There are differences between fetishes and role-playing (or as more ardent enthusiast refers to it as scening).  A fetish based on a psychology definition is something that itself may not be sexual but that just the thought of it elicits a physio-sexual reaction.  Effectively fetish occurs outside of the physical individual and is a reaction to a sensory stimulus.  Fetishes are those items which trigger a strong psychological, physiological, or sexual response. They form the basis for most human attractions (the magnets that pull individuals to another) and fall into broad categories.


Common Groupings

So taking attraction and making something more BDSM related to it would be to use fetishisms in a scene.  Role-playing and scene are activities which you take part in that may or not involve one or more of your fetishes. Therefore, the setting posed is


The clothing and the environment of a setting. 

  • The dominant wearing a tailored suit,

  • The submissive wearing a very plain shift, stainless steel collar with a stainless steel leash attached and other accessories denoting slave status.

  • A public place,

The events and situations where one participates or seen, heard and even imagined.
  • Kneeling,

  • Head Down,

  • Arms outstretched,

  • Palms Up with a crop or leash in their hands,

Head Space
The thoughts, emotions, and intellectual stimulants
  • A crowd of onlookers gathers,

  • A policeman in the crowd,

  • The audience is paralyzed watching the scene.

The appearance, or demeanor which individuals assume.
  • The dominant appearing mildly dis-interested, not focusing on the submissive but something far off in the distance,

  • The submissive with well-styled hair, up off the neck revealing the collar

  • The submissive wearing a subtle but powerful, floral perfume which waifs through the air and tickles the nose of the nearby audience.


Fetish Interactions

In this situation you have numerous fetishes can occur separately or simultaneously. The combination of these acts forms a scene which exudes power and sensuality. This type of activity would certainly attract the interest and inspire or “turn-on” some of the audience. There would be picture takers. Equally, there would be those who would be offended by the whole scene and may comment or act out their dissatisfaction.


Fetishes are NOT constrained to those in the BDSM lifestyle, effective any person will have some form or fetish trigger.  Understanding that a fetishist is not always a practitioner of D/s alleviates a lot of the stress and concerns. Many of these people are not scening or engaging in casual activities but exercising an approach to human activities which satisfies desires and needs within them. Some individual is merely “testing the water” and determining is something they read or saw somewhere that peaked a curiosity is worth considering as an ongoing activity.


However, this is not fiscally good for the psychological or psychiatric professions which make a healthy living out of diagnosis these “afflictions” and then go about mistreating them as symptoms of something far darker. There are some that these are naturally sexual, to others fetish are simply a biochemical response to an external stimulus.


Therefore in the lifestyle, we all are understanding and supportive (“Your Kink is not My Kink, but is Okay”) which is a far more balance you may be making a strong long-time friend.


The items listed below are more of a high-level grouping of like items rather than a specific checklist. Hence there may be a few who do not make the list; if you want them added then write us and we will include them in future versions. Many of you will be aware of the items so no need in reviewing, a few of you may actually disagree with the interpretation added here, again if you disagree then drop us a line and will include a fair-minded comparison. For others you may not know and simply be curious about what a specific item means or its application in the lifestyle; that is why we have included our assessment of each item.


There will be items which do not affect select individuals; it is even likely broad sets will not apply to everyone.  If you have an interest in any of the items below you will surely have your own interpretations.  The following list is designed to provide you with a general of the more common fetishes.  More in-depth explanations are available on numerous sources on the web, look and enjoy yourself. But here is the condensed assessment of each.


Common Fetishes

A fetish form where the participatory stimulation occurs from hearing a particular gender using a voice and trembles combination that is specific to a country or social group or subset thereof, i.e.:

  •  A Scottish Brogue

  • A Southern Drawl,

  • Barbarian Slang, etc.


If you need details, time to come down off the mountain and meet some people other than your relatives.


Age Difference

A participatory fetish where a significant age difference becomes the basis for attraction. Alternative individuals pose in a traditional “Parent-Child”, “Teacher-Student”, or any authority figure and an innocent role. The broader the age difference is the more stylistic becomes the activity.



A participatory fetish where one participant’s attraction is to another individual’s bottom.  It could be the shape or size or even a trigger for fantasies of seeing the “asset” or the idealized image from the observer’s perspective.



A head-space fetish attraction to strangers or the desire to possess someone whose identity is not known. The main feature of this fetish is the driver for Masquerade parties, masks, and Cos-Play. The form remains a constant both within the “vanilla” community and typically integrated into the lifestyle scenes.



