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Victims' Symptom : glossary:fetishism
 
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Fetishism

In its original sense, a fetish was an idol or other object that had magical siginificance. In the context of sexual activity, it refers to something that excites an individual’s sexual fantasies or desires. Some of these objects include underwear, shoes, stockings, and other inanimate objects. The definition excludes cross-dressing that is not sexually exciting (as in Transvestic Fetishism) and objects designed for use during sex. Bras and panties are probably the most common objects used as fetishes. Some people collect great numbers of their preferred fetishes; some resort to stealing to get them. They may smell, rub, or handle these objects while masturbating, or they may ask sex partners to wear them. Without the fetish, such a person may be unable to get an erection. The onset of Fetishism is usually in adolescence, but many patients report similar interests even in childhood. Although to a certain degree it can be found in women, nearly all fetishists are men. This disorder tends to be a chronic condition. With time, a person may use a fetish to replace human love objects (Morrison, 1995).

(T.J.)

Reference:

  • Morrison, J. DSM-IV Made Easy. New York, The Guilford Press, 1995.

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