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Eroticization refers to a still little understood phenomenon in which a person begins to experience an erotic response to a certain stimulus. This is normally neither a conscious nor a deliberate process, but just "happens" to a person, usually at a very young age. The child is often not aware of the sexual nature of their "strange fascination" with the respective object or subject until they reach puberty/adolescence.

The term eroticization is mostly used for stimuli that are "not generally considered erotic" by society - in other words, paraphilia. The eroticized object or subject is also called a sexual fetish.

Almost anything, it seems, can be eroticized, but there seem to exist three major groups:

  • Eroticization of body parts
    • e.g. foot, buttocks, hair fetishism
  • Eroticization of objects, materials, and items of clothing
    • e.g. shoe, lingerie, lace, leather, latex fetishism
  • Eroticization of activities that cause feelings such as fear, pain, shame, or helplessness
    • e.g. spanking fetishism, BDSM, medical fetishism


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