An action fetish involving full or partial suffocation. Many things can be used to affect this, hands, bags, cling-film, water, belts, ropes, etc. Each type of approach is chosen to suit the desired effect. The extent of this activity can become severe where simulating imagery such as hanging, crucifixions, and garroting, etc. 


Effectively this is the thrill of being dominated by a near life-threatening activity. Sexually it has been shown oxygen deprivation can heighten the intensity of orgasms. In extreme cases the goal is to render or be rendered unconscious; however, a strong warning is that such activities mishandled are potentially life-threatening. The negative side effects can range from cardiac arrest to permanent brain damage.


Autoerotic asphyxiation is the riskiest in this form. Facesitting is the least, effectively “don't worry if I can breathe, I want to smell and taste you.”



A head-space fetish based on the visual stimulation whether it is a ripped six pack, a pregnant woman’s belly, and a man’s paunch hang over the belt, or belly button (Innies or outies).


Bikers and Bad-Boys

This head-space fetish attracts all manner of people and genders or preferences related to the image of a rough and somewhat dangerous individual who lives life on the edge and is a risk taker. Effectively it eludes to an e-ticket ride into the unknown.



This adornment fetish bases on sensor-deprivation where the denial of one sense forces the other senses to compensate. This fetish is frequently combined with the anonymity fetish to increase the intensity of the scene.It is used in a sharing environment to remove the ability of the blindfolded person to make choices based on some visual trigger.


Body Adornment

A participatory fetish where body art comes in any number of forms provides a visual, tactile or olfactory stimulation.

  • Piercings, to tattoos, {temporary or permanent}

  • The act of painting an individual as a part of a scene

  • The use of food items to adorn the body (i.e.

    • honey dripping down the breasts of a supplicant,

    • fruit /cream displayed on genitalia,

    • or the person as a platter for a munch event adorned with food to be sampled by the guests


Any or all of these combine to form a visual trigger along with a social trigger of “being naughty” which can be quite arousing.


Body Hair

An adornment fetish where arousal may occur from seeing or touching the hair. The enticement could be the shimmer, the color, the style or the lack thereof.  Many times this can be hair on the head, but equally things like a “hairy chest” or shave “pubic area” can all be stimuli from one extreme to another.


Body Odor (Funk)

A head-space fetish where the smells of the odors emanating from the body can trigger a pheromone response. Sometimes it is the musky smell of genitalia or the smells arising from intense labor or sexual acts which trigger the response. Sometimes it is the combination of the smell with the visible signs of the source, glistening sweat on the body, the shimmer of a body freshly washed with scented soap.


Body Parts

This participatory fetish is about the physical looks of an individual. The focus is on the shape, length, and definition of a body part. Almost always is in a visible form, classic examples are:

  • Long shapely legs perched in high heels and shorts or mini skirt that stresses the form and  definition of the legs

  • Big and long feet that (usually women) allude to the comparison of other parts of the  (male) anatomy (like the penis).

  • The broad hands with large palms that indicate a strong and powerful impact or grip.


Body Worship

This action fetish typically is confined to lifestyle practices where the supplicant provides services to a dominant which are focused on the body. It could be a simple as the worshiper bathing, massaging or stroking the recipient’s body. Frequently it is without sexual context but is performed in a near-reverent state of awe, appreciation, adoration, etc. (i.e., Preparing a Warrior King for battle).  A very personal act where individuals receive satisfaction form either giving or receiving.



This participatory activity fetish to watch as well as participate in, forming another senor deprivation and control fetish.  Restraints can vary from handcuffs,  tight rope bondage, to the art forms of Japanese Shibaru of many varieties. Individuals can be bound upright, prone, bound to themselves, furniture, or specially designed restraining apparatus. 


The control aspect comes from denying the bound individual the ability to move. It makes them totally in grace and care of another person. Bondage exercises form the basis of the main trust building activities within the lifestyle.


The sensory deprivation part comes in from tight bondage or using suspension rigs for protracted periods. The body becomes numb, and parts of it loose sensation, the release of the ropes causes a rush of blood to the extremities and excites the nerves. The result is anywhere from tingling to a burning sensation.


Cat/Dog Training

An action fetish where training focuses on having people emulate pets. This contrary to general opinion tends to be an asexual act, (most people do not consider sex with animals). Effectively it is another denial fetish which focuses on discipline, structure, and control. It frequently is a prelude to sexual acts, but frequently is not. The “pet” loses the sensation of humanity, the ability to walk upright, to eat or act like humans and equally removes complex communications from the scenarios. “Puppies and Kitties NEVER talk,” they may bark, whine, howl or meow but never verbalize ideas with words. Pet training forces some of the most creative forms of communications to establish during the scene. From a dominant side, it is the epitome of dehumanization of an individual.



