Ep.25.Sexual Happiness Podcast: What Are Fetishes All About?
Are you gaga for grit and pebbles or loco for locomotives? Maybe you are hot for trotters and can't climax unless one little piggie makes it to that damned elusive market and another goes 'weeeeeee' all the way home?
So, what actually qualifies as a 'fetish' or a 'kink'? Is it safe or indeed healthy to practise these often bizarre predilections? Well... The World Health Authority, they say yes - as long as no one comes to harm. Do you have a secret fetish that you'd like to introduce to a partner but aren't sure of the best way to approach it?
This week, Sam and Nick are joined by Lovehoney newbie, Violet and they share their thoughts on what fetishes are all about as well as answering your questions and sharing their sex facts!
And of course we cover our usual segments "You can never know enough about sex" and "Question of the week" where we share what we've learned about sex this week, and answer your sex questions.
Got a question or topic you want us to cover? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
You can find us on iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify. New episodes every Wednesday. Subscribe to stay up to date!
You may also like:
- Marcus T - Fetish Photographer: My First Time At A Fetish Club
- Kink vs Fetish: What's The Difference?
- How To Introduce Kink To Your Relationship
Transcription: Lovehoney Podcast Episode 25
Sammy [00:00:07] Hello! You're listening to the Sexual Happiness Podcast from Lovehoney, where we answer your questions about sex and sex toys. I'm Sammy.
Nick [00:00:14] I'm Nick.
Violet [00:00:15] And I'm Violet.
Sammy [00:00:16] And this week we're asking the question: "what are fetishes all about?" But before we get onto our topic, we want to hear from you guys. So if you're listening and you and your partner are long distance, and you've used an app controlled sex toy or would like to use an app controlled sex toy, then please get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com
Nick [00:00:36] So you might have noticed we've got a new person on the podcast this week. We've got Violet!
Violet [00:00:45] Hello! I am a Lovehoney's newest well, second newest Content Exec.
Sammy [00:00:49] Hello!
Violet [00:00:49] Hello! I'm a new Lovehoney baby.
Sammy [00:00:53] And how are you finding it at Lovehoney?
Violet [00:00:55] Wonderful. It's so much more fun than what I used to write about!
Sammy [00:00:58] What did you used to write about?
Violet [00:01:00] The cloud and digital transformation.
Sammy [00:01:03] Oh, yes, I can see how dull your days would be. Our days are so much more exciting.
Nick [00:01:05] Excellent. I'm really impressed with myself, actually, because my daughter's called Violet. I'm getting on a bit, so I'm a bit confused, but I've not yet called you Violet Bear Piglet Pants.
Violet [00:01:16] I'm very impressed by that, too. That's better than my last boss, I have to say.
Sammy [00:01:19] I'm slightly relieved. Good. So yes. Welcome to the podcast Violet. But before we get onto our topic about fetishes this week, we have to do our "you can never know enough about sex" section. So Violet, what did you learn about sex this week?
Violet [00:01:34] The thing I learned about sex is you don't actually need to stimulate your genitals to have an orgasm. But I also found out that some very, very lucky people can orgasm from having their eyebrows stroked.
Nick [00:01:47] Their eyebrows?
Violet [00:01:47] And some people can orgasm from brushing their teeth.
Sammy [00:01:50] What?
Violet [00:01:51] Sounds lovely. And some... One very, very lucky lady in America can think her way to orgasm.
Sammy [00:01:58] Can think... The power of the mind.
Violet [00:02:00] The power of the mind.
Nick [00:02:01] I'd say the power of the mind is more likely than brushing your teeth!
Violet [00:02:04] Well, electric toothbrushes, you can see, but the actual mouth...
Sammy [00:02:10] That must make trips to the dentist very exciting for those people.
Violet [00:02:13] She must have wonderful oral hygiene.
Sammy [00:02:16] I'm just brushing my teeth. You just did it. I'm doing it again! Nick, how about you?
Nick [00:02:21] Well, in the spirit of fetishes, I had a look at some fetish stuff. And I found out that the first mention of foot fetishes dates back to 1220 AD when a German preacher called Bertold of Regensburg wrote about it... Wrote about his love of feet.
