing fetish
  8. Fetish for getting your hair washed
  9. Fetish for tight places
  10. Fetish for mechanical objects
  11. Adult baby fetish
  12. The flatulence fetish
  13. The nose-picking fetish
  14. Fetish for being robbed
  15. Fetish for licking eyes
  16. Fetish for teddy bears
  17. Fetish for giants
  18. Fetish for the sun
  19. Arousal from seeing people who are very cold or being very cold yourself
  20. The muscle fetish
  21. The cuckold fetish
  22. Arousal from obscene, sexualized, or “vulgar” words

You are not alone

Just like when you were a little boy, and you thought you would never find another guy to be gay with, fetishes are the same way. Of course, bigger towns and cities will have more guys into your particular fetish, but small towns are known to be just as active for certain fetishes as well. The point is, no matter what gets you off, there are a lot of other gay males that enjoy the same things and even more.

So, you may need to sign up for particular fetish websites to find your mate or even go to clubs/sex parties that cater to your crowd, but don’t let anyone make you feel bad or crazy for liking what you like. There is a vast world of gay guys that can’t wait to meet you and share your fetish! 

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