Sexual fetishes: Sensations, perceptions, and correlates

Most literature on sexual fetishes focuses on maldevelopment, abnormality, and stigma. Benefits and psychosocial aspects of practising fetishes are seldom documented. We aimed to explore the sensations, perceptions, and socioemotional experiences involved in practicing fetishes. We recruited 316 participants from various websites and social media platforms geared specifically for people with fetishes. Participants completed our online anonymous questionnaire which yielded both quantitative and qualitative data. When asked what they wanted the world to know about their fetish, content analysis showed that those who engage in fetishes gave responses that fell into the categories of what fetishes are not, what fetishes are, about the practice itself, and about negative aspects. Participants had typical Satisfaction with Life scores. Participants had lower than typical Mate Value Scale scores (a gauge of one’s own perceived desirability) with some exception. Results suggest generally positive experiences and attitudes among those who practice fetishes and support the notion that fetishes are not inherently pathological.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in 'Psychology & Sexuality' on 2021-04-14, available online:



Work Title Sexual fetishes: Sensations, perceptions, and correlates
Open Access
  1. Marissa A. Harrison
  2. Bradley E. Murphy
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Informa UK Limited
Publication Date April 14, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1080/19419899.2021.1915368
  1. Psychology & Sexuality
Deposited September 09, 2021




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  • Added Creator Bradley E. Murphy
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