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.
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