Sammy [00:02:41] Wrote about his love of feet? Did he just say, I love feet and leave it at that? Was there anything more in depth?
Nick [00:02:46] My German's not that good. And while finding that out I also found out that there are some famous foot fetishists...
Sammy [00:02:52] Quentin Tarantino is one isn't he?
Violet [00:02:53] Yeah, I have that one.
Nick [00:02:54] Okay, I didn't have that one. Jay Leno.
Sammy [00:02:57] Oh, the talk show talk show host.
Nick [00:03:00] The talk show host. And slightly more highbrow - Thomas Hardy.
Sammy [00:03:04] Thomas Hardy!
Nick [00:03:04] And F. Scott Fitzgerald - both looked feet. Whether they were actually fully qualified fetishists I'm not sure, but...
Sammy [00:03:11] They were just fans of the feet.
Nick [00:03:13] A good foot love, yeah.
Sammy [00:03:15] I learned as well this week. This is not actually the sex fact I was gonna share but as we're on the foot topic... The bonus fact for you is I saw this... It's a diagram of basically which bits of the brain are linked to which parts of the body, and the part of the body that is linked to... the part of the brain that is linked to your feet is next to the part that's linked to your genitals. So that might go some way to explaining why people like feet. Did you say you had you knew of more fetishists?
Violet [00:03:47] You actually stole most of mine Nick, but I had, as well, Andy Warhol.
Sammy [00:03:53] Really?
Violet [00:03:53] Yeah, and he really was in defeat. And I heard that he kept a mummified foot next to his bed.
Sammy [00:04:00] Wow. That is very into feet.
Violet [00:04:02] That's commitment there.
Sammy [00:04:02] Covered in soup!
Violet [00:04:07] I did not know what you meant then, I was like what?! Right. Right. He's the soup man.
Sammy [00:04:14] The soup man. The Campbell soup man. Yeah. So the other thing I learned this week, other than your foot part of the brain being next to your bits part of the brain... Was that the designer, Yves Saint Lauren, have started selling condoms. Designer condoms. I'm assuming the patterns are only on the packaging rather than on the condom itself. But yeah, they're £5 a pop...
Nick [00:04:40] For a packet?
Sammy [00:04:41] No, no, no - per condom.
Nick [00:04:42] £5 for a condom?
Sammy [00:04:43] £5 for a single condom. This is YSL we're talking about... you're not going to get it cheap. They were next to £300 pound yoga mats.
Nick [00:04:49] So let's move on to our main topic of the week, which is "what are fetishes all about?" So first question, nice and simple - what is a fetish?
Sammy [00:05:00] So my understanding of a fetish is that it's something that a person needs to enjoy as part of their sex life in order for their sex life to be fulfilling, and in some cases, even to become aroused. And normally a fetish is based around an object or a set of objects or something. And one thing we spoke about on a podcast previously was lithophilia, which was an attraction to rocks and gravel. So it's something like that, but it's something that, yeah, a person needs to be able to enjoy their sex life.
Nick [00:05:33] Yeah. So the dictionary definition: a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to in an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.. So an excessive and irrational devotional commitment to a particular thing.
Sammy [00:05:51] The history of it came from the idea of worshiping something. So it's kind of the term fetish, I think, was born out of like worshiping an idol or something. And it's linked to that. And I think it's the World Health Organization have a definition of a fetish, which they say it's a perfectly normal part of a sex life as long as it isn't harmful. And as long as you're not harming yourself or other people. So it's something that's perfectly natural and normal.
Violet [00:06:22] Yeah, I think that definition that you found needs updating - the word abnormal there - no place for that.
Nick [00:06:29] So we've already mentioned foot fetishes and we've already mentioned the... I was gonna say strange... the perfectly normal attraction to rocks. What other examples are there of popular fetishes?
Sammy [00:06:42] Um. Well if you can think of it, it's probably a fetish. So some people are attracted to like wet look clothing. That's a fetish. Some people are attracted to...
Violet [00:06:58] Quirofilia. Which I'm probably saying wrong. But that is like a foot fetish, but it's for your hands.
Sammy [00:07:04] I did not know that was a thing.