This head-space fetish is commonly referred to in the lifestyle as TPE (Total Power Exchange) a form of ultimate surrender to another person. The power exchange can be in the context of a Master-slave relationship, or it can simply be a part of a more custodial or conservatorship.  An act where the individual wishes or can no longer make any significant decisions for themselves. Capitulation even extends to what is worn, eaten, activities, and interactions with others In extreme cases.


Some individuals literally seek this surrender and obedience to another as a way of experiencing something form the past, in other cases, it is because their lives and decisions have had disastrous effects in the past. It is a trust exercise as well as surrender exercise in both of these cases.  The extreme to this is the full surrender of mind, body, and soul are far less a desire than a need.


Clamps & Clips 

A adornment fetish is a combination on wearing pain yeilding devices with the specific purpose to deeply sensitive parts of the body. The application of devices which twist, contort, or apply pressure to nipples, clits, lips, labia, penis, etc. causing a level of pain from mild discomfort to mind dumbing is the essence of these items. CBT and chastity devices are merely extensions to this fetish. Frequently in lifestyle scenes, they are combined with punishment, discipline or the application of weights to increase the level of discomfort. Frequently this is also combined with bondage, and severe bondage (such bruising from breast or cock/ball bindings).



An action fetish where the humiliation of a voyeur occurs with sexual acts by a significant other which they are not directly involved. The subject is restricted from involvement in activities but is forced to watch as their partner is used sexually by another individual. The humiliation factor comes from the fact that usually, the individual has a special connection (husband, boyfriend, or father) to the used individual. The demeaning nature of this is because the restricted party is deemed ineffectual in the capacity to use or protect the used person.



This adornment fetish began in the middle ages with softer forms such as chokers and necklaces to denote ritual ownership through the cameos or symbols on the clasps. The adornment of these items demonstrated certain attributes accorded the wearer. Collars have clear slave connotations, but for subsets of the lifestyle (i.e., Gorean), the color or material used in a scarf or neck binding have significant meaning. The exposing of these items particularly a collar elicits a discernable physical reaction in most members of society, from casual amusement, anger, to the more kink related imaginings.



This action fetish finds its basis in the deprivation, focusing on limiting the movement or liberties of a confined individual. Type forms of this are

  • Recreation of cell/prison confinement,

  • Pet confinement such as placing in dog cages,

  • Restriction to a crate or storage unit with or without the inclusion of transportation is such conditions.

  • House arrest, confinement to a physical boundary.  This activity is popular when using locked shock collars with perimeter sensors.



An adornment fetish relating to clothing and the definition of the body shape through the trimming and or shaping of the wait, buttock, or bust.  Usually used to highlight a specific aspect of the physical body like cleavage.



This adornment fetish is a physical representation of infantilism where an adult plays the role of a baby or young child and wears diapers to symbolize this manifestation.



This head-space fetish is about the attraction individuals have for partners are different to ourselves

  • age

  • body shape,

  • culture,

  • size,

  • skin tone,

  • race

  • religion.


The contrast to oneself can simply be an attraction or take it more extreme the sensation of superiority or inferiority in dominating or submitting one who is significantly different gives a sense of power and enablement. In more restrictive societies and families, it is also an act of rebellion to fly in the face of convention and mingle with “those people.”


Dirty Talk

An action fetish with its roots in the use of language which is considered vulgar or profane, during or distinct from sexual activities. The sexual context to this is a form of enticement used to direct or respond to the activities. Outside sexual act, it can either r be a form of humiliation and degradation in public or private or a verbal form of enticement and foreplay (i.e., begging to be fucked harder). These acts also include the loud sounds or “porn noises” people make as a form of aggrandizing the activity.



An action fetish is a form of personal violation over another individual. Again this is another fetish which frequently occurs with bondage, where the subject is given an enema to force the evacuation of the bowels, or sticking something deep into the mouth of an individual to force them to regurgitate.



The head-space fetish where the exposing a person or specific body parts in a public (or pseudo-public) setting.  Classic examples of this are flashing, or not wearing panties, bras, and revealing pubic or breasts. Sometimes this goes further such as public nudity or can be coupled in events with demonstrations of servitude or discipline.



Driving the fetish is the adornment aaugmented by the visual awareness or the tactic sense of wearing certain fabrics. Many of these materials when used to make clothing stimulate the wearer’s skin becoming very sensitized. Some materials provide resilience (see messy games) or soft sensual experiences when used for bedding or coverings. Fabrics can hint at erotic interludes to come.

