Fetish

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Definitions

Fetish can be defined from various points of view:

Group Definition
  Inability or difficulty to achieve sexual gratification without the object of the fetish present or involved.
Fetishist What fulfils our cravings
Psychiatry view 1 A mental disorder affecting normal (sexual) life
Psychiatry view 2 Things that people want to do excessively for sexual satisfaction besides reproductive contact and publicly acceptable behaviour
Mass media Anything sexual and provoking besides nudity
Aware media All of the above
"The common people" Anything kinky that others do
Religious aficionados Bad things people do in their bedroom

Someone with a fetish is called a fetishist.

Satisfaction aspect

Fetish is an interest in an external matter or article that gives one an intense personal satisfaction. Fetish is most commonly understood, or at least appreciated, as a sexual extension by the majority. However the term of "fetish" is known to be appreciated for other emotional fulfilments outside of sex, such as gratification or accomplishment by an external stimulus of continually winning successive awards.

Thus the scope of what can be listed as a "fetish" is as varied as the people who find appreciation with various topics.

According to several psychological professional associations, including the World Health Organization and American Psychiatric Associations, "fetish" (the various fetish communities' style of transfer sexuality, sexual satisfaction to an external object) is described as a Mental Disorder when the person engaging in said lifestyles does so for a period of time and it prevents them from functioning in mainstream ("normal") society. This basically includes all fetish persons, as they are usually people who engage in such behaviours for long periods of this life and are unable to engage in their fetish in an open manner for fear of social condemnation for being different from the "mainstream" society and thus usually only engage in their particular fetish in private.

American Psychiatric Association (ed.). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fourth Edition, Text Revised (DSM-IV). American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C., 2000.

Diagnostic criteria for 302.83 Sexual Masochism
A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviours involving the act (real, not simulated) of being humiliated, beaten, bound or otherwise made to suffer.
B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviours cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Many disagree with such classification and specifically lobby to have such organisations remove what they personally accept as normal for their personage in order to remove any possible legal restrictions as well as minimise social attacks for being different in their personal choices when those choices do not adversely affect others.

See also

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