Sexual fetishism

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As sexual fetishism usually one is sexual deviance understood in a mostly inanimate object (see. Object sexuality ), the so-called fetish, as stimulus of sexual arousal and satisfaction of serving. Fetishistic behavior varies greatly from person to person and can relate to a single object, several objects, materials or even parts of the body (including those of the partner). In addition, there are both therapeutic and colloquial uses of the term, some of which differ greatly from one another and differ mainly in the question of whether sexual fetishism is a sexual preference that is on an equal footing with other preferences or whether it is basically a disorder that requires treatment Sexual behavior, a paraphilia . In the context of sexual medical diagnostics or psychoanalysis , sexual fetishism is understood as requiring treatment if the fetish serves as a complete substitute for sexuality in partnership, sexual satisfaction is difficult or appears impossible without the use of the fetish, and the person concerned suffers from it . Sexual fetishism is listed as part of the personality and behavioral disorders as a disorder of sexual preference in the " International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems " (ICD) under the code number F65.0.

There are various theories about the causes of fetishistic behavior, none of which are fully recognized. Likewise, because of the lack of treatment for fetishism and the increasing social acceptance of sexual deviations, it is unknown how widespread sexual fetishism is in the population. Sufferers only seek therapeutic help in the rarest of cases. The scene is often assigned to the sadomasochistic subculture due to overlaps in both the sexual deviance itself and the common diagnostic classification of erotic sadomasochism , fetishism and fetishistic transvestism . This subculture is sometimes followed by practitioners of fetishistic practices in actions and in political organizations.


The origin of the term lies in the Latin factīcius , which means something like "counterfeit" or "fake". "Fetish" is later borrowed from French (fétiche) and has its roots in Portuguese (feitiço) , where it means "magic" or "magic agent". The term is mostly used in the sense of a "venerable object" or that of idolatry , regardless of the erotic connotation . The word creations used in colloquial language such as “order fetish” (ism), “paragraph fetish” or “cleanliness fetish” are also understood . These play with both the original meaning of fetishism and the sexual touch.

The term fetishism is used in different contexts with different meanings: There are sometimes considerable differences between the colloquial use of the word and the scientific term . Sometimes sexual inclinations are generally referred to as sexual fetish, which some practitioners see as discrimination.

A clear conceptual distinction is sought on the one hand in order to distinguish normal sexual behavior, which is expanded in the understanding of medicine, jurisprudence and the corresponding subculture, from problem cases in need of treatment, but on the other hand it is practically non-consensual.

Development of the term

The term originally referred to the concept of religious fetishism among so-called " primitive peoples ". The starting point was the worship of lifeless objects loaded with “supernatural powers” ​​- so-called fetishes - in some West African ethnic religions . However, the widespread transfer to other ethnicities and cultures as fetishism has been abandoned. In 1887 the French psychologist Alfred Binet extended this meaning to the area of ​​sexual life in his work “Le Fétichisme dans l'amour.” In the “Revue Philosophique” .

For a long time the term was ignored by the non-scientifically interested population, while its meaning was expanded in specialist circles; as early as 1912, for example, Richard von Krafft-Ebing called sexual devotion to a single part of the body fetishism. The term "fetishism" became popular after 1927 through Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic considerations , which also reached non-medical practitioners. Here, sexual fetishism was understood as a pathological deviation. The idea of ​​the " commodity fetish " coined by Karl Marx also contributed to the spread of the term , which was based on religious fetishism and had no sexual connotations, but made the word fetish public in its ambiguity.

In the course of the sexual revolution , the understanding of human sexuality changed fundamentally: It was no longer acceptable to classify all sexual attitudes deviating from the norm as mental illnesses. The definition of the medical-psychological term fetishism was clearly delimited together with that of paraphilia . According to today's understanding, fetishism is not to be understood as a psychological disorder per se in the context of sexual orientation, but only as a disorder requiring treatment if the person concerned suffers from its effects. Within the scientific reorientation in the understanding of sexual deviations and the resulting discussions on their definitions, the term was divided into two parts: The internationally used ICD manual, which is published by the World Health Organization , returned to its original, narrower meaning and only understands fetishism to be sexual Fixation on objects. The influential American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the DSM manual, which was initially only used nationally, decided on an expanded definition and understands fetishism as the fixation on objects or body parts . With the appearance of a German edition of the DSM, this view also found its way into German-speaking countries.

