With few exceptions, we all know of something which turns us on and excites us, but which is not necessarily sexual in itself. It may be an object, a texture, a shape, or part of the body for example. We may be private about it or we may be quite open. The word to describe this is a fetish or fetishism.
There are many misconceptions about fetishism with people often conjuring up men in masks, guys being spanked, lavish piercings, or rubber and latex clothing. However, these are parts of much larger, diverse and inclusive scenes - gay, straight, and mixed.
The word fetish originates from the 17th century and means something which is believed to possess, contain, or cause spiritual or magical powers like an amulet or a talisman. Things have moved on, although we think fetishes have had a bit of a bad rap and are often misunderstood. Society continues to send out messages that fetishes are out of the ordinary, wrong, even perverted – but that’s never bothered gay men before. While we don’t have exclusivity, we have used fetishism successfully to re-define traditional aspects of masculinity. Just think of them as additional opportunities for expression, and/ or sexual pleasure.
However, fetishes can also encompass sex itself – guys who are turned on in a major way (sometimes exclusively) by a particular practice – sucking cock, nipple play or fisting, for example. While this may seem to restrict their sexual repertoire, it’s a personal choice which they have made to acknowledge and use to their advantage, and if they’re getting the pleasure they desire – then that’s their business.
Fetishes can extend to dress codes such as military or skinhead uniforms, rubber, leather and plastic clothing. Clubs cater for an increasing range of fetishes such as big guys, sports and gym wear, rubber and S/ M, with strict dress codes to attract aficionados rather than a generic crowd. This can be disappointing because you don’t have to belong to any type of dress code to enjoy fetishes! Some men wear the gear just because it’s comfortable, makes them look good, and because dressing a certain way will get them into clubs where they are more likely to meet the guys they find attractive.
Aftershave | alleyways | arse cheeks | athletic men | beards | beefy men | beer | biceps | boots | trainers | boxer shorts | braces | calves | cashmere | changing rooms | check shirts | chubby men | clubs | cock cheese | cock rings | corduroy | dark rooms | dirty underwear | DM boots | dog collars | ear rings | ears | enemas | eyebrow piercings | flared jeans | gas masks | jeans | feet | fingers | goatee beards | hair | chests | hands | harnesses | jockey shorts | jockstraps | jogging pants | lean men | leather waistcoats | Levi jeans | nappies | nipple rings | nipples | nurses uniform | sweat shirts | piss | plastic | rubber vests | rubber | shaved balls | shaved heads | shit | showers | sideburns | silk, skinheads | sports logos | stocky men | stubble | suits | sweat bands | sweat | tall men | tattoos | thighs | thin men | toes | toilets | water | white socks | work boots.
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell a partner about a fetish – there’s always a possibility that they might laugh, find it absurd, be turned off or refuse to participate. Given that we all have something, the reticence is understandable but absurd. It’s a little like ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’… but no one’s prepared to make the first move.
While some guys will share fetishes, it’s more usual that one guy will have a particular fetish while the other is relatively neutral. That’s not to say that the neutral party can’t be swayed or intrigued, but it’s a considerate guy who is prepared to indulge his partner. If he’s happier, then you’re happier and you both get something out of it. Besides, who knows what might happen? The important thing is not to over-analyse it, spare yourself unnecessary guilt and be true to yourself.
Denial can only cause frustration and disappointment, although coming to terms and accepting what really gives us a buzz can be difficult, particularly if there’s a loaded moral perception that it’s unnatural or not normal.↑ Back to top