Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
He tells me to unbuckle my belt and slide my pants down. “Bend over, son.” I obey.
“Christ received 39 lashes. We’ll start you at 13. Count them out, one by one. If you miss one, we start over.” He starts to spank me with his hand — hard. I count them. “One.” Spank. “Two.” Spank.“Three.” I feel my ass heating up, the sting of each blow. I picture my skin reddening beneath his hand in the dim light of the church.
This may strike an uneasy chord with some folks — the intersection of desire and faith usually does — but it’s a common role-play scenario for folks with fetishes for religious imagery and ritual. This and other lesser-known fetishes don’t get talked about enough. Shame keeps them behind closed doors.
Opinions among sociologists differ over at which point on our evolutionary timeline we learned to wield shame as such a powerful tool. No one denies the potency of shame in politics, religion, economics, and every social institution you can think of. We feel shame the strongest in our sex lives. Most of us grow up believing that desire operates according to certain triggers and rules — that arousal is formulaic and simple — and those those whose interests fall outside these boundaries are “abnormal” and “wrong.”
Browse these 24 lesser-known fetishes that are wrong in all the right ways. See anything you like?
A word of warning from Alex Cheves.
My name is Alexander Cheves, and I am known by friends in the kink and leather community as Beastly. I am a sex-positive writer and blogger. The views in this slideshow do not reflect those of The Advocate and are based solely off of my own experiences. Like everything I write, the intent of this piece is to break down the stigmas surrounding the sex lives of gay men.
Those who are sensitive to frank discussions about sex are invited to click elsewhere, but consider this: If you are outraged by content that address sex openly and honestly, I invite you to examine this outrage and ask yourself whether it should instead be directed at those who oppress us by policing our sexuality.
For all others, enjoy the slideshow. And feel free to leave your own suggestions of sex and dating topics in the comments.
1. The human furniture fetish.
Those of us in the world of heavy bondage are probably familiar with human furniture — an extreme form of bondage and sexual objectification in which a submissive is turned into a chair, table, cabinet, urinal, or some other piece of furniture.
It’s not easy to do, and requires a skilled bondage top and bottom. Bottoms are typically required to hold position for long periods of time and are often gagged. As always, the kink safety mantras SSC and RACK — “safe, sane, and consensual” and/or “risk aware consensual kink” — apply here.
2. Sexual attraction to trees.
Tree-hugging jokes are obvious, but these folks may do more than hug. Dendrophilia is sexual attraction to trees. Some dendrophiles on the internet say they seek out certain features of certain trees, like anus or vagina-esque holes. Just watch out for splinters!
3. Arousal from dipping your genitals in liquid.
Liquidophilia is arousal from getting your dick wet — in water or some other liquid. I suggest a trip to the beach.
4. The vomit fetish.
You know we fetishize everything that comes out of the human body, from semen to piss to tears, so you knew it was coming: the vomit fetish. Emetophilia is arousal from watching people lose their lunch.
5. Fetish for religious iconography.
Thanks to our old companion shame, religious iconography is filled with sexual tension. Religion is intimately intertwined with our sex lives. Most of us are taught from a young age what we can and cannot do with our bodies by parents who cite this or that religious practice as the foundation for these “rules.”
When we discover and accept our sexual selves and break free from these messages — when we learn to sift between the good lessons (don’t rape) and bad ones (don’t masturbate) — religious imagery and overtones can take on an erotic feel, and often do. This is more common than you might think.
Go to any fetish convention and you will see people in rubber nun habits, priests with no pants on, and people cuffed and whipped on a St. Andrew’s Cross — a staple piece of bondage furniture for any BDSM connoisseur.
6. Fetish for watching yourself do sexy stuff in a mirror.
Katoptronophilia is arousal from watching yourself get off (solo or with partners) in a mirror. Really, who isn’t into this?
7. The sneezing fetish.
Mucophilia is arousal from sneezing or seeing people sneeze. This fetish shouldn’t be much of a stretch to grasp when you consider the fact that we tend to eroticize natural things the body does, particularly things it can’t help doing like urinating and passing gas (see number 21).
Like orgasm, sneezing is an explosive release. If you’re interested, there is a sneeze fetish forum (SneezeFetishForum.org) where folks post original erotic sneeze fiction.
8. Fetish for getting your hair washed.
I love a visit to the hair salon, but this is different. Tripsolagnia is arousal from getting your hair shampooed. Just try not to make it too obvious to your stylist that you’re getting off from the experience — unless, of course, he or she is down with that.