The general understanding of the term fetishism remained untouched by the scientific debates. Fetishism had already established itself as a common name and scene term for a large number of sexual varieties, colloquially every sexual fixation on a single object or a specific sexual practice is often called fetishism. Furthermore, the term is often understood as a synonym for paraphilia , which means that the term is expanded to include numerous sexual inclinations that do not fall under the psychological or psychiatric use of the term. The subtleties of the diagnostic distinction between pathological and non-treating fetishism are not used in everyday language.


General understanding of the term

The colloquial usage includes not only the play on words with the sexual and religious connotation of fetishism, but also sexual inclinations beyond the scientific definition. In contrast to the fetish scene, the term is usually used derogatory in colloquial language. Often a tendency is already referred to as fetishism, in which the person concerned is not subject to any psychological stress. This definition of fetishism does not assume that the inclination is a necessary sexual preference, and it can also describe one or more preferences. Here, the term can also denote tendencies that, according to both scientific understanding and the self-image of practitioners, are part of normal sexuality and which do not impair the practitioner. A close connection with the earlier term for sexual deviance, perversion , is common, whereby the idea of ​​which deviant sexual behavior is to be tolerated and which belongs to a healthy sexuality depends on cultural factors as well as being subject to cross-cultural changes.

Medical definition

Classification according to ICD-10
F65 Disorders of sexual preference
F65.0 fetishism
F65.1 Fetishistic transvestism
F65.6 Multiple Sexual Preference Disorders
In some cases, a person may have multiple abnormal sexual preferences, without any predominating. The most common combination is fetishism, transvestism, and sadomasochism.
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

The medical-psychological definition follows the basic diagnostic criteria, the ICD-10-GM (GM: German Modification ) and the frequently cited Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV), which is published in the United States by the American Psychiatric Association ( American Psychiatric Association published).

According to ICD-10-GM F65.0, the “use of dead objects as stimuli for sexual arousal and satisfaction” is defined as sexual fetishism. The further diagnostic criteria for the need for treatment include unusual sexual fantasies or compulsive behaviors that persist over a period of more than six months, as well as the person's subjective suffering from these fantasies and behaviors and the restriction in several functional areas, for example in social contact or the Gainful employment. If another person is harmed, injured or mistreated in the process, this is sufficient for the diagnosis to be made.

In the ICD-10-GM, the concept of fetishism is not assigned to any living object; this also applies analogously to body parts of the partner. All fetishistic behaviors that are not directed at an inanimate object are therefore not to be assigned to F65.0, although they can definitely belong to the paraphilias. According to DSM-IV, sexual fetishism encompasses both the use of inanimate objects and erotic simulation by body parts, the DSM-IV code for this term is 302.81. In addition, the diagnostic criteria do not differ, but are not to be understood hierarchically. The differing definition and the vertical or horizontal arrangement of the diagnostic criteria can lead to misunderstandings, especially with statistical values ​​and descriptive publications from different countries, since fetishism according to DSM-IV includes another field. Erotic and sexual preferences, for example for blonde hair, are not covered by the medical-psychological definitions of sexual fetishism.

Subcultural understanding

In the concept of subculture, no clear boundaries are set for the fetish; a role play can be understood as a fetish just like wearing lingerie. In this definition, the fetish is usually understood as a legitimate and equal sexual variety that does not need to be cured or treated. The application of the scientific definition in the sense of the ICD-10-GM is often seen as discriminatory in this context.

In addition to the classic media for establishing contact and information about various areas of fetishism, for example magazines such as Bizarre , the emergence of the Internet has developed its own scene, often dependent on the respective fetish. This way, fetishists find support and like-minded people in forums, communities and subcultures. The term fetish is defined in the respective group and in some cases separate terms are developed for special fetishes.

Partial and complete fetishism, demarcation

In sexology and psychology, a distinction is made conceptually in some considerations between partial fetishism and complete fetishism. The decisive factor here is the intensity and the necessity of fetishistic behavior for sexual satisfaction. If an orgasm cannot be achieved without the help of a fetish, it is referred to as complete fetishism. Other forms in which the fetish is only used for arousal but is not absolutely necessary for the fulfillment of sexual satisfaction are referred to as partial. The restriction to a partial attraction is also used by Hirschfeld , who uses this term to describe the demarcation between a healthy and a pathological fetishistic desire. In his view, the fetishistic stimulus effect of one person on the other is always a partial aspect of his totality; healthy fetishism ends with the overestimation of a single characteristic.

