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Fetishes 101: All The Basics About Having A Sexual Fetish Or Paraphilia

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“I have a shopping fetish!”

“I have a total fetish for caramel-covered popcorn — it’s my favorite snack!”

“She watches the Kardashians’ shows because she has a weird Kim fetish. She’s wants to dress like her so badly.”

You’ve probably heard a comment like this at least once a week your entire life. These sorts of comments drive me bonkers, because those people are not really referring to fetishes.

Instead, they’re misusing the word “fetish” to describe anything they really like, instead of something that sexually turns them on. I imagine it might be the same way gay folks would feel when a straight-person says to their same-sex friend “I’m gay for you,” when really they just mean their friend is a good buddy.

This is a subject we could all stand to know more about.  Obviously I am not a psychologist or a medical expert of any kind; I’m just a woman with a spanking fetish who is researching official information on the subject on Google and including my own experiences and tips. I highly recommend visiting a sex-positive therapist, specifically a sex therapist, for a professional consult and to sort this stuff out if you or a loved one have a fetish or paraphilia.

But for a basic 101 on fetishes and paraphilia, here are some commonly asked questions and answers:

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