Fetishism refers to intense, repeated, or exclusive sexual arousal via the use of nonliving objects or particular body parts. Fetishistic disorder is classified as a paraphilic disorder within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).


The term fetishism derives from the Portuguese word feitico, meaning “an object made by art and skillfully conceived to symbolize another larger object.” Essentially, fetishism is used to describe the attribution of power to an object. In 1887, the term fetichisme was first used in a sexual context by psychologist Alfred Binet, who proposed that the condition involved an atypical sexual arousal to a particular object.

In subsequent years, fetishism was used in the medical context to describe sexual excitation by nonliving objects, body parts, or bodily ...

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