Most of us nurse hidden sexual fetishes. The term “sexual fetishes” may evoke images of black bodysuits and complicated sexual contraptions, but you may already be acting out some of the most common examples, such as spanking. What defines sexual fetishes, though, isn’t what the activity or object of desire is so much as the role it plays in someone’s life.

Sexual fetishes are typically referred to as behaviors that someone cannot get sexually aroused without. Sexual fetishes can also be something people use to describe a sexual arousal that is reached with a typically non-sexual object. While people use the terms “fetish” and “kink” interchangeably, a kink is defined as a sexual activity that falls outside of sex that society traditionally considers “acceptable.” (whips, bondage, role-playing..), whereas a fetish technically refers to an attraction to an inanimate object, although this includes body parts, such as feet (like a foot fetish).

No matter what you’re into, kink is about consent, communication, and compromise. Before trying any new sex act, obtaining enthusiastic, continuous consent from all parties involved is a must. Your kinks may not perfectly align with your partner’s, and that’s okay. Below you can find a list of the most common sexual fetishes you might want to learn about!

The top sexual fetishes people like

sexual fetishes


Bondage is a form of restraint—pretty self-explanatory. It’s a sex act that falls within the BDSM umbrella, which is an acronym for “bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism” and a group of common sexual fantasies.


Dominance is one half of the DS (dominance and submission) in BDSM and is all about a consensual power exchange. With this particular kink, the dominant partner derives sexual pleasure from taking control. The submissive partner allows their dominant partner to dominate them.

Wax play

Candlelight is fantastic mood lighting, but you can also use the melted wax for painfully good sexual pleasure. There are candles that exist to burn at a temperature perfect for bodies, so you don’t have to worry about accidental burns. Massage candles also exist. These come in delightful scents such as bourbon or dark vanilla, and as the candle burns, the wax turns into massage oil.

Foot fetish

Foot fetishes are one of the most common sexual fetishes out there, especially for heterosexual men. Someone with a foot fetish is literally turned on by feet—thinking about them, touching them, seeing them—and could potentially get off on everything feet.


One of the most common sexual fetishes is the fetish for hands, which is referred to as quirofilia, which may manifest as an attraction to fingers, a great manicure, or simply some smoking hot hands. Hands are sexy.


Role-playing means acting out a sexual fantasy with your partner(s), either once or as part of an ongoing fantasy. While it can be a fetish or kink within itself, it’s also a healthy way to act out other fantasies.

Group sex

Group sex is getting it on with more than one person. You are probably aware that out there many couples are searching for a third, although group sex can mean more than just a threesome. An orgy is when a group of people of all genders have sex, while a gangbang typically refers to one person having sex with more than two members of another gender. If you have a group sex fetish or kink but realistically only want to have sex with one other person, try using porn, dirty talk, or role-playing with the use of sex toys to explore within your current relationship.

Voyeurism and display

Many couples confess to being turned on by pornography or watching another couple in the act. Of course, as with every other fetish, engage in voyeurism consensually, for example at a sex party where a couple has given you permission to watch; watching someone without their permission is never acceptable.

Impact play

Impact play refers to the use of hands, paddles, whips, or whatever you have around your house to hit the body. If you’ve ever playfully spanked your partner during sex, that’s impact play. More than anything else, impact play requires consent and communication. Like any new kink, start small, slow, and choose a safeword, so that if anything becomes uncomfortable, you can use your safeword immediately.


Masochism is deriving pleasure from the high sensation most often referred to as pain, be that physical or emotional. So, if you enjoy being spanked, humiliated or spit on, you might be a masochist. The flip side of masochism is sadism (named after an eighteenth-century French nobleman), in which someone derives pleasure from inflicting pain of a physical or emotional nature.


“Whip” is commonly used as an umbrella term for all impact play tools, though it technically refers to an item with a thinner body that produces more of a “stingy” sensation.