Common Fetishes You Didn't Know the Name For

A list of common fetishes that most people don't realize have scientific names.

Photo by Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev

Fetishes were, at one point, considered to be a taboo. Even now, they are considered to be taboo by most peoples' standards. In psychology, fetishes actually used to be universally categorized as paraphilias — a sexual attraction considered to be unhealthily deviant. 

Because fetishism was considered to be a medical or psychiatric issue, doctors actually ascribed names based in Greek and/or Latin to them. For example, pedophila is a term that's derived from the Greek word, "pedo,"  which means "child," and the Greek term "philios," which means "lover."

Over the years, the term "paraphilia" ended up becoming synonymous with an unusual sexual attraction or interest. In other words, the term ended up dropping its bad connotation — and the medical community ended up becoming more accepting of fetishes as a whole. 

Nowadays, very few sexual fetishes are considered to be unhealthy paraphilias. Many of them actually have been shown to be common and at times, even healthy. However, their official scientific names are still part of the English language.

BDSM-related terms aside, there are a number of different official terms you can use to describe fetishes that people have. If you're turned on by any of these kinks, you might as well know what the real names for these common fetishes are...

Autagonistophilia

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A very large percentage of people get very turned on by the idea of having someone watch them as they undress, or watch them during a sexual act. It's actually one of the most common fetishes out there. 

Most people know this sexual fetish as exhibitionism — and yes, they would be right. However, there is also another, more formal term that can be used to describe this kink. In the DSM V, doctors call this autagonistophilia

In the medical community, they actually draw a major line between autagonistophilia and exhibitionism. Exhibitionism is defined as being turned on by flashing someone, with one party being nonconsensual. With autagonistophilia, both parties are consenting to peep, or be peeped. 

Podophilia

Foot fetishists can tell you that foot fetishism is extremely common. In fact, it's one of the most common fetishes in the world. Despite how common it is, most people don't know the official name of this paraphilia — or the name of the umbrella term it fits under. 

Foot fetishism is an example of partialism, which is an umbrella term for being sexually attracted to a certain body part. The actual formal term for foot fetishism is podophilia — not to be confused with pedophilia

Other common fetishes under this umbrella include pygophilia, which is a sexual attraction to butts, and trichophilia, which translates into a sexual attraction to hair. 

Troilism

Cuckolding and cuckqueaning are both fetishes that involve infidelity in some way, shape, or form. Some in these kinks end up getting turned on by watching the other partner cheat, while others get turned on by cheating on their partner. 

These are rather common fetishes that most people will choose not to act on. Unsurprisingly, there's also a more formal term used in the psych community to describe both cuckolding and cuckqueaning fetishism: troilism

A very closely related sexual fetish also happens to be an even more popular.

Voyeurism is closely associated with troilism, but it's not necessarily the same fetish. Voyeurism is a term that describes being turned on by watching someone. Watching someone in undress, watching random people having sex, or just randomly watching someone doing something nonsexual would count as voyeurism — but not troilism.

Oddly enough, voyeurism also has a number of other terms that are synonymous with it: scoptophilia and scopophilia

Lingophilia

Photo by Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev

One of the most common fetishes isn't even really considered to be that extreme a fetish. Oral sex, up until recently, was taboo. According to a number of studies, oral sex was actually very rarely done until the sexual revolution of the 1960s. 

If you have a thing for lots of kissing, biting, or oral sex, it's possible that you might be into lingophilia — a sexual attraction to actions involving one's mouth. 

Narratophilia

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Talking dirty is generally accepted as sexy, and that's part of the reason why 50 Shades of Grey became as popular as it was. If you're reading a lot of naughty stories for personal pleasure, or love whispering sexy nothings into your partner's ear, then yes, you have one of the most common fetishes in mainstream culture.

Most people just say that this is just a love of erotic literature or a love of "talking dirty," but the more proper term for this is narratophilia. If you get turned on by phone sex or making obscene calls to strangers, this slightly rarer sexual fetish is called telephone scatologia

Urolagnia

Watersports is the umbrella term that most kinksters use to describe sexual acts and fetishism associated with urine. Around 30 percent of female BDSM participants have toyed with it at least once, according to one study. So, yes, it's relatively common. 

There are a number of sub-categories of this fetish, so before we get into the some of the smaller terms, let's discuss the official umbrella term according to psychologists. Urine fetishism, as a whole, is known as urolagnia among medical professionals. 

People who are turned on by drinking urine are into urophagia. Meanwhile, people who are turned on by the idea of watching someone who's forced to hold it in until they wet themselves are into the Japanese sexual fetish called omorashi.

Pictophilia

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Many of the common fetishes we've discussed are still relatively uncommon in the global population — but not this one!

By far, the most common sexual fetish in the world is a fetish for pornography and pornographic photos. Technically, this is considered to be "vanilla" by most doctors, but it still has a name. 

The official term is pictophilia, and yes, chances are that you are into it, at least to some extent.  

Mackenzie Kennedy
Mackenzie Kennedy

Socialite and dating guru Mackenzie Kennedy knows all about the inner workings of people and society as a whole. It's not only her lifestyle - it's her passion. She lives in Hoboken with her pet dogs, Cassie and Callie.

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Common Fetishes You Didn't Know the Name For