Female Fetishism: A New Look

Female Fetishism: A New Look

Female Fetishism: A New Look

Female Fetishism: A New Look


In recent years, the Freudian construction of a passive female sexuality has been severely criticised by feminists. This is the first book to tackle the question of female fetishism and to document women's engagement with this form of sexuality. Most psychoanalytic theory excludes the very possibility of the existence of female fetishism. In the face of the wealth of material about fetishistic practices gathered in this book, the authors suggest that Freudian phallocentrism has prevented analysts from seeing the evidence before their eyes.


Compare the stories told by women and those by men. The differ
ences have many ramifications. Deborah Taiuien

a fetish is a story masquerading as an object Robert Sloller

When we started to write this book about female fetishism we were surprised that the idea that women do not fetishise was still taken for granted. It wasn't just the images of Madonna and other female celebrities wearing fetish fashions and enjoying what is often called 'kinky sex' (on their own terms) that made us want to question this. We wanted to make the case for 'woman as fetishist' because we found so much empirical evidence that shows her existence.

What women are doing inside sexual subcultures; the often bizarre behaviour of some female 'fans'; as well as women's obsessive relationship to food; all these phenomena persuaded us that orthodox thinking on the subject of female fetishism was grossly inadequate. It certainly couldn't explain what many young women were up to: neither could it conceptualise the female activities going down on what Skin Two magazine describes as 'the international fetish scene'.

But what do we mean by fetishism? Do we really think the stereotypes of 'kinky' sex that film stars like Kim Basinger, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer — to name but a few — have been associated with in the last five years, illustrate all female experiences of fetishism? The straight answer to that question is 'No,' though most people, when they think about fetishism, think of sex with whips and being tied up with bondage gear. So we recognised that any discussion on the subject of fetishism needed to clarify from the outset the differences between the different types of fetishism and various sexual subcultures. To separate fetishism from bondage, sado-masochism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, transvestism, and cross-dressing seemed absolutely vital.

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