Woman wearing blue PVC shorts and top

Clothing fetishism or garment fetishism is a sexual fetish that revolves around a fixation upon a particular article or type of clothing, a particular fashion or uniform, or a person dressed in such a style.

The clinical definition of a sexual fetish would require that a person be fixated on a specific garment to the extent that it exists as a recurrent (or exclusive) stimulus for sexual gratification.[1][2]

An individual with a clothing fetish may be aroused by the sight of a person wearing a particular garment, or by wearing the clothing themselves. The arousal may come from the look one achieves by wearing the clothes or the way it feels while it is being worn. In the latter case, arousal may originate from the way its fabric feels (see clothing fetish by fabric type) or from the way the garment feels and functions as a whole (restrictive clothing being an example).

Others may also derive pleasure from collecting or destroying[3] the fetishised garments.

Relative prevalence of garment fetishism

Playboy Playmate Dasha Astafieva wearing a see-through fishnet dress without undergarments, 2008[4]

In order to determine the relative prevalence of various clothing fetishes, the University of Bologna researchers obtained a sample of at least 5000 individuals worldwide from 381 Internet discussion groups. The prevalence was estimated based on (a) the number of groups devoted to a particular fetish, (b) the number of individuals participating in the groups and (c) the number of messages exchanged. The top garment fetish was clothes worn on the legs or buttocks of women (such as stockings or skirts), followed by footwear, underwear, whole-body wear (such as costumes and coats), and upper-body wear (such as jackets or waistcoats).[5]

By garment type

Although almost any type of garment in theory can be the subject of a fetish, common clothing fetishes include footwear, female underwear and uniforms. A wide range of other garments have been the subject of less common fetishes.

Separate from fetishes as a paraphilia are garments worn to enhance appearance, such as tight jeans or other eye-catching clothing. The difference is whether, for the person concerned, the clothing is the focus of a sexual fetish, or is merely appreciated and found pleasing.

Restrictive clothing

Clothing that limits the wearer's movement is commonly used for this property, particularly among bondage enthusiasts and often appears in bondage-related fetish fashion. Such restrictive fashion includes corsets, collars, and hobble skirts.


See also: Corset § Fetish, and Tightlacing

The training corset and bondage corset has also become a staple in fetish wear, particularly among professional dominants. A submissive or slave may also be forced to wear a tightly laced corset as a form of punishment or simply restriction. And the masochistic practice known as tightlacing creates a particular type of pleasure for the wearer. In the 1980s, pop music performers such as Madonna and Cyndi Lauper reintroduced and popularized the corset as a daring example of underwear as outerwear. This influence continues to the present day in both fetish and mainstream fashion.[6][7]

Hobble skirts

Lingerie model wearing full-fashioned stockings, with an open-bottom girdle, see-through panties, and high heels

A hobble skirt is a long, tight skirt, extending below the knees and often ankle length, which is so tight that it is difficult to walk in. When used as fetish clothing, it is often made of latex or PVC and sometimes corseted, to increase the restriction.

Such skirts were briefly a mainstream fashion in the 1910s; however, they were soon abandoned as impractical. They were revived in the 1950s by John Willie and others as a bondage/fetish style.[8]

Stockings and socks

Stocking fetishists usually find sexual partners clothed in sheer nylon or silk stockings to be sexually stimulating, or find the act of a person donning or removing a pair of stockings arousing. Some men find it arousing to collect and wear stockings, sometimes hidden under a pair of trousers.[9]

Like feet and shoes, sock fetishists often require some specific attraction in the object which may include particular styles or knit patterns. People with a fetish for socks may have no special attraction to feet or shoes. Some speculate that the strong attraction some men exhibit to the smell of socks worn by women may be an example of the existence of human pheromones – the hypothesis being that the sweat from women's feet may contain chemical attractants that arouse a male subject and that when a male subject is exposed to the smell of women's feet or footwear at a young age that young man may carry a strong psycho-chemical imprint which motivates his enthusiasm for worn socks or shoes later in life.[citation needed]

Many male sock fetishists are also highly specific regarding the nature of the socks that stimulate them, and this may be a product of exposure to particular types of clothing during the teenage years. This belief is supported by observations that the nature of sock fetishism appears to differentiate according to age brackets and periods of clothing trends. Among men who exhibit an interest in women's socks who were in their early pubescent period during the late 1980s/early 1990s when slouch socks were a popular clothing trend, there is a tendency to exhibit a strong interest in very heavy slouchy socks, whereas younger men with a sock fetish tend to show greater interest in the short ankle-style socks that became popular in later years. There is also a regional trend in sock fetishes, with men who spent their teenage years living in northern climates exhibiting a strong interest in heavy wool socks.[citation needed]


