Spandex fetishism is a fetishistic attraction to people wearing stretch fabrics or, in certain cases, to the garments themselves.
Many people refer to spandex fetishism as Lycra fetishism, Lycra being INVISTA's trademark for their own brand of spandex fabric.
One reason why spandex and other tight fabrics may be fetishised is that the garment forms a "second skin," acting as a fetishistic surrogate for the wearer's own skin. Wearers of skin-tight nylon and cotton spandex garments can appear naked or coated in a shiny or matte substance like paint. The tightness of the garments may also be seen as sexual bondage. Another reason is that nylon-spandex fabric (preferred by many spandex fetishists) is often produced with a very smooth and silk-like finish, which lends a tactile dimension to the fetish - as well as a visual one.
Spandex is often produced in bright colours.
In comic books, superheroes, superheroines, and supervillains are generally depicted as wearing costumes made of spandex or a similar material. The superheroines always wear skintight, very flashy and bright-coloured costumes that usually cover only just enough of the female body to be presentable. Fantasies involving superheroes or the wearing of superhero costumes are commonly associated with spandex fetishism. This type of fetishism is usually restricted to men. In superheroine-fetishistic pornography, the superheroines, who are either dressed up as either canonical characters or characters invented solely for the fetish, are typically in some sort of trouble, such as bound or fighting supervillains (who are often also female).
Full-body suits called zentai entirely immerse the wearer in skin tight fabric. The suits are essentially catsuits with gloves, feet, and a hood. The wearer gets to experience total enclosure and those who enjoy erotic objectification might make use of the garment's anonymizing aspect. Zentai fetishism appears to be quite popular in Japan and Europe. The world zentai (ゼンタイ) means whole body in Japanese.
Kigurumi (着包み, meaning cartoon-character costume), a form of Japanese costuming, often makes use of lycra as artificial skin.
Spandex fetish in popular culture
- The two most infamous films for spandex fetishists may be Heavenly Bodies (1984) and Breakin' (1984), both of which feature attractive women dancing in tight, brightly-colored spandex outfits in nearly every frame.
- The Disney movie Tron also is notorious for its revealing spandex costumes.
- While nearly all comicbook superheroines wear spandex in one form or another, several popular superheroines are known particularly for wearing a fullbody spandex catsuit as their primary costume, making them particularly appealing to spandex fans. Well-known spandex catsuit-clad superheroines include Spider-Woman, Firestar, Catwoman (especially as played by Julie Newmar), Batgirl, Black Widow (modern costume probably based on Newmar's Catwoman), Black Cat (Marvel's version of Catwoman), Phoenix, Ms. Mystic and Dagger of Cloak and Dagger comics.
- The gay porn star Peter Berlin popularized spandex fetishism beginning in the 1970s in the erotic photographs he posed for that were published in many gay pornographic magazines and the theatre magazine After Dark.