What are fetishes and how to talk about them?


“Oh that’s my fetish!” — we can often hear this phrase nowadays as society becomes more open when it comes to intimacy. But what does it exactly mean? Could we say that having a certain type of appearance is a fetish? And how to tell our partner that we have some specific preferences?

Let’s talk about that!

What is a fetish?

A fetish is an unusual sexual preference that can manifest itself in the sexual attraction to inanimate objects, specific body parts, clothes and shoes, particular fabrics, or certain actions. 

Actually, every person has a fetish. But most of us don’t bring it to life for some reason. Perhaps, we’re ashamed of this desire. Or maybe, our fetish is not compatible with reality. Is it then a deviation?

Well, it’s not that easy to just call something a deviation. According to medical dictionaries, a sexual deviation is any sexual behavior that is not considered to be normal in a particular society. How can we understand that? We don’t really know. The only thing we’re sure about is that every society and even groups within each society have different opinions about what’s normal. And we can’t comply with all that.

What we should do is to make sure that our fetishes won’t harm us or anyone else and that people who take part in bringing those fetishes to life consent to doing that. Also, it’s important for you to accept your fetishes.



How to tell your partner that you want to experience something specific?

There are two ways you can do that. The first one would be an honest and open conversation. Warn your partner that you want to talk about something important and make sure to set enough time apart for this conversation. Or if that’s too difficult, you can make a couple’s appointment with a sexologist — a professional will help you to communicate your thoughts to your partner.

Another solution is to fill in one of those BDSM questionnaires you can find online. You don’t need to be a part of this culture. Such questionnaires will help you avoid actually talking about your fetishes. You can just let your partner read your answers, and then it will be easier to start the conversation. It would be best if your partner also fills in such a questionnaire. 


The first one is that we are constantly exposed to certain sexual ideas. For example, if the majority of models in the magazines you prefer are wearing stockings, you will most likely feel aroused when you see a person wearing this garment. 

The second one is called imprinting. It’s when sexual arousal got mixed with shock. For instance, if a person as a child saw their parents having sex, it might lead to this person being attracted to voyeurism. 

However, it’s not a rule that any of these events will lead to you developing a fetish. So it would be healthy to think of fetishes as of personal preferences. Then it will be easier for us to be honest with our partners. 

And most importantly, it will enable us to choose partners according to our fetishes. Then your partner can fulfill your fetishes and you can fulfill theirs, you are compatible. Although fetishes are by all means not the cornerstone of healthy relationships — they’re just one of the ways to get pleasure. Focus on emotional intimacy, honesty, and mutual respect because we all are more than just a set of sexual preferences.

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