Sexual fetishism

Sexual fetishism
Classification and external resources

Sexual fetishism or erotic fetishism is a sexual fixation on a nonliving object or nongenital body part.[1] The object of interest is called the fetish; the person who has a fetish for that object is a fetishist.[2] A sexual fetish may be regarded as a non-pathological aid to sexual excitement, or as a mental disorder if it causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life.[1][3] Sexual arousal from a particular body part can be further classified as partialism.[4]

While medical definitions restrict the term sexual fetishism to objects or body parts,[1] fetish can, in common discourse, also refer to sexual interest in specific activities.[5]


In common parlance, the word fetish is used to refer to any sexually arousing stimuli, not all of which meet the medical criteria for fetishism.[5] This broader usage of fetish covers parts or features of the body (including obesity and body modifications), objects, situations and activities (such as smoking or BDSM).[5] Paraphilias such as urophilia, necrophilia and coprophilia have been described as fetishes.[6]

Originally, most medical sources defined fetishism as a sexual interest in non-living objects, body parts or secretions. The publication of the DSM-III in 1980 changed that by excluding arousal from body parts in its diagnostic criteria for fetishism. In 1987, a revised edition of the DSM-III (DSM-III-R) introduced a new diagnosis for body part arousal, called partialism. The DSM-IV retained this distinction.[6] Martin Kafka argued that partialism should be merged into fetishism because of overlap between the two conditions,[6] and the DSM-5 subsequently did so in 2013.[1] The ICD-10 definition is still limited to non-living objects.[3]

Other Languages
Esperanto: Fetiĉo (amoro)
galego: Fetichismo
íslenska: Blætisdýrkun
português: Fetiche
română: Fetișism
Simple English: Sexual fetishism
slovenčina: Fetišizmus (sex)
српски / srpski: Seksualni fetišizam
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Seksualni fetišizam
suomi: Fetisismi
Tiếng Việt: Ái vật
中文: 戀物