  • Rubber and latex provide this item as a form or restraining materials (see mummification)

  • The soft, shimmer, slipperiness of silks and satins create an opposite reaction.

  • Fur has a soft, warm almost snuggling feeling of furs, such as laying a bear skin rug, or the feel of a fur coat, etc.

  • Leather combines tactile, olfactory and visual experiences with the suggestion of domination.



Another adornment fetish where the application of painted or stylized or patterned nails.


Gender Bending

A crossover between head-space and action fetish where gender transformation and control fetish; focusing clothing, demeanor, and makeup on accentuating the visualization of the gender change. It can also be a forced change where the subject who is gender defined is restrained and forced to appear in an alternate gender role. I more exotic cases it still exposes the original genitals in the context of an altered gender to force the humiliation aspect of this exposure.



Another crossover fetish between head-space and action fetish where situational abuse demeans the subject. Public nudity, rude comments were written on exposed flesh, the “kick me” (or similar) posted on someone’s, back. Humiliation can occur in private or public setting and has an arousal factor based on the size and diversity of the audience or even potential audience. Taking this to the extreme is having a humiliation fetishist cleaning everyday objects like the soles of one foot, shoes, the floor, the body of another, or even in place of toilet paper.  The one administering the humiliation usually gets a kick out of control garnered and shame of a person. Observes get voyeuristic pleasure and sense of guilt for it being someone else and not themselves.



This head-space fetish is one which is very hard to facilitate and master. The fantasy is that the person can claim they would not do certain activities when in an awake state, thereby absolving themselves of responsibility for their actions. A common misconception as people will not do anything when hypnotized that they would not do awake. Also, real experience in hypnotizing people is a difficult art to master, and many do not have tonal or skills to perform this task. Skill and experience are factors which can make it hard to realize the experience.



Another cross-over between adornment and head-space  fetishes that can be

  • A visual stimulus from seeing someone in lingerie. Voyeurs will enjoy the visual imagery suggestion of sensual enticement it sparks. 

  • The feel of wearing the fine silk and frilly objects that define femininity. Crossdressers, straight men, and women can all enjoy its sensations a private setting.



This adornment fetish is a form of body art which high lights the natural beauty of individuals or covers flaws in others in the subtle application. Stylized or specialty make-up (like smoky eyes, candy lips, war paint or overdone heavy) tends to accentuate the implied assets of a person or increases the visual desirability of someone from a viewer’s perspective. This can be taken to the extreme with full body paints where individuals are painted to resemble animals or other ornate objects.



An action fetish which some people seem to have to do it more than others.  Public, private, short periods, lengthy ones.  Some people prefer the safe sex and comfort of themselves over that of others.  The fetish for masturbation, the constant thought the need to do it a certain number of times a day.


Messy Games

This action fetish finds the physical sensation of using oils, food, from a few eggs to whip cream and chocolate syrup. It is very tactile but horrible to clean up, so bring along a drop cloth or to contain the mess use rubber sheets and avoid major cleaning efforts.  Without a doubt, a best practice is to follow these activities with a nice shower. Extreme nature of this includes scat play, which tends to be only a lifestyle peculiarity.



This adornment  fetish is tactile in nature and erotic sensation based. Wearing items of clothing made from chain-mail or the draping of chains around the body elicit statements of power, strength, and control. Numerous individuals enjoy the heft and revealing nature of such items particularly if worn over a naked body. When combined with leather it is a very pronounced statement of power.



This action fetish essentially forms the beginning of mental bondage. A very demanding activity requiring effort for it forces the dominant to constantly be looking ahead of where the subjects thought process and emotions are at the moment, and steering through words, actions, and images the subject; keeping them off balance.  The activity continuously thrusts the subject further into depending on the dominant and results in becoming more submissive. The more successful, the more the subject will crave the sensation because of constant mental and emotional stimulation, a rush akin to a mental roller coaster.



This adornment fetish is related to the constraining and obscuring of the subject. Wrapping the subject’s body in fabrics that leave them stiff and hampered when moving is the basis of this fetish. A simply clean cotton wraps which are light and breathe well is the easiest to employ. While saran wrap of the full body or coating a body in latex and rubber all are variations on the theme.



This head-space fetish is oriented to it either the observer who gets a voyeuristic pleasure or the active party in the liberation, freedom of being naked or the humiliation of being seen. It functions from the partial to full nudity in a public or private setting. The stimulus can be a positive or negative based on the viewer’s perspective and likes or dislikes. This fetish can be altered to include the wearing of semi-transparent fabrics which reveal tantalizing views (i.e. a sheer blouse reveal the areoles and nipples of a woman). 



