Sexual Strands: Understanding and Treating Sexual Anomalies in Men

By Ron Langevin | Go to book overview

7 Fetishism

INTRODUCTION

Fetishism is an orgasmic preference for, or an inordinate and persistent sexual arousal to, inanimate objects or parts of the body. Often the fetishes are related to the human body, for example, to female or male clothing, although other objects have been described. An outstanding feature in the study of fetishism is the number of attempts that have been made to classify the fetishes. Krafft-Ebing (in Raymond39) divided the fetishes into parts of the female body, her clothing, special materials and animales. Epstein15 noted that objects with certain surface characteristics such as glistening (wetness or rubber), metallic shining, leathery, silky, and velvety or those objects with unusual accentuation of shape such as high heels; often serve as fetishes. Balint3 claimed that many fetishes are objects which can serve as receptacles in the fetishist's acts, for example, shoes, corsets, and so forth, and even in one case the hollow part of an artificial leg was used. The receptacle of course symbolizes the vagina and the womb so the use of the penis in contact with these symbols is understandable.

Gebhard18 has devised a typology of fetishes. They are either inanimate objects or some physical attribute of a person (partialism). One may be partial to redheads for example and find them more erotic than persons with other colors of hair. The degree of arousal differs between individuals from mild to strong and for some men it is strong and the stimulus is essential. Thus one may like redheads but he can react to other females or males as well. However if one could only react to redheads, this would be a necessary fetish according to Gebhard. We are all fetishists in this sense since we display some idiosyncratic sexual arousal to a wide range of stimuli. Normal

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Sexual Strands: Understanding and Treating Sexual Anomalies in Men
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • I - Introduction to the Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Anomalies xv
  • 1 - A Model for Studying Sexual Anomalies 1
  • 2 - Assessment of Erotic Preferences 7
  • 3 - Treatment Methods 30
  • II - Stimulus Preference Anomalies *
  • 4 - Homosexuality 78
  • 5 - Bisexuality 149
  • 6 - Transexualism and Transvestism 171
  • 7 - Fetishism 243
  • 8 - Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophilia 263
  • 9 - Incest 301
  • III - Response Preference Anomalies *
  • 10 - Exhibitionism 321
  • 11 - Voyeurism 381
  • 12 - Sexual Aggression and Rape 392
  • 13 - Sadism and Masochism 427
  • IV - Physical Disorders *
  • 14 - The Intersexes 450
  • 15 - Sexual Dysfunction 472
  • V - Concluding Remarks *
  • 16 - Concluding Remarks 497
  • Appendix One - Sexual History Questionnaire - Male 501
  • Appendix Two - A Sample SHQ Profile 521
  • Subject Index 523
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