Fetishistic Disorder

Fetishistic Disorder is characterized by a strong sexual desire to either inanimate objects or non-sexual body parts, in addition to clinically significant distress or impairment to the individual.

The majority of people find some non-genital body traits or objects appealing, implying that fetishism is a natural element of human sexuality. However, when fetishistic arousal interferes with regular sexual or social functioning, or when sexual arousal is impossible without the fetish object, fetishism could turn into a huge problem.

 

Common Objects

A photograph of the fetish object may arouse some people with fetishism, but many people with Fetishistic Disorder prefer/require the actual object to induce arousal. For sexual enjoyment, the individual may frequently touches, rubs, taste, or smells the fetish object, or request their partner to wear it during sexual sessions.

Some common fetish objects/ non-genital body parts include: 

  • Undergarments
  • Stockings
  • Rubber objects
  • Leather clothing
  • Footwear
  • Feet 
  • Toes
  • Hair
  • Underarms

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Recurring urges involving nonliving objects or non-genital body parts
  • Impairment of social, occupational, or personal functioning
  • Sexual acts are focused exclusively on the fetish object/body part
  • Sexually arousal is only possible when the fetish is used
  • Feeling of intense guilt, shame or distress
  • Relationship tension

 

Treatment

Fetishistic Disorder should only be treated as a disorder if the fetish causes distress or impairment to the individual’s ability to function normally in everyday life. Both medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be used to treat this disorder.

✽   Medication

  • Lower sexual drive 
  • Suppression of intensity and frequency of urges
  • Reduction of obsessive fantasies and urges

✽   Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

  • Identify the underlying cause of behaviour
  • Teach methods on managing sexual urges in more adaptive and healthier ways
  • Increase the salience of negative consequences of unhealthy sexual behaviour to the individual to reduce the likelihood of deviant acts

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