The Truth About Unwanted Sexual Arousal (VIDEO)

The Truth About Unwanted Sexual Arousal (VIDEO)

Scientists who study sexual arousal have found that when they show participants a pornographic video, many people (especially women) show signs of genital arousal while simultaneously reporting that they do not feel aroused. This so-called arousal “nonconcordance” has presented a conundrum for researchers—which measure is the more valid way of determining what a participant truly wants and desires?

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Rats With Jacket Fetishes? What Animal Sex Studies Reveal About The Origin Of Unusual Sexual Interests

Rats With Jacket Fetishes? What Animal Sex Studies Reveal About The Origin Of Unusual Sexual Interests

Psychologists have discovered that people can develop sexual fetishes for a wide range of objects, with some of the most common being articles of clothing, including underwear, lingerie, and stockings (for a look at some of the more unusual fetishes ever documented, check out this article). But where do these highly specific sexual interests come from in the first place? Scientists have long argued that conditioning processes might serve as a viable explanation, and a growing number studies (mostly focused on animals rather than humans) have supported this view. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the evidence.

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Sex Question Friday: Are Some People Born With Fetishes?

Sex Question Friday: Are Some People Born With Fetishes?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who was curious about the origin of sexual fetishes:

“Are we born with fetishes or are they things that we learn and develop throughout our lives?”

Good question! Over the years, I have heard many people claim that fetishes and other unusual sexual interests must be inborn because these urges tend to emerge very early in life and people feel that they do not have any choice or conscious control in the matter (much like sexual orientation). However, I personally don’t buy the idea that people are “born with” very specific and highly unique sexual interests in things like rubber, pantyhose, or feet, and I’m not aware of any research to suggest that this is likely to be the case. Scientists have not identified a foot fetish gene, or a gene for any other fetish for that matter--and although I can't say with any certainty if they ever will, I wouldn't hold my breath. Instead, I would argue that a person is more likely to be born with a generalized predisposition to developing fetishes, as opposed to being born with a specific fetish. Also, regardless of one’s predispositions, some research suggests that fetishes can potentially be learned by just about anyone under the right circumstances.

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Beyond The Foot: A Look At Some Of The Most Unusual Sexual Fetishes

Beyond The Foot: A Look At Some Of The Most Unusual Sexual Fetishes

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you hear the word “fetish?” For many of you, that word is probably “foot,” or perhaps something that is worn over the feet (e.g., stockings, boots). One of the reasons for this is likely because when fetishes make an appearance in pop culture, feet and shoes are usually the focus of attention. This isn’t particularly surprising in light of the fact that research has found that, by and large, feet are typically the single most common fetish object, a pattern of behavior known as podophilia. However, feet are far from the only thing that people can develop fetishes for. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of the lesser known fetishes.

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Sex Question Friday: Why Do Some People Have Fetishes?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re talking about fetishes. Fetishes refer to cases where an individual’s sexual desires and behaviors hinge upon a specific object, such as shoes or feet. Contrary to popular belief, having a fetish isn't necessarily problematic. It only becomes a problem when desire for this object creates persistent personal distress (in other words, a fetish isn't considered a clinical "problem" unless the individual is bothered by it or finds that it interferes with their ability to develop and maintain relationships). People can have fetishes for virtually anything, from the conventional (e.g., silk panties and leather boots) to the unusual (e.g., dirt and cars). It is perhaps no surprise that the most common question people have about fetishes is how they develop in the first place, hence the following question submitted by a reader:

"Why do some people develop strange fetishes?"

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