This use of the term partial fetishism must be distinguished from the concept of partialism , the focus on a certain part of the body, as well as morphophilia , in which a particularly pronounced or in the case of amelotatism a missing body part is the object of arousal. The transvestite fetishism , in which the garment supporting an opposite sex triggers the excitation is defined in ICD-10 F65.1-GM as an independent form.


In principle, any object can become a fetish, with the exception of objects that are intended from the outset as sex toys for use during sexual acts, such as dildos or vibrators . Some items of clothing already have an erotic component in their orientation, examples of this are lingerie or pubic capsules . To what extent these then act as a fetish object or generally erotic, is difficult to define. Worn underpants of the partner, the smell of which is used for sexual arousal during masturbation, is not necessarily to be understood as a fetishistic object due to its relationship to the person ( pars pro toto ), while this can certainly apply to unworn or self-worn items of laundry.

Some researchers categorize fetishes according to whether they are appealing due to their shape ( form fetish ) or their material ( media fetish ). Multiple fetishes are not uncommon. Only when an object has the external appearance preferred by the fetishist or is made of his preferred material does it actually act as a fetish. For example, for some fetishists only white tennis socks have an erotic effect, while others only feel sexually addressed by gray knee socks. Various materials are also often of interest to fetishists, leather is an example here. This can have a stimulating effect via the sense of smell, optics or haptics. For some fetishists all the senses are necessary for arousal, others are aroused by the sight of it. Some fetishes work through their coupling with certain scenarios, the properties of the environment can be transferred to the object itself. For example, it is assumed that school uniforms become a fetish mainly because they correspond to the stereotype of the young school girl.

Fetishes can change over time. Either the existing fetish is modified or further fetishes are added; a permanent decline in fetishism without external influences usually does not occur. Occasionally, external causes for such a change can be named, but generally this is not the case.

Common fetishes

The most common fetishes are items of clothing such as shoes ( shoe fetishism ), stockings, tights , underwear , aprons , sports and swimwear, uniforms , rainwear ( Klepper ) and accessories such as glasses and piercings . It is not uncommon for the fetish to be limited to a single model or specific specimen. It can also be decisive whether the clothing was worn or who was the previous owner. Some items of clothing are assigned to specific scenarios or role-plays, for example diapers for auto epiophilia . Non-clothing fetishes seem to be less common. This includes objects such as military medals, plaster casts, artificial limbs such as prostheses or wheelchairs. In addition, smoking instruments such as cigarettes and tobacco pipes as well as smoking as an activity can also have an appealing effect ( smoking fetishism ).

For many fetishists the material of the object is crucial, in some cases the material is so important that the object becomes interchangeable as long as the material remains the same; In this case one speaks of material fetishism . Typical preferred materials are fabrics such as leather , fur , wool , mohair , silk , nylon , satin , lycra and plastics such as PVC- coated fabrics (“lacquer”), latex ( latex clothing ) and rubber ( rubber fetishism ).

According to DSM-IV, body parts such as feet ( foot fetishism ), legs, hair ( trichophilia ), buttocks, breasts, armpits or ears can also be fetishes, in which case the associated practices are called body worship .

Other assignments

Some Canadian researchers believe that the sight of fire makes some people aroused. According to this theory, pyromania could be considered a form of sexual fetishism. However, this contradicts the prevailing doctrine that pyromania does not have a sexual component. Other researchers also consider more abstract objects such as words to be a possible target for fetishistic behavior, so dirty talk would also be a form of sexual fetishism.

Causes and origins

The causes and the mechanism of development of fetishistic behavior are still unclear. Some fetishistic preferences seem to arise very early in a person's life, possibly through conditioning or imprinting , others arise later and can be tied to a specific event through psychoanalysis. Some researchers also consider deprivation of love or premature weaning as a cause. Fetishism can also accompany a more complex mental disorder. It is considered likely that fetishism not by inheritance is passed, however, inherited traits may well influence the probability that a person develops fetishistic tendencies.


Current research in this area or attempts to prove one of the theories presented in the following section hardly take place. Many of the theories are based on largely unsubstantiated concepts, while others explain facts that are assumed but empirically not verifiable based on subjective observation. However, some theories are used as a basis for therapeutic treatment approaches. The sometimes harsh criticism of these theories results from their unscientific basis, which is largely explained by the hardly existing demand for therapeutic or medical treatment or advice from fetishists. Possible connections with addictive behavior are discussed, there are no substantive scientific studies on this theory.