Violet [00:07:06] Yeah, that only a little bit easier to get your hands involved cause they're a little bit more dexterous.
Sammy [00:07:13] Yeah. Slightly easier that one than a foot fetish.
Violet [00:07:16] You can grip something a little bit better with a hand than a foot. I don't think we should refer to it as a foot fetish anymore. I think we should refer to it as being 'hot for trotters'.
Sammy [00:07:26] 'Hot for trotters.' I love it. Other fetishes... it can really be anything.
Sammy [00:07:33] Some people have fetishes about um, like hair...
Nick [00:07:37] Food.
Sammy [00:07:37] Yeah food. Food fetishes.
Violet [00:07:43] Spectrophilia?
Sammy [00:07:44] Ooh is that ghosts?
Violet [00:07:44] Yes. Sexy ghosts.
Sammy [00:07:47] Spectrophilia. There's...
Violet [00:07:48] Top sexy ghosts. Go!
Sammy [00:07:53] Top sexy ghosts! Patrick Swayzee in Ghost. Caspar?!
Nick [00:07:58] Nearly Headless Nick?
Violet [00:08:00] Yeah. Would defo. Sorry, Casper.
Sammy [00:08:06] I think feet is one of the ones that people tend to think of first when they think of the word fetish. Maybe because it alliterates.
Violet [00:08:11] Yeah, it's got to be one of the most common ones, especially with heterosexual men.
Sammy [00:08:15] Yeah.
Nick [00:08:16] So I guess the big question - my big question is, what is the difference between a fetish and a kink?
Violet [00:08:24] So I think really. While all fetishes could be considered kinks, not all kinks are fetishes. Where, as we were saying Sam, for people who have fetishes, the item they have they fetishize has to be present for them to have sexual satisfaction. Kink is kind of more like icing on the cake and it just adds a bit of pleasure. It's not integral to the sexual experience.
Sammy [00:08:51] Yeah. So I think a kink is defined as something... It was... We come back to that word abnormality but I think when it was first described, it was that thing of an unusual sexual preference. But it doesn't mean that that preference has to... Or that that certain stimulus has to be there - like some people like spanking, but they might not like it every time and only in certain situations. So that'll be a kink.
Violet [00:09:17] Yeah. Seems to suggest from my research that fetishes are more deeply connected to psychological stimulation. Whereas kinks... Yeah.
Sammy [00:09:30] Fancy a spank now and again? Yeah, so kind of a bit more casual.
Violet [00:09:36] Yeah. Why not? It's in room...
Nick [00:09:40] Okay, so going back to the wet look, example, it's I can't get off unless I'm wearing wet look or my partner's wearing wet look. But kink is a bit... Fancy wearing wet look tonight?
Sammy [00:09:53] And I think also we had an episode recently about sexual fantasies. So I guess kinks fall more into the realm of fantasy in that they are an add on to your sex life or something that you might enjoy from time to time, rather than something that you need to have to enjoy it.
Nick [00:10:10] So fetishes then - quite deep seated things. Do we think they're healthy?
Sammy [00:10:16] I think yeah. I think as long as you are examining or exploring your fetish in a safe way that isn't harming you, isn't harming other people around you, then yes, I think they're perfectly healthy. And even to think about them, I think is healthy. It's more about the execution. That's where you might run into things being a little more problematic if they are things that put you in a dangerous position.
Violet [00:10:38] Well, what I was thinking of was like, if you had a fetish for trains, like high speed trains... Like that's a dangerous fetish to have.
Sammy [00:10:46] But also, I think there are certain fetishes out there and certain kinks as well that can be dangerous if they're not explored safely. If you are aroused by things that perhaps aren't the safest, then definitely look into the safety practices around it and what you can do to keep yourself safe. Basically, yeah, educate yourself about the best practices.
Nick [00:11:07] So if your fetish is around an object, does that object have to be present or is it just the visual stimulus of an object? So say for example, your thing is trains and you have to get off around trains. Watching a train video - does that satisfy that fetish, do you think? Trains is a fairly flippant example but if you see what I mean.
Violet [00:11:33] Depends how sexy the train is, I guess.