Sneaker fetishism is another specific form of shoe fetishism.[10] Like boot fetishism, it can be accompanied by a fetish for the material from which it is made. For example, the rubber which the outsole and sidewall are made of can be a source of rubber fetishism.[citation needed] Sneakers and other types of athletic footwear (such as football boots) are popular items to be fetishized over within certain LGBT sub-cultures, sometimes due to their association with athletes, or particular models of sneaker (for instance certain models of Nike Air Max) are coveted among homosexual sneaker fetishists.[11]


Main article: spandex fetishism

Swimwear fetishism is a sexual fetish relating to swimwear. It can also involve printed or electronic material with swimwear being worn.

Jackets and coats

Shiny down parka

Jacket fetishism is usually associated with the fixation or attraction to jackets – though it can also be associated with leather[citation needed] or down[12] jackets, particularly in association with Bondage (BDSM). In a survey, researchers at the University of Bologna found that 9% of members of online fetish groups were in groups related to upper-body wear such as jackets.[5]


The style and cut of jeans can also enhance their sexual appeal to fetishists of either gender. Jeans without pockets on the back are sometimes viewed as showing off one's buttocks and therefore more flattering. Stretch jeans are often viewed as attractive because they have the appearance of being skin tight, while not binding like regular denim jeans would. An example of fetish denim would be "Zip Around Jeans", so called because their zipper unzips starting in the front and continues all the way to the back. Other popular styles include the lace up jean and multi button style jeans.[citation needed]


A T-shirt fetish is often compared with Wet T-shirt fetishism seen at some public events (such as wet t-shirt contests) or on websites with wet t-shirt fetish videos, but there is debate about whether or not it should be included as a separate fetish or not.[13][14][additional citation(s) needed]


A shorts fetish refers to sexual arousal triggered by short shorts, hotpants, bike shorts, yoga shorts or other variations of athletic shorts such as basketball shorts or gym shorts. One with this fetish can experience arousal which may be triggered from youthful experiences of being attracted to their peers wearing shorts that they are attracted to. Some cross dressers also experience excitement from wearing short shorts designed for opposing gender, finding the style, look and feel, and texture of the fabric stimulating. Others may enjoy relieving sexual pleasure while wearing them, or even fantasizing having intercourse while wearing shorts.


Main article: Diaper fetishism

People with a diaper fetish (colloquially dubbed "diaper lovers" or "DLs" for short) are attracted to idea of themselves or others wearing adult diapers.

Arousal can be derived from the idea of the diaper itself, the materials (plastic, cloth, SAP, etc.) that they are made from, the urolagnic or scatologic connection to using them, as well as how they potentially relate to fetishes like BDSM, ageplay, medical roleplay, etc. Though separate, diapers are also such a typical component of adult baby roleplay that an umbrella term, "adult baby/diaper lover" (or "AB/DL"), is commonly used to refer to a spectrum of fetish subcultures.[15][16][17]

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) which, among other things, draws a clear distinction between "atypical sexual interests" (otherwise known as kinks, fetishes, or paraphilias) and "paraphilic disorders". The APA states that "most people with atypical sexual interests do not have a mental disorder"[18] and as such, in the vast majority of cases, kinks like diaper fetishism can simply be considered valid and harmless forms of human sexual expression.[19]  

As of September 2015, Huffington Post Arts & Culture published an interview on diaper fetishes. While this clothing fetish is obscure, diaper fetishists engage in the behavior privately or with a partner who shares a mutual interest in the fetish (sexual acts).[20][21]

The South Korean public often views diaper fetishism in a negative light. A Naver cafe (similar to the Yahoo! Groups service) that is devoted to diaper fetishism was closed around September 2010 as the South Korean media outlets portrayed it negatively to the general public.[22][23][24] Another incident occurred when a South Korean girl group, Girl's Day, were accused of wearing costumes that looked like oversized diapers, dubbed diaper fashion.[25]

Gender-related clothes

See also: Transvestic fetishism

Fetishism may include various garments typically worn by or associated with a particular gender or gender expression. For example, this could describe an individual who is attracted to people wearing masculine-associated clothing items, like basketball shorts or a man's suit. Certain gender-related elements of clothes could be the source of a fetish, include lace, ruffles, floral print, embroidery, back closures, or various colors (such as mauve and pink).[citation needed]


Main article: Uniform fetishism

Woman in a French maid outfit, Paris

Among the most common uniforms to fetish are those of a doctor, schoolgirl, police officer, military officer, nurse, French maid, sports player, waitress, cheerleader and Playboy Bunny. Some people also regard nuns' habits or even aprons as uniforms. Sometimes, a uniform may be used appropriate to what is being done. For example, someone may wear a nurse's uniform to administer an enema, a police uniform to handcuff and cage someone, or two equals dress as inmates for cell mate on cell mate activities in a prison setting or as submissive to a third (guard) player. This may add a sense of authenticity to the game play.[26]

By fabric type


Venus with a Mirror by Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1555) inspired Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's novel Venus im Pelz (Venus in Furs).

