Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is the sexual arousal a person receives from a physical object. The object of interest is called the fetish, the person a fetishist who has a fetish for that object.Sexual fetishism may be regarded, e.g. in psychiatric medicine, as a disorder of sexual preference or as an enhancing element to a relationship causing a better sexual bond between the partners. The sexual acts involving fetishes are characteristically depersonalized and objectified, even when they involve a partner.
Alfred Binet, a lawyer and hypnotist proposed that fetishes be classified as either “spiritual love” or “plastic love”. “Spiritual love” occupied the devotion for specific mental phenomena, such as attitudes, social class, or occupational roles; while “plastic love” referred to the devotion exhibited towards material objects such as body parts, textures or shoes.
The existential approach to mental disorders developed in the 1940s and influenced a view that fetishes had complex personal meanings beyond the general categories of psychoanalytical treatment. For instance, the Austrian neurologist and logotherapist Viktor Frankl once noted the case of a man with a sexual fetish involving, simultaneously, both frogs and glue.
The concept of spiritual love is not accepted globally because it is impossible to fully define what exactly is “spiritual love.” Also, Binet is not a credible source because he focused mostly on law and natural science, rather than sexual fetishes. Mental phenomena, attitudes, and social class are all things that can be obsessed over, but it is hard to prove that they would be a sexual obsession. It is also hard to incorporate any “idea” into a sexual act or stimulation. However, a mental obsession, such as an idea or excessive thought, can be progressed into a “plastic love.” For example, role playing. If a person has a mental obsession with cowboys, their partner could dress up as a cowboy to make it a real thing or “plastic love.”
Types of Fetishes: It describes a sexual obsession in which the object of the affection is a specific inanimate object.
Voyeurism “Peeping toms” Exhibitionism “Flashing people” Tranasvestitism “Cross dressing”
Partialism- when a part of the body is the object of sexual arousal. It is different from sexual fetishism because the object of the obsession is not inanimate “spiritual love”