“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as such, beauty varies greatly depending on each culture. In ancient China, women with smaller feet were considered the most beautiful. Young girls wore shoes that were too small for them, to prevent their feet from growing, this is known as “feet binding”. In subcultures of Africa and Asia, women with longer necks were considered the prettiest of all. Women thus wore multiple metal necklaces, or “neck rings” in order to expand their necks. Eventually their necks would become so long they could no longer support their own weight. Some tribes located in South America and Africa use lip plates. These lip plates are big circular stones placed in the mouth to stretch the bottom lip. As greatly as beauty standards differ all over the world, so do fetishes. Most people have heard of men being attracted to butts, chests or legs, but how about being into, rocks, wood and bugs? As it turns out there are all sorts of unusual fetishes. There is typically a cultural taboo surrounding fetishes or anything sexual that is deemed out of the ordinary, which makes researching fetishes rather difficult. Here is a list of 14 fetishes that you have probably never heard of. Luckily, unlike many beauty treatments, most of these fetishes are odd but not painful or dangerous.
Formicophilia is a subtype of zoophilia, characterized by sexual arousal from insects. Genitalia does not have to be the prime focus for individuals to become aroused: insects crawling and nibbling on other parts of the body is also a common feature of this fetish. Interestingly, formicophilia differs depending on culture. For example, in Japan, there exists an adult rated type of art known as “Genki Genki,” in which women are covered with sea creatures and sometimes insects. More extreme cases of formicophilia include covering oneself with honey to feel pleasure as the insects feast, or, putting insects within one’s orifices to enjoy them attempting to escape.
Nasolingus is the act of being sexually aroused by sucking on someone’s nose. As far as fetishes go, this one is pretty tame, well, other than perhaps eating snot. Noses are normally cute after all, right? This fetish also seems more common than you’d think, as some online dating sites even offer a “nasolingus” keyword search to find the perfect mate. Nasolingus videos and images also seem to serve as a form of entertainment for chuckles on the web.
Psychrophilia is the paraphilia of being aroused by being cold or seeing others who are cold. While some psychrophiles enjoy their partner(s) freezing voluntarily, others prefer seeing people freeze against their will. (Hopefully they keep cold medicine handy.) Many relationship advice magazines, such as Cosmopolitan and Redbook, advise the use of ice during intercourse to intensify the activity. Psychrophiles perhaps then just enjoy ice a little more than your average person. The fetish is also common enough for there to be a Facebook page for “Mr. Freeze” the villain of the 1997 Batman movie and his psychrophilia.
Frotteurism: the paraphilia where one is aroused by touching a stranger, usually in an unsuspicious manner (where the victim usually assumes the touching was caused by accident) in public places. Frotteurs normally enact on their desires in very busy areas: subways, trains, elevators, buses and essentially any area where space is restricted. The victims of frotteurism normally do not complain as they are either unaware of what is going on, they feel ashamed or they don’t want to cause a scene. One theory, the theory of courtship disorder, states that by rubbing themselves against their victim, frotteurs expect to create a deep, personal relationship with the accosted.
Teratophilia is paraphilia of being sexually aroused by “those with physical deformities” There exist many sub genres of teratophilia, including acrotomophilia: sexual pleasure from amputees, and stigmatophilia: sexual arousal by scarred individuals. Teratophilia may not be as unusual as it sounds, and may have an evolutionary explanation. According Dr. Paul Rainey, biology lecturer at Oxford University, “if everyone is going after the most common characteristics, then someone who targets the rare ones, would have an advantage.” Though the doctor’s findings are primarily based on animal research, one could see how the same idea could in theory apply to humans as well.
Chasmophilia is the arousal from caverns, crevices and valleys. It is another particularly interesting fetish as it is also the opposite of another common fear: claustrophobia. Instead of fearing tights spaces, chasmophiles are turned on by them. As there is a taboo around “weird” fetishes such as this one, very little academic research has actually been conducted on this fetish. Thus, other than the definition, very little is known about it. Perhaps in the future, when people are more open-minded, chasmophiles will be able to come forward and share their experiences so that we may know more about this phenomenon.
