I think I have a fetish, does that mean there is something wrong with me?

               A fetish is when a person is sexually aroused by objects, body parts, or situations that are not considered sexual in themselves. Some people are aroused by certain foods in sexual interactions, some by feet, some by wearing specific clothing items such as leather or diapers…the list is extensive. 

              There are many people with many different types of fetishes and only certain circumstances in which their fetishes are a problem. Most fetishes are just slight idiosyncrasies a person has, and may even make sexual interactions more novel and exciting for his or her sexual partner. As long as your fetish does not hurt anyone, and you and your partner are comfortable incorporating it into your sex life, it can just be accepted as a part of who you are or what you like. Fetishes become a problem mainly when they involve coercive behavior. This may mean anything from forcing your partner to engage in activities he or she is not comfortable with, to involving children in your sexual life. Children are not able to consent to sex, both under the law and based on their level of maturity that accompanies their biological development; therefore, engaging in any sexual activity with minors is coercive behavior. Of the people who have fetishes, this is not a common fetish.

Another incident in which fetishes become a problem is when sexual activities are only enjoyable when the fetish is involved. It is up to you and your partner to decide if this is a problem, and to what extent, because every person will have different feelings about this matter.

I often fantasize about rounded, large buttocks. However, my partner has a very flat buttocks. How can I achieve my fantasy?

 

First, we want to tell you that you should never be ashamed of your fantasies. Fantasies are your body’s way of expressing its desires. In truth, there are only a few occasions in which one should worry about fantasies. The first is if this fantasy causes you to act in any way that is disruptive to your daily life. Likewise, if this fantasy leads to any law breaking, it is important to seek help. Fantasies are often impossible, unrealistic desires. That is why they are fantasies. It is only when these fantasies become realities that involve harming or taking advantage of people (including yourself) that there begins to be cause for concern and possible legal consequences. In short, it is okay to have fantasies, but acting on them without expressed consent from a partner could have legal repercussions.

It is also important to distinguish reality from fantasy. Media’s depictions of life (in movies, television, pornography, magazines, etc.) consist of fantasy and ideals. They are scripted, edited, and not made to reflect reality. Most of the people you see on screens or magazine covers have had their appearances airbrushed and digitally altered. For this reason, we recommend that you try not to compare your partner to celebrities and porn stars. We recommend that you try to find other parts of her body and personality that arouse you and appreciate those.

Above all else, we recommend that you communicate with your partner. Your sex life directly involves the two of you. There may be a fantasy or character you can both agree on that would provide excitement for both you and your partner. Similarly, you both could work out together to achieve healthier, more toned bodies. We recommend that you speak with your partner and try to come up with a solution that pleases both of you. That being said, we suggest you approach this conversation carefully, and make suggestions as “we” statements instead of “you” statements so that your partner does not feel that they are inadequate or being attacked. If you both work together towards a mutual goal then you will have much more success and feel much closer.

 

After watching a film about BDSM, I've been wanting to try some of these things with my significant other. What is the best way to tell your partner you want to try new kinkier things?

“BDSM” is an abbreviation that stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism. BDSM includes a variety of erotic practices and can range from simple blindfolding to multi-day dominance-submission role-playing sessions. If you want to incorporate some of these practices into your sex life, it is important to be open and honest about exactly what you are interested in with your partner. At a time when you are both relaxed and focused on each other—perhaps after dinner or while taking a walk—tell your partner that you are interested in trying some kinkier things, and ask them for their opinion. Suggest beginning with something small such as blindfolding one another with a bandana or tying each other up with a scarf. The removal of one sense (e.g., sight, touch) can heighten the other senses and puts one partner in a position of control, which can be exciting and arousing for both partners.

The most important aspect of BDSM is that everyone involved consents and feels safe and comfortable. Most couples that engage in BDSM practices discuss it extensively beforehand in order to establish boundaries and agree on a "safe word." This safe word is used when one partner wants the other to slow down or decrease a behavior or to cease the action altogether. When the safe word is uttered, all activity should stop immediately so that you and your partner can discuss why he or she said the word.

It is crucial that all people involved in BDSM practices and all forms of kinky sex are enjoying the interaction and are not forced to engage in behaviors that they do not feel comfortable with. While pushing one's boundaries is often a freeing and positive experience, it can also be traumatic if proper precautions are not taken. Keep in mind that while you are allowed to ask your partner to try new things, you must be respectful of their wishes if they are not comfortable with what you suggest. Remember, all forms of sex, kinky or not, should be an expression of love and connection, and consent is key!