So You Are Dating a Fetishist?

Woman with handcuffs approaching man in bed

“I would never date a fetishist. It’s messed up!”

Sadly, this is said far too often. The misguided idea is that if someone has a sexual interest or proclivity that we don’t (or don’t approve of), that any thoughts of romance are doomed from the start. Is this necessarily the case?

A fetish shouldn’t be confused with a kink: a kink is when someone has a non-traditional sexual craving or ideation that enhances sexual pleasure or intimacy for them. A fetish is when that thing is necessary to engage in fulfilling sex. Fetishes cover everything from body parts (e.g. feet) to materials (e.g. leather) to scenarios (e.g. exhibitionism).

Communication Is Key

Fantasising about a kink is popular, and is even encouraged in many relationships. Many times, a kink is explored once or twice and then never again. A fetish is more likely to become a habit because the person may be unable to achieve arousal or climax without specific stimuli. Dating a fetishist requires plenty of open, honest, non-judgmental communication on both sides. If this already seems like too much for you, you probably shouldn’t date a fetishist.

Fetishes vary widely. Each one has specific requirements that a partner will have to be aware of to make the relationship work. Here are some of the most common fetishes and what it might take to incorporate them into your bedroom activities.

Foot or Shoe Fetish

Foot fetishes are so common, they may not even qualify as unusual anymore. Foot fetishists may like to masturbate with or onto feet. Some like to have sex with open toed shoes. The sight – and often the smell – of feet is arousing to a foot fetishist.

If you find yourself dating someone with this fetish, you’ll want to be highly confident with your own feet and may also require regular pedicures. You’ll also be in for foot rubs … lots and lots of foot rubs!

Cross-Dressing

Believe it or not, plenty of straight people are into cross-dressing. To deal with the stigma, some prefer that they be “forced” or “humiliated” into it by a dominant partner. Others are only too happy to dress up! Cross-dressing can take place only behind closed doors, or it could be done out in public. Your partner might buy their own lingerie, hosiery, or other items for their own use. Or they may occasionally raid your drawers.

Navigating this fetish may require firm boundaries: are they allowed to borrow your clothes, for example? You should also discuss where and when dressing up is okay with you. On date nights? At BDSM parties? Christmas dinner with the family?

Voyeurism and Exhibitionism

There are people whose fetish involves either voyeurism or exhibitionism. You need to take the law into consideration here – you don’t want to be peeping in the windows of strangers or having sex in a public park during the day. This fetish can be as mild as not wearing underwear or as bold as sex in your office during your lunch break.

Like any other fetish play, discussing boundaries is important. This fetish can result in being arrested, so discuss your plans in detail and proceed with caution.

Golden Showers

Urinating on a partner, or having your partner urinate on you is, in fact, a popular fetish. Unlike feet or cross-dressing, there are those who find urine to be intensely inappropriate and revolting to the extent that no amount of communication will change their mind. If this sounds like you, it’s imperative that you be up front with your partner about this. Hopefully, you can discuss it in a way that’s not shaming or judgmental.

If you decide to give golden showers a whirl, remember: safety first. Plastic or vinyl sheets can keep mattresses from being ruined. Better yet, try these activities in the shower or bathtub for an easier clean up.

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