Savantophiles are aroused by the mentally impaired. If any relationship can come of this fetish, it is easy to see how it may be problematic or be shunned by society. For example, the movie Forrest Gump: though Jenny and Forrest clearly both care for each other, Jenny is reluctant to commit to Forrest. Jenny is not a savantophile, however, their complicated relationship still shows the stigma of a couple where one partner is cognitively impaired. As strange as it sounds this fetish is also referred to in pop culture. In Paulo Coelho’s novel, Veronica Decides to Die, the protagonist, Veronica, touches herself in front a mute individual in a mental hospital because the idea of him watching her do so without him being able to say anything, arouses her. Though savantophilia is not the point of the novel, it is still interesting that it is featured within the book for a brief moment.
Xylophilia is the sexual paraphilia where an individual is sexually attracted to wooden objects. This type of fetish is sometimes combined with ylophilia: sexual arousal in the presence of forests. Ylophilia itself is also very similar to dendrophilia: sexual arousal caused by trees. Xylophilia kind of makes sense, as wooden objects are very firm. The term “wood” is even slang for erection. Even ylophilia and dendrophilia are at least, a little a bit logical, being surrounded by vaguely phallic shaped objects could in theory be arousing.
Lithophilia is the sexual arousal to stones. Apparently the old saying is true, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Though lithophilia is a fetish, it can also simply mean someone who has a non-sexual love for stones. For instance, Chinese culture is one of the most lithophilic in the world. Chinese rock gardens are a prime example, also the concept of using stones indoors for decorations, in trays or on scholars’ desks. A dream partner for a lithophile would be “the Thing” from Fantastic Four, as he is not only hard as rock, but made of rocks too.
Gerontophilia is the paraphilia where one is aroused by the elderly. The term was coined as far back as 1886, in Austria, when psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing described it as “the love of persons of advanced age.” Since this definition is rather vague, sexologists have developed a more precise definition, such as that of John Money, whom in 1981 defined the term as “the condition in which a young adult is dependent on the actuality or fantasy of erotosexual activity with a much older partner in order to initiate and maintain arousal and facilitate or achieve orgasm.” To give an age bracket, gerontophiles are usually attracted to persons of 60 years of age and up.
4. Cake Farting
Cake farting is being aroused by the act of farting into a cake, or watching someone fart into a cake. There are a surprisingly high number of cake farting videos online, though whether this is because people are into it or are amused by it, is difficult to know. This fetish also brings to mind a variety of questions: would one still eat the cake after? If not, is it really worth wasting such perfectly good cake? Really? Would cupcakes be acceptable or does it have to be an actual cake? Does the cake have to be frosted? According to Urban Dictionary, yes the rear-end must come into contact with the frosting.
Vorarephilia (also known as “vore”) is the sexual paraphilia where an individual finds sexual gratification by eating another person’s body parts, being eaten themselves or watching cannibalistic acts. As this type of fetish can rarely actually take place, it is primarily based on fantasy (stories, art or video games). There are many subtypes of vore. Hard vore includes the victim suffering from horrific, gory injuries. Soft vore is characterized by the victim being swallowed whole. Yes there are more types as well.
This fetish could be featured in a “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” exhibit; climacophilia is the sexual arousal to falling down stairs. It would also make a great plot twist for any soap opera: “I have to tell you…I was the one who threw myself down the stairs, it was not an accident, for you see I am…a climacophile!” What makes this fetish particularly unusual is how it’s the opposite of a very common fear: the fear of heights. For this fetish people actually want to fall. Moreover, the pain aspect of this fetish, further differentiates it from other paraphilia.
Any avid Bob’s Burgers fans may remember episode 18 of season three, “It Snakes a Village,” where Linda’s father (Al) admits that he has a fetish for women popping balloons. Believe it or not, Al’s fetish is a very real one. People like Al are called “looners,” they are sexually aroused by popping, riding or being around balloons. Some looners particularly like popping the balloons (as the balloons are a metaphor for orgasm). Others are terrified at the idea of popping balloons (the balloon being a metaphor for life: its popping symbolizes death). So the next time you’re having a party, you may or may not want to include balloons, depending on what kind of party it is.