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A female toon ("toonophilia"). Art by BMG.
A dominatrix vixen ("BDSM"). Art by Dustmeat.
A macrofur ("macrophilia"). Art by Doug Winger.

Fetish (noun, pl. fetishes), full sexual fetishism, also known as erotic fetishism, is a form of paraphilia, in this case the sexual fixation on a nonliving object or non-genital body part[1] (the object of interest is called the fetish, while the person who has a fetish for that object is a fetishist).

(Fetish is not to be confused with Fetishism, the belief that a natural object has supernatural powers [i.e. "magic"], or in particular, a human-made object [i.e. an idol] that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent non-material value or powers to an object).


A sexual fetish may be regarded as a non-pathological aid to sexual excitement, or as a mental disorder if it causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life.

The infatuation with fetishes usually becomes evident during human puberty, but may develop prior to that. No single cause for the paraphilia has been conclusively established.

Further definitions[edit]

The sexual arousal from a particular body part can be further classified as partialism. While medical definitions restrict the term sexual fetishism to objects or body parts, fetish can also refer to sexual interest in specific paraphilias.

This broader usage of fetishism covers parts or features of the body (including obesity and body modifications), objects, situations, and activities (such as smoking). Extreme paraphilias (such as urophilia, necrophilia, and coprophilia) have been described as fetishes.

Fetish and furry[edit]

Although probably part of the furry fandom since its early days, the fandom is not considered a "Fetish subculture" (i.e. Polyamory.)

Fetishes are incredibly common in the fandom (same as in mainstream culture) due to their sexual aspect, but they further its boundaries with the inclusion of anthropomorphism within furry media and ideas, generating new fandom exclusive paraphilias (fat furs, fursuit sex, herpetophilia, MPreg furs [furry male pregnancy], plushophilia, hypertrophilia, etc...).

Also, some furry fetishes are borrowed from common popular culture philias such as BDSM, macrophilia, inflation (character or toy), toonophilia, xenophilia, vorarephilia, or unbirthing, while others are attributed to the subculture evern when they are not related[2][3] or were even created therein, either because of ignorance,[4]demonization, or trolling (specifically bestiality and zoophilia, although it is to note that individuals that proffer to favor these mainstream fetishes do exist within the furry community).[5][6]


  1. American Psychiatric Association, ed. (2013). "Fetishistic Disorder, 302.81 (F65.0)". Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. American Psychiatric Publishing. p. 700.
  2. Yes, We're Talking About Furries… No, We're Not Talking About Your Pets article on SexLab. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  3. The Fast and the Furry-ous: Facts and Misconceptions about Furries article on The Signal. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  4. Furries ARE Zoophiles and Here's Why | The Connection Between The Two video on YouTube. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  5. Furscience 2019 Studies page on FurScience's website. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  6. The Furry Sociological Survey (Evans, 2008). (section: Question 9: Are you a zoophile?) PDF on Gwern Branwen's website. Retrieved February 28, 2024.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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