This head-space fetish is largely around the dehumanizing of an individual and humiliation related to this. Whether an individual is used as an object of adornment, (i.e., statues, etc.) or furniture (chairs, stools, tables) or merely the shunning of individuals which makes them invisible.



This participatory fetish is related to a specific body part or activity; from a simple kiss, the sucking on fingers, toes and to the oral gratification of genitals; largely as a specific form of body worship.



An adornment fetish based on the joining of metal and flesh.  A mark of ownership perhaps, or a reclaiming of one's self.  A decoration or a means to it piercing of the sexual anatomies including tongues, nipples, genitals and belly buttons.


Pony Training

This action fetish is another form of animal or pet training where individuals fill the role of a pony/horse. The subject is adorned with manes, harnesses, and halters to emulate that of being a horse, frequently have anal plugs inserted to support tails.  Adorning these people in leather with riding boots representing hoofs and for foot protection is one of the many practices of this fetish. Typical the subject is connected to sully or cart to pull others around such as “horse & buggy.”



This action fetish is one more of domination than sexual circumstance with its violation as a trigger. The control and under the right circumstances sexual use by individuals a submissive trust (or possibly loves) can be a very enticing mental concept. The raw animal nature of taking what you want with little or no regard for the used subject has a very powerful drive for the primal beast in many.


Sensory Trigger

This combines the participatory and action fetishes in a less common form a touch stimulation via

  • cold (ice, water, chilled air, etc.),

  • cutting (scalpels, knives, etc.)

  • electricity (violet wands, TENS units, etc.),

  • heat (wax, fire,  etc.),

  • prickling (pins, needles, etc.),

  • tickling (feathers, teaser, and simple fingers)



This participatory fetish is about control and submission. The trust to let someone else shave you particularly those sensitive or private areas, the sense of a loss of control, the risk of injury (all be it mildly from the person doing the shaving), as well as the feel of smooth skin afterward, is a common fetish. This one in the vanilla community is a strong precursor to sex.



This action fetish can set people up for a precursor to other fetishes. It can accentuate the control another has on the spankee; when observed by non-participants, it adds a humiliation component and can form a type of foreplay. The act of watching a spanking of another, or participating in the act is very visceral. Delivery from light spanking to a welt-raiser with either a cadence that allows for the anticipation of the next blow.  This fetish has many different variables and is as diverse as the people participating.



An adornment fetish with individuals wearing high thin heels, (even at 5” to 6”) elicits a visual trigger. They shape the calf and make the wearer appear taller. Simply looking at these long heels can trigger all sorts of desires

  • to get on their knees and kiss and lick the wear or their shoes

  • “get me a ladder I am climbing that statue.”

  • “stand on me let me feel the pain (see trampling)



This action fetish focuses on stepping upon a submissive. It can be:

  • a simple Japanese massage where a small-footed woman walks the spin of an ample man,

  • the Domtrix pressing her stiletto into the groin of her boy toy,

  • the crush of a foot against the neck of a supplicant,


All of this focuses on a mix of control, pain, and submission as well as trust on the part of the recipient.



The adornment fetish of partners to wear military, police, medical, postal, fire or other uniforms can drive the sense of structure, control and strangely the sense of order and safety or terror in an individual. The result is an unexplained hormonal response.  Even a well-tailored suit is a uniform of types and can get the blood churning in many a person.



A head-space fetish where people who excite you is those who should be unattainable by you. Many celebrities such as rock or movie stars, radio personalities, or politicians all garner a level of interest because of what they do and have a following of groupies (i.e., Cumber-Bitches) that swoon in their presence. It could equally be those unaware of your existence which simply causes you to imagine “what if…”:

  • the neighbor's wife 

  • your kid's teacher

  • the teenage baby sister



This head-space fetish is most times associated with the illicit watching of others having sex. That is one aspect of it, the act of voyeurism is as much however as watch activities of a variety of types, from dances, strip shows, humiliation sessions, punishment, or power demonstrations. These all give inadvertent rise to desire and have very powerful rushes of emotions and baser instincts within people.



This merges participatory and action fetishes as an observer driven desire to see other in combat and participants to expose skills to an audience. The close contact and twisting of bodies as the contest each other for dominance set up a hormonal response in many people. Be it two sweaty, burly men in a field or two scantily clad women in mud (or jello) results in people imagining what if they were one of the contestants and being wrestled then forcing the other to submit; what reward would they demand.


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