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History of Fetishism

Posted by: webmaster on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 10:58 _PRINTPrinter friendly page  _EMAILFRIENDSend this story to a friend
The word fetish comes from the Latin root faticus, which was previously used to describe an object of religious veneration such as an amulet or talisman, some particular device that would hold such religious and magic power.

Today, this meaning seems to be completely forgotten. No longer having any religious character, a fetish is referred as some object whose sexual connotation is likely to arouse the fetishist. It's interesting to see that this aspect of sexuality, which is deemed by society and clergy as o­ne of the most immoral and dirty, generally has roots in religion itself. Scientists seem to have an explanation for such fact: they say that since religious objects deal with idolatry, the object of fetish creates some sort of sexual idolatry as well, so that the fetishist starts to make an idol out of o­ne's traits (whether physical or psychological). Such characteristics are projected into some object that in turn connects with that person.

In the past, particularly during the Victorian age, the Fetishism was regarded as a disorder when too uncommon, forcing the community to assume a more clinical attitude. It wasn't rare to find fetishists locked inside mental institutions o­nly for having a different, maybe bizarre sexual turn-on.

It was Sigmund Freud (1887) who first identified Fetishism as being actually an aspect of human sexuality, nevertheless his controversial theories. Freud said that women would be psychologically incapable of having fetishes, since the fetish would be a result of a childhood trauma occurred when a boy, curious to see his mother's penis, discovers that she has in fact no penis at all. Thus, the boy would become unconsciously obsessed by the penis and would project this into some inanimate object, whether phallic or not. Later, it was proved that women are perfectly capable of having a fetish, however it is actually more frequent to see male fetishists. Even though it seems to be obvious for us that this theory was incorrect, it was seriously taken at the time.

Freud however, left the door open for new theories. Thanks to his studies, it was observed that the human sexuality was closely connected to conditioning and behavioral imprinting that would happen during early childhood. According to that theory, the fetishized object/situation would be unconsciously imprinted o­n o­ne's mind, which explain the wide variety of fetishes that we may find. Ranging from body piercing, footwear, leather gear and spanking to uncommon fetishes such as wheelchair, smoking or eyeglass fetishes, practically everything is possible.

Today, Fetishism is no longer considered a medical issue, let alone sexual deviation, for it doesn't interfere in o­ne's sexual and social development as well as functioning. We have a growing industry of erotica products alike to satisfy the most unusual and curious fetishes o­ne may imagine.



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