Association according to Binet, symbolism according to Ellis

In 1887, the psychologist Alfred Binet suspected that fetishism arises through association : the fetish would be inseparably connected with sexual stimuli through simultaneous presentation. Around 1900, the sex researcher Havelock Ellis suggested that unusual sexual inclinations arise in childhood through erotic experiences with one's own body. This statement was revolutionary, because up to this point children were denied any sexual feelings. According to Ellis' theory of erotic symbolism, unusual sexual practices symbolically replace normal sexual intercourse.

Disease according to Krafft-Ebing

In 1912 Richard von Krafft-Ebing endorsed Binet's view that the fetish originated in early youth when the later fetish happened to be present during one of the first sexual sensations in a person's life. Von Krafft-Ebing recognized that this theory would explain the multitude of possible fetishes, but could not explain why this particular association lasted for a lifetime. The only explanation for him seemed to be an existing psychological degeneration and sexual hypersensitivity. His conclusion was that sexual fetishism was a mental illness.

Partial attraction to Hirschfeld

The sex researcher Magnus Hirschfeld put forward the theory of partial attractiveness in 1920, according to which sexual attractiveness never starts from a person as a whole, but always from individual personality traits. He pointed out that almost everyone has a preference for certain traits and called this healthy fetishism. According to Hirschfeld, pathological fetishism arises when an individual characteristic is overestimated and detached from the person. Hirschfeld's theory is often presented with a view to gender roles: women flaunt themselves by presenting individual objects, for example long legs, men react to these individual characteristics with sexual arousal. This is also intended to explain the unsubstantiated fact why more men than women are fetishists.

Psychoanalytic Approaches - Castration Fear according to Freud

The psychoanalytic conception of fetishism is based on the experience that the fetish is a real object, for example a lady's shoe, but that what is sexually arousing about it comes from the fantasy world. For this reason, anyone who does not share the fetish cannot understand what is perceived as sexually stimulating about this particular object for the fetishist. The exciting fantasy, often unconscious even to the fetishist, comes from the child's world of experience, which Sigmund Freud first presented in his "Three Essays on Sexual Theory" from 1905 as an explanatory basis for the "sexual aberrations". In his view, one of the “infantile sexual theories”, that is to say the factually incorrect but nevertheless ubiquitous development-related sexual fantasies of the child, is primarily the “theory” that there is only one gender. This gender, which cannot be assigned to man or woman for the child due to its age, is equipped with a visible penis. In his mind, the child also equips his mother with this penis, whose lack of penis it cannot bear for fear, the so-called castration fear. The later fetish is set up at the point of experience at which unconsciously the castration threatens.

Psychoanalytic Approaches - Winnicott's Transitional Object

Later psychoanalytic authors, including Masud Khan , Fritz Morgenthaler , Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, and William McDougall , have primarily dealt with the question of what function the fetish has in the frame of reference of personality disorders. The object here often seems to cover or bridge gaps in the sense of identity. Donald W. Winnicott's theory of the "transitional object" also belongs in this explanatory framework . In 1951, he presented his theory of “transition objects and transition phenomena” in a lecture. The characteristic of the transitional object is that for the toddler it is both a thing of external reality, for example a comfort blanket, as well as an object relationship fantasy. It gives the child a feeling of security "as if" the transitional object was the mother or part of the mother. The transitional object thus has similar characteristics and functions as the fetish, although it is not a fetish.

Behaviorism - Classical Conditioning

The behaviorism comes from the theory of sexual fetishism arises through classical conditioning . Sexual stimulus and later fetish object would be linked in a learning process through simultaneous performance, for example when masturbating over a photo of a woman in lingerie. This view is essentially identical to Binet's approach, but it clarifies the vague term association with classical conditioning. The theory is criticized in two places: On the one hand, according to it, every person would have to develop fetishistic tendencies in the long term and, on the other hand, the number and type of fetishes would have to be much higher.