9. Fetish for tight places.
Claustrophilia, as its name suggests, is arousal from tight spaces and confinement. Its inverse, claustrophobia, is a common fear, one that most people will react to with sympathy (and, depending on the situation, mild annoyance). Claustrophiliacs are less likely to get irritable and uncomfortable on a crowded elevator, airplane, or cramped public transportation. I’ll give them the dreaded inner window seat.
10. Fetish for mechanical objects.
Cars are the most common objects associated with mechanophilia, which is sexual attraction to machines, although other mechanized objects shouldn’t be left out. Just don’t experiment with a blender or food processor.
11. Adult baby fetish.
Paraphilic infantilism is dressing up as a baby or being treated as one. Also known as as autonepiophilia, this fetish constitutes a major community in the world of kink. Go to any kink convention (San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair or Folsom Berlin, International Mr. Leather in Chicago — the list goes on) and you’ll inevitably see a small number of people wearing adult diapers with pacifiers in their mouths.
In most cases, autonepiophilia is seen as a fetish role-play practice, but some people with various disorders (urinary incontinence, for example) have discovered the community as a welcoming place for them to find partners and playmates without facing stigma or shame.
12. Arousal from seeing people who are very cold, or being very cold yourself.
Psychrophiliacs really enjoy winter. Or snowboarding. Or just standing outside in freezing temperatures. They eroticize seeing people freezing or touching very cold objects.
13. The gun fetish.
Although it certainly has a shock element, hoplophilia (the firearm fetish) is rather common is the world of extreme gay porn and BDSM. Typically someone gets sexually used and abused by intimidation and force at the end of a gun barrel (I’ve even seen gay porn where guns get used as dildos). There is a safe and sane way to enjoy this fetish — simply put, the gun isn’t loaded. Don’t play Russian Roulette with your life.
14. Fetish for the sun.
Actirasty is arousal from the sun and sunlight. Folks with this fetish should also get to a beach ASAP. And use sunscreen.
15. Fetish for giants.
Search for macrophilia on the internet and you can find many fan-made erotic stories of tiny men being taken prisoner by giantesses, and vice versa.
16. Fetish for teddy bears.
Ursusagalmatophilia — arousal from teddy bears — is technically a subcategory of plushophilia, which is the sexual attraction to stuffed animals. If your valentine gives you a plush bear and you are more interested in the bear than in the one who gave it to you, you may be a ursusagalmatophiliac.
17. Fetish for licking eyes.
Oculolictus is the erotic practice of licking an eyeball. Also known as “worming,” this practice was made famous in one of the more memorable scenes of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov:
I came across her in her mother’s bedroom. Prying her left eye open to get rid of a speck of something. Checked frock. Although I do love that intoxicating brown fragrance of hers, I really think she should wash her hair once in a while. For a moment, we were both in the same warm green bath of the mirror that reflected the top of a poplar with us in the sky. Held her roughly by the shoulders, then tenderly by the temples, and turned her about. “It’s right there,” she said, “I can feel it.” “Swiss peasant would use the tip of her tongue.” “Lick it out?” “Yeth. Shly try?” Sure, she said. Gently I pressed my quivering sting along her rolling salty eyeball. “Goody-goody,” she said nictating. “It is gone.” “Now the other?” “You dope,” she began, “there is noth—” but here she noticed the pucker of my approaching lips. “Okay,” she said co-operatively, and bending toward her warm upturned russet face somber Humbert pressed his mouth to her fluttering eyelid.
18. Fetish for being robbed.
Chrematistophilia is sexual arousal from being robbed and is actually pretty common, although it is not considered a safe or healthy fetish when attempted outside of a role-play scenario. Trying to get held up is extremely dangerous.
19. The flatulence fetish.
Eproctophilia is the fart fetish. Mark Griffiths, a professor of psychology at Nottingham Trent University and author of the only recorded case study of eproctophilia, interviewed one subject who explained the particulars of his fetish: “The more disgusting, the more I like it as it heightens the sense of duality. The more disgusting the fart and the prettier the lady, the more of a schism it is between the societal expectation and the reality. As for men, it’s simply more dominating for it to be a really gross fart than a mild poot.”
20. The nose/nose-picking fetish.
Nasophiles loves noses, and may enjoy some of of the nose-picking porn you can find on the internet.
21. The muscle fetish.
Sthenolagnia is arousal from muscles and displays of strength. I go to a gay-heavy gym every day, and half the guys there seem to have this fetish.