I have a fetish. Is it normal?
December 25, 2017 9:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm a 26 year old male from the USA. I will try to keep this as short as possible but I have this certain sexual fetish that I have always had, ever since I was first going through puberty and I don't know if it's quite "normal".

I know that there are tons of fetishes out there. Anyways, my fetish is with thong underwear (specifically). I get very very aroused by women that wear them. When I was younger, even hearing a lady talk about them made me very excited. I've seen other posts on here about fetishes, for instance one guy said that he had a smoking fetish where he got very aroused by ladies smoking if I recall correctly. Anyways I haven't really seen this fetish ever discussed. I would put it in the same category as a man that gets very turned on by stockings or latex or something like that. Anyways, I've never really talked about this ever because I'm not sure how to tell a potential partner that for some reason when they wear thongs I get very aroused, even moreso than naked. I try not to think about it too much because I don't think it's exactly normal for clothing to make you that much more horny. Anyways what do you think? Am I absolutely crazy and is there something wrong with my mind? I'm just glad it's not something too over the top like hardcore bondage, having someone pee on you, etc etc .But it still is very very arousing to me and I don't know why
posted by Thorium123 to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

As fetishes go, this is incredibly tame. There's nothing "wrong," with you. I don't have any advice for how to bring this up with a potential partner, but I will say that there's nothing to be ashamed of.
posted by Alensin at 9:42 PM on December 25, 2017 [21 favorites]

You're not unusual or abnormal. It's common for people to get very aroused by underclothes of various types. It's fine to share this preference with partners and I wouldn't be surprised if a partner would want to wear this type of underwear as part of sex play even if they didn't prefer it for daily wear. How people develop strong preferences like this isn't always clear, but it's not unusual in any way and you shouldn't worry about it.
posted by quince at 10:06 PM on December 25, 2017 [9 favorites]

buddy, that's literally the point of thongs. you're fine
posted by switcheroo at 10:06 PM on December 25, 2017 [102 favorites]

Because it's fairly pedestrian, is there any particular reason this is making you feel like you're losing your mind? Are you just thinking about sex much more often than you used to? (If so, that would be a perfectly normal variation in libido, and not anything to worry about.)
posted by XMLicious at 10:07 PM on December 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

Pardon my previous answer, that was unnecessarily snarky. What I meant to convey is that it's really really normal and fine to enjoy and be turned on by women wearing lingerie. I wouldn't even call it a kink so much as a preference. You just like thongs! This is something that, once you're intimate with a partner, you can let them know about. It's not a big thing to ask for, so I would just keep it simple and say hey, this is something I like, would you want to try wearing it sometime? It's not shameful or weird, so find someone who shares your interest and have fun.
posted by switcheroo at 10:26 PM on December 25, 2017 [9 favorites]

I guess it could be a problem if you ONLY got aroused if your partner was wearing a thong and even then it’s mostly a question of logistics. In fact, unless you require thongs to become aroused I’d hardly even call it a fetish.

What you have is a preference. Enjoy the sexy underwear!
posted by lydhre at 10:47 PM on December 25, 2017 [11 favorites]

This is so sweet and innocent compared to the horrors I was imagining (thanks tumblr). I promise you it's totally normal and not weird, and unless you're doing socially unacceptable things like bursting into the dressing rooms at Victoria's Secret it's really not a big deal at all.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:05 PM on December 25, 2017 [38 favorites]

If you do tell your lady, just tell her that thongs make you horny. Calling it a fetish might make her expect something a lot more out there!
posted by Omnomnom at 12:33 AM on December 26, 2017 [8 favorites]

Stripper here. Thongs are such a common pleasure that I find it hard to even describe them as a “fetish.” That’s a word people tend to reserve for interests that fall outside the stereotypical “vanilla” norm (though obviously the actual norm is not nearly as “vanilla” as society will openly admit).

Just because you prefer “x” to plain nudity doesn’t make it a fetish. It is, in fact, “exactly normal for clothing to make you that much more horny.” I’ve seen a wide range of fetishes in my job and this seems to fall into the same category as loving skirts — i.e. not generally considered a fetish.

Granted, some people take common pleasures to extremes. (I have a customer who told me straight-out that he has a “fetish” for legs — which turned out to include, among other things, him preferring my right leg over my left leg even though the two are EXACTLY THE SAME.) But it doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything in that realm.