In a study of 2004 were Japan quail on conditioned , rather than a living sexual partners with an inanimate doll Terry to copulate -Stoff. After completion of the employment phase, the behavior was not gradually unlearned as usual, but rather maintained itself through repetition. In a sense, the behavior had developed into an animal form of sexual fetishism. According to the researchers, this model could serve as a comparison to humans and lead to new insights into the development of fetishism. The attempt could invalidate the argument that fetishism cannot arise through classical conditioning, since the behavior learned in this way is forgotten again after a while.

Superstimulus Theory

The superstimulus theory ( English for super stimulus ) is a specialization of the behavioristic approach and emphasizes that more unusual fetishes could arise through generalization : If a certain stimulus triggers a behavior, similar stimuli can also trigger the same behavior over time and become the triggering stimulus "Generalized". Fetishism would generalize common characteristics of sexual attractiveness. So not only the normal stimulus, for example shiny, smooth skin, but at some point also the fetishistic stimulus, in the example in the form of shiny smooth plastic, would trigger a sexual reaction. The Little Albert experiment , in the course of which an eleven-month-old boy was made to fear a rat , is often cited as an indication . This fear increased over time into a pronounced fur phobia . The generalization explains some fetish objects (e.g. latex clothing) better, while others are insufficient. The fundamental research on this theory comes from the field of ethology and was mainly investigated on animals by the behavioral researchers and biologists Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen .

Preparedness theory according to Seligman

The Preparedness theory (Engl. For readiness ) leads behaviors back to biological and evolutionary factors. Preparedness is the name given to the property of living beings to spontaneously show certain reactions to certain stimuli without long conditioning. For example, the sight of a snake can trigger panic, even though the person concerned has never had anything to do with snakes and does not know how dangerous they are. According to the theory, preparedness arises through evolutionary selection: Those who fear snakes run less risk of dying from their venom and are more likely to reproduce. Usually the theory of preparedness developed by Martin Seligman is used as an explanation for phobic disorders , but it can also be used for sexual fetishism. However, the theory does not explain how, for example, glasses can develop as a fetish, and the inheritance of fetishistic behavior is considered unlikely.

Ramachandran's neurological approach

The neurologist Vilaynur S. Ramachandran pointed out in 1998 that the area of ​​the cerebral cortex , in which the sensory perceptions of the feet are processed, is right next to the region that is also responsible for sexual stimulation. He interpreted this as a possible reason why foot fetishism is particularly widespread. For example, patients with phantom limbs , in this case feet, reported sexual stimuli in the foot that was no longer present when the genitals were stimulated or even greater orgasms (because they were distributed over both regions) than before the amputation. This begs the unanswered question of what happens with genital amputations. However, it remains unclear why foot fetishists get their pleasure mainly from the feet of others, not from their own.


There is practically no knowledge about the prevalence of fetishism. It is not known which proportion of the population is fetishistic, nor which population groups make up the number of fetishists. Researchers claim that figures are difficult to determine because lighter fetishistic expressions can be easily integrated into a sexual relationship based on partnership, fetishists are rarely treated and people evaluate sexual contacts differently.

Despite the lack of precise figures and the fact that with the exception of Krafft-Ebings' theory, all theories are based on male heteronormative sexual behavior, several confirmed diagnoses have confirmed that fetishism occurs not only in men but also in women. The same applies to homosexual fetishists of both sexes.

Various pieces of evidence suggest that fetishism occurs more frequently in men than in women; this includes the gender distribution in chat rooms and inpatient hospital stays due to accidents caused by fetishism.

Diagnosis and treatment

The sexual preference for individual parts of the body, pieces of clothing or other objects is generally considered to be a common variety of human sexuality. Under certain conditions, however, such a fixation can be classified as a pathological psychological disorder , as paraphilia . Only when the diagnostic conditions of paraphilia are met and only when the pleasure object is an inanimate object do scientists speak of a fetishism in need of treatment in the sense of the medical-psychological definition. Fetishism can also appear as an accompanying symptom of a more complex mental disorder.

