Fetishism is a form of paraphilia Overview of Paraphilias and Paraphilic Disorders Paraphilias are frequent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies or behaviors that involve inanimate objects, children or nonconsenting adults, or suffering or humiliation of the person or a partner... read more .
People with fetishes may become sexually stimulated and gratified in various ways, such as the following:
Wearing another person's undergarments
Wearing rubber or leather
Holding, rubbing, or smelling objects, such as high-heeled shoes
If sexual arousal occurs mainly from wearing clothing of the opposite sex (that is, cross-dressing) rather than using the clothing in some other way, the paraphilia is considered transvestism Transvestic Disorder Transvestism involves recurrent, intense sexual arousal from cross-dressing. Transvestic disorder is transvestism that causes significant distress or substantially interferes with daily functioning... read more .
People with fetishistic disorder may not be able to function sexually without their fetish. The fetish may replace typical sexual activity with a partner or may be integrated into sexual activity with a willing partner. The need for the fetish may be so intense and compulsive that it becomes all-consuming and destructive in a person's life. But in most people who have a fetish, their behavior does not meet the criteria for a disorder because it does not cause them significant distress, interfere with daily functioning, or harm others.
Treatment of Fetishistic Disorder
Medications, such as a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Agomelatine, a new type of antidepressant, is a possible treatment for major depressive episodes. Several types of drugs can be used to treat depression: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors... read more (SSRIs)
Treatment of fetishistic disorder is limited in its effectiveness. It may include psychotherapy and SSRIs, which have been used with limited success in people who seek treatment. As with most other paraphilias, few people with the condition voluntarily seek professional help.