Sexual fetishism or erotic fetishism is a sexual fixation on a nonliving object or nongenital body part. While medical definitions restrict the term sexual fetishism to objects or body parts,  fetish can, in common discourse, also refer to sexual interest in specific activities. In common parlance, the word fetish is used to refer to any sexually arousing stimuli, not all of which meet the medical criteria for fetishism. Originally, most medical sources defined fetishism as a sexual interest in non-living objects, body parts or secretions. The publication of the DSM-III in changed that by excluding arousal from body parts in its diagnostic criteria for fetishism. In a review of 48 cases of clinical fetishism in , fetishes included clothing
Treatment of paraphilic sexual disorder: the use of topiramate in fetishism
Fetishistic disorder is characterized by the persistent use of traditionally non-sexual body parts or inanimate objects to reach sexual arousal. It becomes a mental disorder when it causes significant distress, impairment, or harm to self or others. Fetishistic Disorder is most often diagnosed through self-report of symptoms to a mental health practitioner, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist. Treatment is possible through conversations with your partner and support from a certified mental health professional. Fetishistic disorder is a subcategory of paraphilic disorders. A paraphilia is an intense and persistent sexual interest in atypical sexual targets or activities. Most people who have fetishistic interests or who are affected by paraphilias do not experience significant distress or cause harm and would therefore not be classified as having a mental disorder.
Every therapist encounters, at least occasionally, a client seeking help with sexual issues of one ilk or another. Typically, these individuals are either overtly or covertly worried about too much sex, not enough sex, no sex, strange sex, addictive sex, cheating sex, bad sex whatever bad means , etc. Sometimes these concerns are their primary presenting issue, but usually not. More often, sexual issues lurk in the background, hiding behind depression, anxiety, fear of rejection, shame, and similar problems. In such cases, a clients sexual concerns might only come to light while exploring the clients self-esteem, failed relationships, substance abuse, unresolved early-life trauma, mood disorders, etc.
Nevertheless, there have been attempts to start conversations about it. However, what is still relatively undiscussed is fetishistic disorder — what is it exactly? Impairment can manifest itself in various ways.