FetishismFetishism is a perversion that is found, primarily in men, in whichgenital discharge is impossible without the presence of their fetish. A fetish,however can be a variety of things, yet there are three basic types of fetishes:an inanimate object (e. g. women’s clothing, shoes, gloves, underwear), a part ofthe human body (e. g.
foot, hand, hair, legs, breasts), or something odd such as,leather, rubber, the touch of velvet. Some fetishes, as observed by Freud, maynot even be visible to the other person at all. In one case a patient of Freudwas obsessed with the shine on the noses of the women he was attracted to. Withregards to specific fetishes such as that the fetishist usually needs to look at,touch, or smell during or preparing for the sexual act. In some cases just thesight of the fetish could result in an orgasm.Order now
The Freudian view of fetishes changed over the years. His early viewstated that fetishism was a result of some childhood fantasy or exposure thatresulted in the fetish but he later changed the view. Freud later theorizedthat the fetish was a fear of castration on the part of the male. He believedthat the association with the penis to the female reproductive organ was areminder to men that castration is possible. This anxiety would cause thefetishist to associate his or her sexual desire with another body part or object.
By doing this he or she can link sexual experience with another part andforget about infertility, humiliation, or anxiety. Usually the desire is linkedclosely to the genitals, it could be something seen when the genitals were firstviewed, such as, underwear, or something associatively linkable to theexperience (e. g. fur, which could be symbolic of pubic hair).
In some cases kleptomania has been considered a fetish. Many fetishistsdevelop a compulsive urge to obtain their cherished articles by any meanspossible. They may become sexually aroused when then “peep” on women changingor steal women’s undergarments from their homes. The risk involved whilestealing usually increases the sexual excitation. Pyromania has been givensimilar interpretation.
Since fire is associated with passion the arsonist, iffire is his fetish, may reach orgasm by watching the fire that he has started. In one case the fear of being caught was best summed up by a patient of Dr. Grant who discussed his findings in a psychology journal in 1953. “I havesuffered a great deal of anxiety during my visits to public places where it iseasy to watch women’s shoes and legs. In addition to the guilt I feel, there isthe danger of detection. Plainclothesmen have haunted me more than once, and Ihave been questioned on suspicion of loitering.
“Fetishism itself seems to be the result of two major sources. First,the fetish may be associated with a particular sexual object or style that ispossessed by someone who is sexually attractive. In this case it is aparticular perfume of hairstyle that the fetishist has seen or smelled on asexually attractive individual that would cause him or her to be attracted tothe same article later. Second, there is the insecure man who, for fear ofrejection, uses the object to substitute the real thing.
Because he can nothave her lock of hair he generalizes his search so that any lock of hair will do. His original natural interest soon becomes deviation to his new hobby. For the most part, the fetishists that engage in illegal or pervertedacts to fulfill their fetish usually fight the impulse to so it but find itirresistible. The connection between the action and sexual satisfaction isusually not understood but if it is the fetishist becomes embarrassed or ashamed. The treatment for severe cases of fetishism is to try and help thefetishist alter his reactions to the desired object through insight andreasoning.
When the asphyxiation is superficial or recently developed theprocedure is quick whereas if it is a result of a personality disturbance, long-term treatment is usually required. Fetishism, anthropologically, can apply to a form of belief andreligious practice in which supernatural attributes are given to inanimateobjects. In some cases it is a figure carved out of stone, clay, or wood, inwhich the believers will have minor ceremonies revolving around the object. In some religious instances the fetish is attached to a specific place, such as,a tree, rock, or a river. In many cases, the belief becomes similar to thesexual fetishes explained earlier where the believers become unaware of thesymbolism that the article has rather they begin to worship the object itself. In this situation the fetishism can be considered as something like idolatry.
In conclusion, there seems to be two basically distinctive sides tofetishism, those who condone it and those who feel it is a sexual perversionwhen it gets out of hand. A publicly published article on the Internet by ananonymous author, whose fetish was bestiality, the desire to engage in sexualrelations with animals, best sums up the side of the fetishists, . . . this is thepain of being ‘different’, shunned by society and the self appointed moralspolice. Those who simply don’t understand, or they just don’t want tounderstand are included in that category.
Bibliography1. What is a Zoophile?. Ananamous. Excerpt from Fur of the Beast,posted on the Internet, site:http://www. av.
qnet. com/stasya/whtiszoo. htm2. “Fetishism”. Microsoft Encarta 96 Encyclopedia.
1993-1995Microsoft Corp. 3. “Fetishism”. Encyclopedia of Human Behavior.
Robert M. Goldenson, Ph. D. 1970, Garden City, NY. 4.
“Fetishism. Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis. Ludwig Eidelberg,M. D. 1968, The Free Press, NY.Social Issues