When you think of the word “fetish” — you might find yourself stumbling to define how it relates to your sex life. While you might consider yourself adventurous, you might not label yourself as super kinky or exploratory, and definitely not a dude who it turned on by something strange, right?
Think again! Sex expert Dr. Kat Van Kirk says that often “fetish” gets a bad rep, when really it’s not quite as bizarre as it’s made out to be. “The term fetish gets bandied about quite a bit. The actual definition means that someone has a pattern of not being able to become aroused without the involvement of their fetish behavior or object,” she explains.
Having a sexual fetish doesn’t mean that you’re only turned on by one particular thing that would freak “normal people” out — it just means that you like something and gets you going. In fact, everyone has some sort of fetish, and Van Kirk suggests adding a fun fetish to try in the bedroom to take your sex life from boring to thrilling.
“Borrowing a few fetish ideas can broaden your sexual repertoire,” she says. “Trying out fetish behaviors can help you broaden your definition of sex, increase your ability to become aroused by new stimulus and become a more open and non-judgmental partner. All things that equate to more happiness and more orgasms in bed.”
First though, what are some signs that your sex life could use a change? It may be difficult for you — or your girl — to admit that you’ve let your sex life get complacent. But hey, even healthy, stable relationships go through dry periods. They don’t have to last forever, though, especially if you’re brave enough to start the conversation now to get it going. Van Kirk says these are some revealing signs adding a fetish might be a good idea for you:
- If you can’t remember the last time you had sex because it wasn’t memorable in any way.
- If you are overly reliant on one or two positions.
- If you never even attempt to have an orgasm.
- If you only rely on fantasies that don’t involve your partner.
- If you avoid eye contact with your partner during sex.
- If you’re embarrassed to talk about how long it’s been since the last time you had sex in front of your friends.
So are you ready to take a chance — and maybe experience something you’ve never quite gone for before? Here are Van Kirk’s suggestions for sexual fetishes you have to try before you die:
1. Bondage And Discipline
Your girlfriend read about it in Fifty Shades of Grey, and you likely have enjoyed a porn video or two featuring some sort of bondage play. It’s a big category: anything from ropes and leather to gags, whips and more all fall under the sex/naughty_sex/keys-to-bdsm.html” target=”_self”>BDSM category. But what it can create in your sex life is a form of balance — and trust — between you and your lover. “It can help you both learn to be submissive and enjoy sensation while also switching to an empowering place of dominance,” Van Kirk says.
Another added perk? Van Kirk says that it can open up conversations about your sexual life, desires and experiences because the key element of bondage is communicating with each other through every play. And yes — you should try both being the dominant and the submissive, so you know how to take control and let her be the leader.
2. Foot Fetish
Before you start imagining yourself trying to hide a hard one in a shoe store with your girlfriend, reconsider why a foot fetish may be attractive. The same reason that you like a good foot rub or your lady constantly asks for one is how good they feel — and not just for your tired, overworked feet. “Your entire body can be accessed through the energy meridians in your feet,” Van Kirk says. “Paying attention to your feet being attended to can help you relax and build arousal by the stimulation of different points.”
Next time you crave to be touched down there — and by there, we mean your feet! — consider doing it naked with your partner. Feel around on each other’s feet to see what brings up pleasure and what makes you want to do more with her. Adding the nakedness will help you translate a foot rub into something a little more sexy. (And sure, if you need to wash your feet before, go for it. Or wash one another’s feet, which builds intimacy and is a sign of respect in many cultures and religions.)
3. Sensation Play
Sensation play is the vanilla version of bondage, if you’re not quite ready to tie yourself up and go at it. “This involves using blindfolds to heighten the sense of touch and using a variety of objects to build arousal through touch,” Van Kirk explains. Think about rubbing an ice cube down from your partner’s breast all the way to her clitoris and then blowing on the cold water trail left behind. Or think about a feather that you use to tickle different areas, or a warming lube that excites the moment.
“Sensation play can help people become more present in the moment and figure out what types of touch works for them,” Van Kirk says. “Also, it helps to create variety and widen your definition of sex.”