People have all sorts of weird and wonderful sexual fetishes.
But sometimes, we can be afraid to share them with whoever is in bed with us, for fear of being judged.
Well, a new ASAP Science video explains how to tell if your fantasy or fetish is normal or not - so you’ll know where you fall on the spectrum of sexual desires.
The video says:
What you find sexy is a combination of cognitive, emotional and physical processes.
Of course, the private aspect of sexual behaviour has made studying fetishes challenging to get around.
But one study, it explains, looked at online chat rooms to see the frequency of typical sexual preferences, based on 5,000 people.
Researchers found that the greatest number of fetishes weren’t just of body parts but of objects associated with body parts, like shoes or headphones.
Two popular groups were “bodily fluids” and “body size” – but the most popular was feet and toes.
This is because there’s actually a neurological basis for foot fetishes.
This map shows which areas of the brain are dedicated to processing sensory functions.
Feet, toes and genitals are all physically right beside each other in the brain.
The video explains that “sexual imprinting” is the process whereby childhood experience affects us later in life. For example, studies have shown people who have a close relationship with their father will grow up to look for partners with physical similarities to him.
But, this can work with objects, too.
The video cites a study were lab rats had their first sexual encounter wearing either nothing, or a Velcro jacket. Those who wore nothing went on to sleep with anyone, but those who wore the Velcro wouldn’t mate again without it.
This could explain why a person with a leather fetish may have difficulty getting off without leather.
The video concludes:
While your specific sexual desires and fetishes may be unique to you and your experience, modern science does show that having one in the first place is a normal part of being human.
Here's the full video: