The word fetish derives from 15th century Portuguese feitiço, which meant charm or spell. A fetish is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object. The terms “erotic fetish” and “sexual fetish” were first introduced by the French psychologist Alfred Binet in the 1940s.
Today a “fetish” is an object, non-reproductive body part or action whose presence or existence causes excitement and/or arousal in an individual. An object might be latex or heels, a non-sexual body part could be legs or feet and tickling or smoking are examples of actions.
“Fetish” is also used as an adjective that relates to anything connected to the world of BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadomasochism) such as fetish wear or fetish clubs.
Please find Venus O’Hara’s Fetish Glossary below with definitions and images.