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International Fetish Day – January 20, 2023

International Fetish Day is held annually on the third Friday in January and this year, it falls on January 20. It is a day primarily set aside to increase awareness and support of B.D.S.M. — erotic practices between consenting adults. It also encourages members of the community to be more open about their sexuality. International Fetish Day opposes the law criminalizing possessing the fetishes tagged as ‘extreme pornography.’ Are you aware that fetishes that are usually practiced are harmless and can help those who participate in expressing them to reach their highest levels of sexual satisfaction? This day is an important one that helps to promote this knowledge and the acceptance of people.

History of International Fetish Day

Fetishes are sexual or nonsexual things, such as objects or parts of the body, that arouse sexual desire or are necessary for one to reach full sexual satisfaction. They involve several seemingly strange and weird acts including B.D.S.M. — sexual practices involving bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism. The first International Fetish Day was held on 16 January 2009, and in the U.K., the day attracted some media coverage due to the forthcoming ban on extreme pornography, coming into force on 26 January 2009.

According to some reporters’ claims, instead of targeting exploitative, abusive, and bullying elements of the pornography industry, the law was aimed at sadomasochism regardless of the context — which shouldn’t be.

One aspect of International Fetish Day is the wearing of an item of purple clothing by members of the community to show that while they practice fetishism, they also engage in sex that is within the range of normality for a culture or subculture and typically involves sex that does not include elements of B.D.S.M., kink, or fetishism. The day promotes the exploration of people’s sexualities and helps empower those without a voice to be bold and expressive of who they are.

International Fetish Day timeline

1887
Word Comes into Use

‘Fétichisme,’ meaning ‘fetishism,’ is first used in an erotic context by French psychologist Alfred Binet.

1920
Theories on Sexuality

Sexologist Magnus Hirschfield proposes his theory of partial attractiveness.

1980s
Fetishism in Literature

Anne Rice publishes “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty” an erotic trilogy that contained B.D.S.M. acts.

1983
Discovery of Involved Fetishes

Fetishes including clothing, footwear, rubber items, leather, body parts, and soft materials are discovered and studied.

International Fetish Day FAQs

What is the most common fetish?

Based on the body part, the foot is the most common fetish, especially among men. This is likely because they lead to the leg, which in turn leads to the genitals.

When is a fetish a mental disorder?

Fetish fantasies are common and in many cases harmless. They should only be treated as a disorder when they cause distress or impair a person’s ability to function normally in day-to-day life.

How do you treat a fetish disorder?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is thought to be helpful in fetishistic disorders. In it, clients are taught to identify and avoid antecedents to fetishistic behavior and substitute non-fetishistic fantasies into their desires.

How to Observe International Fetish Day

  1. Organize fetish training classes

    Many people, who have fetishes or are interested in exploring something new in that regard, could use lessons from a well-knowledgeable practicing person. Help them volunteer their time and skill to help them gain this knowledge and enjoy the thrills.

  2. Watch fetish-themed movies with your partner

    A soft couch, a cool dark room, and popcorn! With all these in place, watch a movie that features fetish acts, together with your partner, and have a great time!

  3. Share information about fetishes

    Not everyone knows what exactly fetish entails. Some are misinformed, and others have no idea what it’s all about. This is a good day to provide people with the right knowledge, either via direct physical talks or online platforms, so they know better.

5 Facts About Erotic Fetishism That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. It can start early

    Fetishism usually becomes evident during puberty and may develop before that.

  2. It can be quite extreme

    Acts include Erotic Asphyxiation — the use of choking to increase the pleasure in sex.

  3. It rarely becomes a disorder

    Fetishism to the extent that it becomes a disorder appears to be rare, with less than 1% of general psychiatric patients presenting fetishism as their primary problem.

  4. More common in males

    Most fetishes are visual, and males are thought to be more sexually sensitive to visual stimuli.

  5. It is found in other animals

    Possible boot fetishism has been reported in two different primates — a common chimpanzee and a guinea baboon, who became aroused while rubbing against and smelling a boot.

Why International Fetish Day is Important

  1. The day helps spread awareness

    International fetish day provides people who know only a little or nothing about fetishes with the proper information they need on the subject. This in turn helps them understand what it’s all about and respect those who practice it or even begin their own fetish journey.

  2. It promotes freedom of choice

    As long as what you’re practicing is consensual and no one is hurt, we believe you should have the freedom to do them. The day promotes this very culture and a more equal world.

  3. It drives global love and acceptability

    With a better understanding of fetishism, people learn to no longer look at those who practice it as weird. This ultimately helps us all better accept and love one another for who we are.

International Fetish Day dates

YearDateDay
2022January 21Friday
2023January 20Friday
2024January 19Friday
2025January 17Friday
2026January 16Friday

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