Diagnostic criteria

According to ICD-10-GM, fetishism can be diagnosed as a disorder of sexual preference and thus as a mental illness with the key F65.0 under certain conditions. The definition of the ICD-10 is:

“Using dead objects as stimuli for sexual arousal and satisfaction. Many fetishes are an extension of the human body, e.g. B. clothing or footwear. Other common examples are items made of rubber, plastic, or leather. The fetish objects have individually changing meanings. In some cases they only serve to increase the sexual arousal achieved in the usual way (e.g. when the partner is supposed to wear a certain item of clothing). "

- ICD-10-GM version 2005

As with all other paraphilias, the correct hierarchical procedure, as required by the ICD-10, is decisive for the diagnosis of fetishism. Thus, for a diagnosis of a category F65.x, in this case F65.0, the diagnostic criteria for the overall category F65 must first be met. According to these diagnostic criteria, the diagnosis can only be made if one has

  • 1. Period of at least six months
  • 2. Unusual sexually arousing fantasies, sexually urgent needs, or behaviors that occur
  • 3. cause suffering and impairment in those affected or their objects in different functional areas .

The requirement of the hierarchical procedure in diagnostics is only listed in the text output of the ICD-10-GM; these criteria are not explained in the standard diagnostic code lists. Under certain circumstances, this can lead to a misdiagnosis, as the diagnostic scheme is not known to some general practitioners, psychiatrists or psychologists.

Another reason for misdiagnosis is the use of the word “dead” in the latest German version of the text. This was described in book editions of the ICD-10 as “representational” and in the DSM-IV as “inanimate”. By definition, the fixation on individual body parts is therefore not a sexual fetishism, even if it is the actually dead body parts of a corpse. These fixations can each be diagnosed as other forms of paraphilia. The exclusion of body part fetishism is seen by many as a shortcoming.

Many sexologists prefer the American definition of DSM-IV , code 302.81. This does not require a hierarchical approach, but rather the diagnostic criteria for each individual mental disorder under the respective classification. This means that incorrect diagnoses are less common when diagnosed according to DSM. Some researchers criticize the fact that the term fetishism is used more and more often in cases in which no sexual component is recognizable and call for a return to this central issue.

Criticism of the diagnostic key of the ICD-10 F65.X

These stipulations are controversial as they are often perceived as discriminatory, and some activists and organizations are calling for the criteria of the F65 to be changed or completely removed in order not to stigmatize those affected as mentally disturbed people . For example, the ReviseF65 project is committed to changing the ICD diagnostic criteria from fetishism, fetishistic transvestism and sadomasochism.

Proponents see in the diagnostic criteria the definition of a certain social and sexual behavior with the resulting consequences in individual cases as a health problem or illness and the treatment that is only made possible by this from the perspective of the cost bearer. Likewise, through the delimitable diagnosis, a decision in favor of the fetishist in need of treatment can also be made in the case law or the outcome of a procedure can be made dependent on the willingness to undergo therapy and, through acknowledgment of a mental illness, lead to a more favorable outcome for the person concerned.


There is no single concept of treatment for sexual fetishism. The treatment depends on the respective therapist and his specialty. All forms of psychotherapy can be used, especially psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy ; the latter can be supported by medication. Most treatments extend over a longer period of time, and treatment will often have to deal with broader problems, for example relationship problems or social integration disorders that are triggered or promoted by the fetishistic behavior. Ideally, treatment should be based on the patient's voluntary nature; if a court orders treatment, success against the patient's will is hardly in sight.

Psychotherapeutic treatment

One possibility of behavior therapy is aversive conditioning: the patient is confronted with his fetish and at the same time or shortly afterwards exposed to an unpleasant stimulus. According to the conditioning, the patient associates the pleasant fetish with the aversive stimulus and thus learns to avoid the fetish. One possibility of implementation is covert awareness raising . The patient is shown scenes of fetishistic content, followed by scenes with unpleasant content. Another option is assisted covert sensitization, in which an assistant releases an unpleasant odor as an aversive stimulus.

Another possibility is the thought stop . The patient is asked to think about his fetish. This train of thought is unexpectedly interrupted by the therapist by the exclamation "Stop!" After repeating it several times, the patient is instructed to use this technique on himself. The thought stop is intended to nip unwanted sexual fantasies in the bud.


Drug treatment is only suitable to support other forms of treatment, so-called “ chemical castration ” is often mentioned in this context , in which the patient takes drugs that lower the level of certain sex hormones ; in men, these are usually antiandrogens . This inhibits the sex drive, which makes sexual fantasies and activities less frequent. The patient can deal with his fetish without being distracted by constant sexual arousal. These drugs do not have a direct influence on fetishism itself, but can have side effects.

However, other forms of drug treatment are also being explored. For example, a case study from 2006 suggests the administration of the active ingredient topiramate , which is actually an anti-epilepsy drug, for the treatment of fetishism. In the case under consideration, psychotherapy did not alleviate the suffering of a foot fetishist, but the medication allegedly reduced the symptoms of the disease without any side effects.