Fur fetishism refers to the sexual fetishism that revolves around people wearing fur, or in certain cases, to the garments themselves.

These materials may be fetishised because the garment acts as a fetishistic surrogate or second skin for the wearer's own skin. The material may be regarded as providing a superstimulus that is more intense than the normal response associated with real skin. This is heightened by the fact that the fur was originally an animal's skin and hair.

The most famous, and one of the earliest, depictions of the topic was the semi-autobiographical novel Venus in Furs (1870) by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. After the novel's success, Sacher-Masoch apparently decided to take on a fetish sadomasochism-lifestyle.[27] In 1884, he had sent a copy of the novel to Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who gave Sacher-Masoch immortality when, in 1891, he coined the term masochism.

[28]Wool, Cashmere, Angora

A classic cashmere cardigan look

Sweater fetish is a common name for finding attraction to soft feminine garments such as cardigans, twinsets jumpers/sweaters, dresses, jumpsuits made of soft natural fibres in particular lambswool, mohair, angora, and cashmere.[citation needed]


Main article: Leather subculture

Leather fetishism is the name popularly used to describe a sexual attraction to people wearing leather and or to the garments themselves. The smell and the sound of leather is often an erotic stimulus for people with a leather fetish. Leather uniforms may also become a fetish. Leather is occasionally finished with a glossy surface and produced in bright colors, providing visual stimuli for some leather fetishists.

The feel of tight leather garments worn may be experienced as a form of sexual bondage. Some bondage equipment is made from leather straps. The term "leather culture" was applied in the 1960s in the American gay sadomasochistic subculture as an umbrella term for alternative sexual practices. The pony fetish involves the use of equestrian like gear fitted to humans.


Main article: latex and PVC fetishism

Latex fetish is the fetishistic attraction to latex clothing or garments and sometimes called rubber fetishism as latex is a type of rubber. Latex or rubber fetishists may refer to themselves as "Rubberists". Varieties of latex fetishism include body inflation and attraction to transparent rubber. Latex fetishism includes wearing clothing made from latex, observing it worn by others, and enjoyment of erotic fantasies featuring latex garments, catsuits, hoods, divers or industrial protective clothing. A common latex fetish icon is the dominatrix wearing a skin-tight glossy black latex or PVC catsuit.

PVC fetishism is often closely associated with latex fetishism even though the two materials are very different. PVC fetishism involves an erotic attraction to shiny plastic clothes made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane or similar man made materials. PVC may be mistaken for shiny patent leather. PVC fetishism also includes an erotic attraction to clothing such as clear plastic raincoats, slipcovers, custom clothing made out of clear PVC or inflatable items.

Nylon fetishism includes the wearing of shiny raincoats, jackets and trousers. In the case of heterosexuals, special preferences often include nylon clothing items designed for or belonging to the other sex.


Main article: spandex fetishism

Spandex fetishism is a fetishistic attraction to people wearing stretch fabrics or, in certain cases, to the garments themselves, such as leotards. One reason why spandex and other tight fabrics may be fetishised is that the garment forms a "second skin," acting as a fetishistic surrogate for the wearer's own skin. Wearers of skin-tight nylon and cotton spandex garments can appear naked or coated in a shiny or matte substance like paint. The tightness of the garments may also be seen as sexual bondage. Another reason is that nylon-spandex fabric (preferred by many spandex fetishists) is often produced with a very smooth and silk-like finish, which lends a tactile dimension to the fetish – as well as a visual one. There is a sexual attraction to leotards and other dance related clothing. This also goes for gymnasts too.

In comic books, superheroes, superheroines, and supervillains are generally depicted as wearing costumes made of spandex or a similar material. The superheroines always wear skintight, very flashy and bright-coloured costumes that usually cover only just enough of the body to be presentable. Fantasies involving superheroes or the wearing of superhero costumes are commonly associated with spandex fetishism.

Full-body suits called zentai entirely immerse the wearer in skin tight fabric. The suits are essentially catsuits with gloves, feet, and a hood. The wearer experiences total enclosure and those who enjoy erotic objectification might make use of the garment's anonymizing aspect. The word zentai means whole body in Japanese.