Sammy [00:11:35] But yeah. No, I think it depends on the person and what it is about that object that arouses them. So let's take the trains example again. Maybe it's the sound so you could play train music or you know, play train sounds or something or maybe it's the look or maybe it's the speed or like what it does. There will be aspects of that object that they find arousing, I think. And so you have to kind of know what that is in order to be able to satisfy that fetish.
Nick [00:12:07] So it's case of it's down to the individual then. And if we look maybe at a more sensible example than trains will be back to the foot thing. Is it the presence of someone else's foot? Is it having your own foot touched? Is it, actually I can just read a book that's full of pictures of feet and I'm very happy?
Sammy [00:12:25] Yeah, it very much depends on the person. Some people might like to see specifically, painted toenails. I remember when I was reading up about foot fetishes a while ago, red painted toenails are a big turn on for a lot of foot fetishists, but for other people it could be it could be about the smell and it can be about... they don't necessarily want the feet near their genitals. They would rather suck them, or lick them, or whatever. It's very... Yes, it is an individual thing.
Nick [00:12:56] It's just reminded me actually of a thread on the Lovehoney forum from quite a while ago now actually, and it was by a card, a poster named Cardi Boy and his thing was cardigans.
Sammy [00:13:12] Right. Okay.
Nick [00:13:13] Really, really massive turn on for him. But they had to be a very specific type of cardigan. Only crew neck cardigans.
Sammy [00:13:21] Only crew neck?
Nick [00:13:22] And had to have at least nine or ten buttons. So with these very specific fetishes, if you're in a relationship. How do you go about bringing that up with your partner, obviously?
Sammy [00:13:33] Not just down the pub. I think it's something that you should talk about. Well, we say this every time, but I think it definitely rings true with this - you should talk about it in a place where you are not both vulnerable. So don't talk about it just after you've had sex or just as you're about to have sex, don't suddenly launch it in with "I like trains" or whatever it might be. Yes, so I think where you talk about it is important. I think how you talk about it is important because you have to consider this may be the thing that turns you on most, but you can't... I think if you just come out to a partner and say "this is my biggest turn on", they might react negatively if they think that somehow implies that they are not part of that. So you have to involve them in that kink and have to talk about it in that or in that fetish. You have to talk about it in terms of it being with them and them being part of it, if that's possible.
Nick [00:14:28] And at what juncture of your relationship it's taking place and if it's something you develop, then I can imagine that being a little bit trickier.
Sammy [00:14:36] Yeah, it might be harder to talk about later on.
Nick [00:14:38] Yeah, but you know, if you're upfront with someone straight away and they're accepting of it and you know, broadminded then... Hooray!
Sammy [00:14:47] And I think this is something that we get asked a lot, you know, people who have been in relationships for a long time and kind of always having the same sort of sex life, and then they want to change that. It's almost harder like you say, to bring that up then, than is to do at the start of a relationship. But I think what you have to bear in mind is that people's sexual tastes change, just like your taste buds change as you age. And what turned you on 25 years ago might not be what turns you on now. And I think if people are more willing to kind of accept that and not see it as a reflection on themselves so much, then the world would be a happier place!
Nick [00:15:22] Yes.
Sammy [00:15:23] Yes. And I think, yeah, think about ways that you can introduce your kink with your partner without necessarily... Depending again on what it is, without necessarily going to the kind of top level of your kinks or your fetish straight away. Yeah. If you know that the kink is around a sound, maybe try working it into like if you have a sex playlist, like if you can find a way to build it in. Just build in elements as you go rather than throwing everything at them all at once I think.
Nick [00:15:55] Yes. Sounds good.
Violet [00:15:57] Like a good example would be if you do have a foot fetish, rather than jump into licking somebody's toes, why don't you just offer your partner a foot rub? Most people like a foot rub.
Sammy [00:16:09] Yeah, absolutely. Find a way that it can be beneficial for both of you, I think. And also ask them about their kinks and fetishes because they might have one that they've not told you about either. And it's a good point to share.
Nick [00:16:18] How should you react if your partner tells you that they have a fetish?
