Although the concept of a sexual fetish is nothing new, the way we think about them has changed significantly over time. In the past, people with a fetish were often marginalized and thought of as deviant, but today they are much more accepted by mainstream society. In this chapter we take a look at how sexual fetishes have been viewed throughout history and how our understanding of them has evolved.
While the definition of a fetish has remained relatively unchanged throughout history, the cultural context and accepted fetishes have varied drastically. In this book we will explore some of the most popular fetishes throughout different time periods and cultures.
Early accounts of sexual fetishes
One of the earliest references to sexual fetishes can be found in the Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian text believed to have been written sometime between 400 B.C. and 200 AD The Kama Sutra contains a section on “unusual behavior” that describes eight different types of fetishistic desires, including arousal from touching feet, touching urine, and even from hearing the sounds of birds or bees.
While the Kama Sutra offers one of the earliest known accounts of sexual fetishes, it is important to note that these behaviors were not necessarily viewed in a negative light. In fact, some of them were even considered amusing. It was only later that fetishes began to be seen as abnormal or deviant.
The Victorian era and beyond
The Victorians: The Victorian era was a time when sex was largely seen as taboo. As a result, anything that fell outside of traditional heterosexual intercourse was often seen as perverted or wrong. This included homosexual relationships and… you guessed it, sexual fetishes.
One of the earliest recorded fetishes comes from 19th century England during the Victorian era. At this time, corsets were all the rage. A wasp-waisted silhouette was seen as ultra-feminine, and many women went to great lengths to achieve this look; some even bind their waists with tight corsets to permanently reduce their waist size. It is no surprise then that the cross became a popular sexual fetish. Men began to associate tight corsets with femininity and powerlessness and found themselves attracted to women who wore them.
The Japanese: In Japan, one of the most well-known fetishes is tentacle porn. This genre of pornography usually involves octopuses, cephalopods or other tentacled sea creatures sexually pleasing – or attacking – women. Tentacle porn first appeared in 1814 with a woodblock print by Hokusai titled The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife. The print portrays a woman being pleasured by two octopuses and is widely considered to be one of the first instances of tentacle erotica. Although Westerners may find this particular fetish strange, it is important to remember that beauty standards and what is considered sexy differ from culture to culture.
Modern America: In recent years, one of the most popular fetishes has been fur. A furry is someone who dresses up in a fur suit – a mascot-like costume that covers the entire body – and often assumes the persona of an animal. The vast majority of furries are not sexually attracted to animals, but are instead attracted to the idea of being an animal or interacting with others who are also in character. This community has grown so large that there are now conventions dedicated specifically to furries where they can socialize and interact with others who share their interests.
Doctors began writing about sexual fetishes as early as 1877. At the time, most agreed that fetishes were ingrained in childhood and were nearly impossible to change later in life. Many doctors believed that people with fetishes were mentally ill and recommended various forms of treatment, including everything from hypnosis to castration!
Fortunately, our understanding of sexuality has come a long way since then, and we now know that there is nothing wrong with having a fetish. In fact, studies have shown that approximately half of all people have some form of fetishistic desire. So the next time you feel strange or abnormal about your sexual desires, remember that you are not alone - and there is nothing wrong with you!
In Denmark, sexual fetishes have existed for centuries. Most of us have a sexual fetish or two. The most common fetishes are for feet, leather and latex. Fetishes are usually associated with a particular sexual activity. Sometimes a fetish can become an addiction, where the only way to get sexual satisfaction is to live out the fetish. Most fetishes develop while young. Some people grow out of their fetishes, while others continue to live out them throughout their adult lives. There is no explanation as to why some people develop sexual fetishes. It can be a combination of genetics and environment. Some people have a fetish for something they have seen or experienced early in life. Sexual fetishes are not something that is dangerous or harmful. Most people with a fetish can live a normal and healthy sex life. However, fetishes can become a problem if they become an addiction or limit the sexual activity you can have with others.
Sexual fetishes are more common than you might think – and they've been around for centuries! Although our understanding of them has evolved over time, they are now more widely accepted than ever before.