Essay by TommyBoy The Wise OnHigh School, 12th gradeA+, February 1997

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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...