Have you felt like you need some control in your life? Or another way to destress from the real world? Need to bond better with your partner(s)?
January 21st is International Fetish Day! In this blog, we will explore what fetishism is, and how exploring the fetish/kink world can empower you!
The website Rekink defines a “fetish” as, an object or action that isn’t inherently sexual (examples: leather, latex, rope, crying), but carries sexual association or is a turn-on for a given person.  A popular example is having a foot fetish or engaging in role-play, but there are hundreds of fetishes out there. Exploring what you might like with fetishes, BDSM (Bondage/Domination, Discipline/submission, and Sadism/Masochism), and kinks can build confidence and empower you in the bedroom but also in other aspects of your life, like in the workplace, group settings, and relationships.
There are many ways to explore what might interest you. The internet is of course a great place to start. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. all have various videos, shows, or movies explaining what a fetish is, depicting BDSM, other kinks, and how you can start finding what attracts you. If you have a trusted sexual partner(s), researching new things together to try can build intimacy and trust. If you have ever been excited by sex toys, that’s a level of Objectum Sexuality! Objectum Sexuality is about being attracted to inanimate objects, which can range from attraction to lingerie to being attracted to a car. The website, A-Z kinks explores 26 fetishes and kinks to try. There are plenty of fetishes out there that you might already have, and just not know it.
Finding Your Confidence
Finding what you like with fetish/kink play can lead to feeling powerful in work, relationships, and building confidence within yourself. BDSM is just one example that can help build confidence in yourself! The Swaddle interviewed “R.P.” (anonymous interviewee) on ways BDSM has helped her find her voice, “Within the confines of a loving and safe space with a partner I trusted, I was able to assert myself in ways I couldn’t outside my bedroom. Slowly, I began to notice that especially on days after we had engaged in a play scene, I would feel more focused, composed, and clear-headed. It was almost as if the satisfied feeling I felt in bed, in that position of power, flowed over the next day. I feel like I know more about myself — my mind and my body.”  There are hundreds of interviews online about the benefits of BDSM for people of all identities and play. Reports from Dr. Brad J. Sagarin, Professor of Psychology at Northern Illinois University and founder of the BDSM Research Team found, people who engaged in sexual kinks, fetishes, role-play, etc… “have better mental health, less stress, higher self-worth, and more satisfying relationships”. 
There are plenty of reasons to explore fetishes and kinks! So, on this year’s International Fetish Day, consider the ways you could find more self-empowerment through fetish play! There is no hurt in just researching and getting ideas. As always, be safe and try new things with yourself or with your consenting partner(s) and have fun.
More resources to explore:
Fetish Community: Join Groups
“List of Fetishes and List of Kinks and Terminology.” Rekink, 15 Aug. 2018, https://rekink.com/guides/kinks/. Jones, Angie, et al. “From A to Z, Here Are 26 Kinks and Fetishes You Should Know About.” Glamour, 1 Jan. 2018, https://www.glamour.com/story/a-to-z-kinks-and-fetishes.  Prasad, Pallavi. “BDSM Culture can make women more assertive in work, relationships”. The Swaddle, Jul 28, 2019, https://theswaddle.com/bdsm-women-positive-effects-confidence/ Kohn, Isabelle. “Kinky Sex Could Be the Secret to Your Success”. Harpers Bazaa, June 5th 2018.https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a12231118/how-kinky-sex-leads-to-career-success