Fetishism is a perversion that is found, primarily in men, in which
genital discharge is impossible without the presence of their fetish. A fetish,
however can be a variety of things, yet there are three basic types of fetishes:
an inanimate object (e.g. women's clothing, shoes, gloves, underwear), a part
of the human body (e.g. foot, hand, hair, legs, breasts), or something odd
such as, leather, rubber, the touch of velvet. Some fetishes, as observed by
Freud, may not even be visible to the other person at all. In one case a patient
of Freud was obsessed with the shine on the noses of the women he was
attracted to. With regards to specific fetishes such as that the fetishist usually
needs to look at, touch, or smell during or preparing for the sexual act. In
some cases just the sight of the fetish could result in an orgasm.
The Freudian view of fetishes changed over the years. His early view
stated that fetishism was a result of some childhood fantasy or exposure that
resulted in the fetish but he later changed the view. Freud later theorized that
the fetish was a fear of castration on the part of the male. He believed that
the association with the penis to the female reproductive organ was a
reminder to men that castration is possible. This anxiety would cause the
fetishist to associate his or her sexual desire with another body part or object.
By doing this he or she can link sexual experience with another part and
forget about infertility, humiliation, or anxiety. Usually the desire is linked
closely to the genitals, it could be something seen when the genitals were first
viewed, such as, underwear, or something associatively linkable to the
experience (e.g. fur, which could be symbolic of...