See also

Portal: BDSM and Fetish  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of BDSM and Fetish


  • Hartmut Böhme : Fetishism and Sexuality. Towards a metapsychological concept. Binet, Krafft-Ebing, Freud. In: Johannes Cremerius , Gottfried Fischer, Ortrud Gutjahr (eds.): Kulturtheorie . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2005, ISBN 3-8260-3067-2 .
  • Elke Gaugele: Uni-forms of desire. Uniforms, fetishism and the textile construction of modern gender identities. In: Elisabeth Hackspiel-Mikosch, Stefan Haas (Ed.): The civil uniform as symbolic communication. Clothing between representation, imagination and consumption . Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-515-08858-X , p. 275.
  • Hartmut Böhme: Fetishism and Culture. Another theory of modernity . Rowohlt, Reinbek 2006, ISBN 3-499-55677-4 .
  • Johannes Endres (Ed.): Fetishism. Basic texts from the 18th century to the present day , suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-518-29761-2 .
  • Henry Krips: Fetish. An erotics of culture . Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY 1999, ISBN 0-8014-8537-1 .
  • David Kunzle: Fashion & Fetishism: Corsets, Tight-Lacing and Other Forms of Body-Sculpture . The History Press, Charleston, SC. 2006, ISBN 0-7509-3809-9 .
  • Valerie Steele : fetish. Fashion, sex and power ("Fetish. Fashion, Sex & Power"). Berlin Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-8270-0213-3 .

