In casual conversation, the words fetish and vice are often mentioned interchangeably to refer to any sexual desire or tendency that is out of the ordinary, such as bondage (a type of sadomasochism).
However, although the two terms may coincide on certain points, sexual experts claim that there are certain fundamental differences.
In general, a fetish is a sexual fixation for a specific object or act completely necessary for the sexual satisfaction of a person. It doesn’t have to be inherently sexual; They can be shoes, leather or sploshing , which consists of covering the partner’s body with food.
Fixation with a specific part of the body (feet, hands, ass or tits) is known as partialism.
“With partialism, a part of the body is isolated and objectified or given a sexual charge,” sex therapist David Ortmann , author of Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities , explains to the US edition of HuffPost . “You can have a fetish for corsets or leather belts, but if there is also an obsession with a narrow and well-defined waist, it is a bias.”
On the other hand, vice is a broader term that encompasses different sexual interests, preferences or fantasies that go beyond the typical missionary position . It can also include BDSM , role playing, or hitting games , such as slapping your ass or spanking with a whip.
“The fetish is closely linked to a psychological need to have those specific objects or acts to achieve pleasure and / or an orgasm, while vice can count as one more sexual experience, but is not specifically needed for sexual relief,” he says. alias Dirty Lola sex educator .
So to speak: all fetishes are vice, but not all vices are fetishes. What is a vice for a person (that makes you see your partner in pantsleather shoes) may be a fetish for another.
“For example, you might like sex with leather more, as leather turns you on,” says sex educator and writer Gigi Engle . “It’s like a Venn diagram where things continually overlap – there are a lot of gray areas.”
Lola acknowledges that the line between fetish and vice can be blurry, but tries to clarify the idea with an example of her own: “I am submissive and I love being slapped on the ass in hitting games. Such games add another layer to the sex life I want. However, I don’t always feel like or need that kind of game to be part of my sexual experiences. In fact, there are few people I do it with and we usually don’t get into penetration when we do it aggressively. “
But if Lola had a fetish for slapping her ass, she wouldn’t be able to have an orgasm without those kinds of games; she would leave the sexual encounter unsatisfied because there were no cheeks.
According to psychologist and sex therapist Shannon Chavez , fetishes tend to develop early and can be based on childhood or adolescent experiences.
“It is reinforced by the desire and pleasure found in participating in such behavior,” says Chávez. “Most fetishes develop from early life experiences and are patterns and behaviors that grow as the person develops sexually.”
Makes sense? Well, let’s be vicious.