Sammy [00:16:23] I think, how you should react is to be loving and accepting and, you know, the fact is it doesn't change who they are, but in reality, that's not always the case. And it does depend on how they tell you as well, because you can say, "oh, I'm very open and receptive to these ideas", but if someone just shouts the words, "I have a train fetish" out of nowhere, then it can be hard not to react surprised or even shocked. But I think if they have come to you and, you know, talked sensitively about the subject, then it might not be for you. And that's fine. But also, don't make them feel guilty or ashamed for having that fetish. Just be accepting but also discuss with them, "okay, this isn't something for me. Maybe we can look at compromising and working on this together, but if it's really, really not for you, then you don't have to take them off, but you don't have to indulge them in that fetish I don't think. Because then you're just... You're forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do, which you should never be doing in sex.
Nick [00:17:22] Absolutely.
Violet [00:17:24] Well, I guess also just talking about these kinds of things that turn us on is enough sometimes. You don't have to act on everything. And just because someone says that they are really into trains, doesn't mean they're going to be holding up everyone's commute on Monday morning. You can just talk about it and enjoy that.
Nick [00:17:40] Well, I think that just about covers fetishes for us for this week. But if anyone would like to get in touch - talk about their fetishes with us, we'll give you the contact details at the end of the show. We'd really love to hear it, if anyone wants to share.
Sammy [00:17:56] Yeah, well yeah. It's a fascinating subject and because it's such a broad, broad subject that, you know, we always want to hear about more and we want to learn about more, because you can never know enough about sex.
Nick [00:18:06] You can never know enough about sex.
Sammy [00:18:07] As we said. And also, if you do have a fetish and you're not sure about bringing it up with your partner or how to explore it, then don't forget to check out the Lovehoney forum as well, because there's lots of threads on there about different fetishes, people's tips, peoples sort of accounts of what they've tried and how they've brought it up. So yeah, do go up to the forum if you are a UK customer because we didn't have it in the U.S. or Australia unfortunately at the moment, and check it out there (but you can still see the threads). Okay, so that brings us on to our question of the week this week. And it's a short one. So it's from the forum again and it is: "My partner and I want to try pegging, but we're not sure which lubricant is best to use. Any tips?"
Nick [00:18:44] Yes!
Sammy [00:18:45] Okay.
Nick [00:18:46] I'm not sharing them. I'm just being stupid, sorry! Yes, anal lube. You want an anal lube. They are thicker than normal water based lubricants, and they'll last a bit longer. So choose a good quality anal lube. We, Lovehoney, sell one called Discover and there are some other brands available such as Pjur, spelt 'pure' - they manufacture quite a lot of different anal lubricants. And really the main thing to think about when you've got your lube is one lot probably won't be sufficient. So keep re-aplying, re-applying the lubricant to both the pegging shaft that you've chosen and also to your partner's anus.
Sammy [00:19:35] The other thing to consider as well is 'what is the strap on made of that you're using?' If you're using a silicone dildo in your harness, then you don't want to use a silicone lube because those two things don't react well together and it can actually damage your toy. So make sure if you've got a silicone sex toy, you are using a water based lubricant.
Nick [00:19:54] And you can easily... If you're shopping on Lovehoney, you can easily find out what the ingredients are.
Sammy [00:19:58] Yes. And I think Discover is in fact, a water based anal lube.
Nick [00:20:02] Yeah, Discover's a water based one. Not sure about the Pjur ones - pretty sure they're water based as well, but it will tell you in the product name and the description what it is.
Sammy [00:20:09] Just double check before you buy. So that brings us to the end of the show this week. But to say thank you for listening, we're giving you 15 percent off absolutely anything you want to buy at Lovehoney. Maybe it's a new strap on. Maybe it's some anal lube. But to claim your discount, just check out the links in the episode description and you'll be taken to the website nearest to you in the world.
Violet [00:20:26] If you've enjoyed this week's episode, don't forget to give us the rating we deserve. Maybe tell your friends and drop us a review. We love to know what you think.
Nick [00:20:33] You can also follow Lovehoney on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You'll find us on YouTube at LovehoneyTV. And if you have any questions or you want to tell us about your fetishes or indeed your kinks, you can get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sammy [00:20:48] And don't forget to come back next Wednesday when we'll have a brand new episode for you. Thanks for listening! Bye!