Web links

Commons : Sexual Fetishism  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Katarina Bobkova, AK Ludwig, A. Münch: Sexual Medical Diagnostics. GRIN Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-638-66280-2 , p. 6.
  2. Wolfgang Frank: Psychiatry. Elsevier GmbH, 2007, ISBN 978-3-437-42601-8 , p. 185.
  3. Original text of ICD-10-GM 2014 F65.0 ( Memento from March 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Tilmann Habermas: Beloved objects: symbols and instruments of identity formation. Walter de Gruyter, 1996, ISBN 3-11-015172-3 , p. 306 ff.
  5. ^ Friedrich Kluge, Elmar Seebold: Etymological Dictionary of German. 24th edition. Walter de Gruyter, 2002, ISBN 3-11-017473-1 , p. 288.
  6. a b A. Binet: Le Fétichisme dans l'amour. In: Revue Philosophique Volume XXIV. (1887), pp. 142–167 + pp. 252–274. Available as a French reprint: ISBN 2-228-89370-6 .
  7. a b R. v. Krafft-Ebing: Psychopathia Sexualis. 1912.
  8. ^ S. Freud: Fetishism. Essay, 1927.
  9. ^ V. Gerhardt (ed.): Marxism. Attempt to take stock. Magdeburg 2001, pp. 289-319; H. Böhme: Marx's concept of fetishism and its context ( Memento from June 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  10. ^ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. DSM-IV. American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC 1994, ISBN 0-89042-061-0 .
  11. ICD-10-GM, F65.0
  12. a b BehaveNet: Diagnostic criteria for 302.81 Fetishism ( Memento from February 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) DSM diagnostic criteria in English. Last accessed on July 26, 2008.
  13. For example, balloon fetishism is referred to as "loonerism" or "looner" and has a large number of separate terms for balloons and individual preferences in terms of material and use.
  14. John Junginger: Summation of arousal in partial fetishism. In: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. Vol. 19, No. 4, 1988, pp. 297-300.
  15. a b Magnus Hirschfeld Institute: “Theory of Fetishism” (Hirschfeld, 1920) Last accessed on July 26, 2008.
  16. Institute for Sexology and Sexual Medicine, Charité University Hospital: Dissexuality and Paraphilias ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ICD-10-GM, F65.1
  18. B. Sanchez: Fetishism. Article from counseling website Psychology Today . October 2005.
  19. Hans G. Zapotoczky , Peter K. Fischhof: Psychiatrie der Lebensabschnitte , Springer, 2002, ISBN 3-211-83589-X , p. 265.
  20. a b Klaus M. Beier, Hartmut AG Bosinski, Kurt Loewit: Sexualmedizin. Elsevier GmbH, 2005, ISBN 3-437-22850-1 , p. 108.
  21. Elke Gaugele: Soldiers freeze and uniform fetishists. In: Elisabeth Hackspiel-Mikosch, Stefan Haas: The civil uniform as symbolic communication. Franz Steiner Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-515-08858-X , p. 275.
  22. ^ D. Bourget, J. Bradford: Fire fetishism, diagnostic and clinical implications: a review of two cases. In: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (Revue canadienne de psychiatrie). 1987 Aug; 32 (6), pp. 459-462.
  23. GN Conacher: fetishism Fire. In: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (Revue canadienne de psychiatrie). 1988 Feb; 33 (1), p. 75.
  24. ^ K. Balachandra, S. Swaminath: Fire fetishism in a female arsonist? In: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (Revue canadienne de psychiatrie). 2002 Jun; 47 (5), pp. 487-488.
  25. MJ Soft: The fetishistic use of speech. In: The International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 1989; 70 (Pt. 2), pp. 245-253.
  26. Among other things, Ellis describes the emergence of shoe fetishism in Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume IV - Sexual Selection in Man , 1927.
  27. To further explain these sometimes strange assumptions, Freud's work “Die Ichspaltung im Defensevorgang” from 1938 is useful, in which he shows that two logically incompatible beliefs about reality can apply simultaneously in an individual without this individual being psychotic. This finding is of the utmost importance in psychopathology.
  28. ^ DW Winnicott: Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena. A study of first non-self possession. Lecture 1951, 1953. In: Psyche 23. 1969.
  29. Alois Kogler, Eva Kaiser-Kaplaner: Sexual Deviations Paraphilias. Publication by the Institute for Psychosomatic Medicine and Behavioral Therapy, Graz
  30. F. Koksal, M. Domjan, A. Kurt, O. Sertel, S. Orung, R. Bowers, G. Kumru: An animal model of fetishism. In: Behavior Research and Therapy. 2004 Dec; 42 (12), pp. 1421-1434.
  31. MEP Seligman: Phobias and preparedness. In: Behavior Therapy. 2.1971, pp. 307-321.
  32. ^ VS Ramachandran, S. Blakeslee: Phantoms in the Brain. Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind. Harper Perennial, USA 1998, ISBN 0-688-17217-2 .
  33. a b c d Stephan Grunst, Ralf Flüggen: Neurology and Psychiatry. Elsevier GmbH, 2005, ISBN 3-437-48120-7 , p. 218.
  34. SJ Hucker: Fetishism. ( Memento from August 13, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  35. ^ Elke Gaugele: Fetishism and Gender in Elisabeth Hackspiel-Mikosch, Stefan Haas: The civil uniform as symbolic communication. Franz Steiner Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-515-08858-X , p. 279.
  36. Statistics about Fetishism. Last time 86% visited men in England on August 21, 2006 in 2002/03; but the source is doubtful.
  37. E. Lange: The soiling and damaging of baby carriages - fetishistic regression into early childhood with neurotic aggression. In: Psychiatry, Neurology and Medical Psychology (Leipzig). 1989 Aug .; 41 (8), pp. 505-506.
  38. ^ E. Nersessian: A cat as fetish: a contribution to the theory of fetishism. In: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 1998 Aug .; 79 (Pt. 4), pp. 713-725.
  39. O. Reiersøl, p Skeid: The ICD diagnoses of fetishism and sadomasochism. In: Journal of Homosexualism. 2006; 50 (2-3), pp. 243-262.
  40. ^ Official website ReviseF65 , last accessed on July 27, 2008.
  41. Siegfried Hadde Brock: Social or forensic culpability (sanity). Walter de Gruyter, 1992, ISBN 3-11-013611-2 , p. 99 ff. Relationship between acts of sexual affect and criminal liability to be judged by a court
  42. Eugen Bleuler, J. Angst, Manfred Bleuler: Textbook of Psychiatry. Springer Verlag, 1983, ISBN 3-540-11833-0 , p. 163.
  43. ^ Mark H Beers, MSD Sharp & Dohme GmbH: The MSD Manual of Diagnostics and Therapy. Elsevier GmbH, 2007, ISBN 978-3-437-21761-6 .
  44. ^ IS Shiah, CY Chao, WC Mao, YJ Chuang: Treatment of paraphilic sexual disorder: the use of topiramate in fetishism. In: International Clinical Psychopharmacology . 2006 Jul; 21 (4), pp. 241-243.