Nylon athletic clothing (windpants/windsuits)

A fashion trend from the 1990s, these pants were famous for swishing when the person walked. By the early 2000s era, several internet groups had emerged dedicated to the topic of nylon windpants and athletic wear. School kids often wore them, either as sports uniforms, or merely as a fashion statement. The swishing sound and the look of the shiny nylon material arouses some people to the point of sexual pleasure. The now iconic Adidas 3 stripe look, that was available in a wide array of colors, was a popular trend with these pants. Nike also had their own nylon windpants with the famous swoosh logo on the lower leg or hip pocket. Even today there are several websites dedicated to publishing photos of people in nylon and shinny athletic wear. Windpants and Windsuits continue to arouse people to this day.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Masters WH, Johnson VE, Kolodny RC: Human sexuality, 5th ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1995.
  2. ^ de Silva WP (1999). "ABC of sexual health. Sexual variations". BMJ. 318 (7184): 654–6. doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7184.654. PMC 1115095. PMID 10066212.
  3. ^ "Why Do Some Guys Get Horny From Destroying Sneakers?". Highsnobiety. July 25, 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2024.
  4. ^ Lauren Johnston (December 18, 2008). "Hugh Hefner gal pal Dasha Astafieva bares all on Playboy red carpet". NY Daily News.
  5. ^ a b Scorolli C, Ghirlanda S, Enquist M, Zattoni S, Jannini EA (2007). "Relative prevalence of different fetishes". Int. J. Impot. Res. 19 (4): 432–7. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901547. PMID 17304204. S2CID 8721520.
  6. ^ Steele, Valerie (February 8, 2003). The Corset: A Cultural History. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-09953-9.
  7. ^ Kunzle, David (August 1, 2006). Fashion & Fetishism: Corsets, Tight-Lacing and Other Forms of Body-Sculpture. The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7509-3809-9.
  8. ^ "Custom Hobble Skirts". Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  9. ^ Kunzle, David (2004). Fashion and Fetishism. Sutton. ISBN 0-7509-3808-0
  10. ^ Emma Hope Allwood (August 30, 2018). "Sneaker fetishists discuss the shoes that turn them on (and off)". Dazed.
  11. ^ Gwóźdź, Maja (2016). "Footwear on, underwear off: fetishism and brand eroticization". Porn Studies. 3 (4). Informa UK Limited: 460–463. doi:10.1080/23268743.2016.1259963. ISSN 2326-8743. However, there is surely significance in the fact that online fora devoted solely to sneaker porn distinguish among particular brands (see especially Sneaker-groups.com). Quantitatively speaking, Nike products overwhelmingly dominate sneaker porn. Other major brands featured in the videos include Adidas, Con- verse, Reebok, Keds, Fila and Puma. To be precise, Nike Air Max sneakers seem to be especially revered by posters and viewers alike.
  12. ^ Kale, Sirin (August 30, 2016). "Getting Down with the Puffy Jacket Porn Scene". Vice. Retrieved February 15, 2024.
  13. ^ Kutner, Jenny (March 25, 2016). "The Short, Sexist History of the Wet T-Shirt Contest, a Symbol of Spring Break Debauchery". Mic. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  14. ^ "A Feminist Argument For Wet T-Shirt Contests Autre Magazine". Autre Magazine. March 9, 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
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  17. ^ "This Is What Living With An Adult Diaper Fetish Is Like". HuffPost. September 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "Paraphilic Disorders" (PDF). American Psychiatric Association. 2013.
  19. ^ American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (IV-TR ed.). American Psychiatric Pub. pp. pg 572. ISBN 0-89042-025-4.
  20. ^ Michelson, Noah; Kolodny, Carina; Bogucki, Katelyn (September 10, 2015). "This Is What Living With An Adult Diaper Fetish Is Like". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved October 30, 2017 – via Huff Post.
  21. ^ "What An Adult-Baby-Diaper-Lover Relationship Is Really Like". March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Oh (오), Yeong-gyeong (영경) (September 11, 2010). 성인용 기저귀카페 폐쇄...착용샷에 사용기까지 '엽기'. 서울신문NTN (in Korean). Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  23. ^ "El Real Tex Mex Clothing". 매일경제. September 11, 2010.
  24. ^ 다 큰 성인이 기저귀 차고 소변을?…기저귀카페 결국 폐쇄. Hankyung.com (in Korean). September 11, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  25. ^ Pyo (표), Jae-min (재민) (May 30, 2011). 걸스데이 기저귀패션 논란 해명 "반바지인데 춤추다 보니…". TV Report (in Korean). Retrieved March 30, 2012.
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