Honestly, if a dancer in the dressing room told me that she had danced for a customer with a thong fetish, I would either assume that the customer had asked her to wear six at once or offered her a thousand dollars to buy the one she was wearing or something. Anything short of that, I would assume that this was the dancer’s first day — and that she probably won’t last in the job if she thinks a love for thongs is unusual enough to constitute a “fetish,” ha.

So I would definitely feel free to tell your partner that you especially enjoy thong underwear. Of course, I would be conscientious of how you phrase it, because a lot of women find thong underwear to be uncomfortable. But something like, “Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask: I’ve always loved the way thongs look, and I wondered how you feel about wearing them? Is it something you’d be comfortable doing for me sometime?” Something along those lines.

I hope you find this is helpful ... But for what it’s worth, I also hope you wouldn’t be ashamed or anything even if the resounding answer were that this is a fetish — because fetishes themselves aren’t something to be ashamed of. They’re common. They only become problematic when people indulge them in problematic ways. I wish society wouldn’t spend so much time shaming something so normal and okay.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 12:51 AM on December 26, 2017 [55 favorites]

Depending on who you're talking with, your terminology is off. I'd call this a preference or maybe a kink, and reserve "fetish" for something that you absolutely have to have involved for sexual satisfaction. Do thongs just make foreplay and sex better for you, or do you need your partner to be wearing one to make the foreplay even happen? Either way though, neither situation is "crazy" or "wrong". The only way it could tip towards that would be if you manipulated your partner into wearing thongs when they didn't want to or got inappropriate in a department store's lingerie section.

If this is interfering with other areas of your life, then I'd suggest you talk to a therapist about it. But it really doesn't sound like you're anywhere near that realm of things. People are incredibly and wildly varied when it comes to sex and pleasure, and your thing for thongs is really quite sweet and something plenty of people would happily indulge in. If you can go on with your day after thinking about or encountering thongs outside of a sexual context, you're absolutely bone-deep normal.
posted by Mizu at 1:19 AM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Absolutely normal. Our arousal patterns are typically linked to early childhood experiences and I'm guessing one of the reason's women's lingerie is such a common focal point in this realm is that most children see their mother or their sister walking around in bra and panties or are faced with Victoria secret ad's, etc . on a daily basis. Not that any of this is a bad thing, we need to develop sexual arousal at some point and as other's have said, this is fetish 'lite' and hurts absolutely no one. If your'e interested in the full gamut of sexual longings out there, check out the book "Who's Been Sleeping in Your Head.' The author conducted a meta-analysis of sexual fantasies and complied them into a book which is a pretty interesting read. (I'm not sure if anyone has done the same or similar kind of research with fetish objects)

posted by Mavis at 3:27 AM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Not a sexpert, but that sounds wayyyyy within the range of normal preferences. Don’t even worry about it.

It reminded me of this old satirical article from The Onion. Area Man Has Naked-Lady Fetish.
posted by The Deej at 5:03 AM on December 26, 2017 [11 favorites]

I'm not sure how to tell a potential partner that for some reason when they wear thongs I get very aroused, even moreso than naked.

After you've been dating a bit and have become physically intimate and are having those "get to know you questions," you can say something like "I think thongs are super sexy. Would you consider wearing one?"

Not the sort of thing you bring up on the first date, in my rather prim opinion, just as the first date is not where you would talk about your preferred positions or favorite porn genre - not because it's weird.

But yeah, it's no scat fetish - not even a foot fetish - and is not likely to turn away potential partners unless you behave badly about it (sulking if they don't wear a thong, paying attention to the thong and not them, wanting them to always wear thongs but never doing whatever they've asked for that helps them get turned on, etc).
posted by bunderful at 5:47 AM on December 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is not a fetish. Thongs are supposed to look sexy. Your reaction to them is appropriate. Don’t worry.
posted by amro at 6:09 AM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm going to agree with everyone above that this is not especially outré and not something you really need to worry about . However, I could see this causing you problems if your presentation of such to women is as intense as it is here - if you're laying this out as some deep dark secret that you're underburdening yourself of, that presentation could be overshadowing the actual content to a point that isn't going to go how you want.

All you really need to do is throw out somewhere around the start of sex some little ways in, "hey I have a thing for thongs you think you could humor me?" You might get told no but very few people are going to experience that as something beyond the pale or even especially unexpected. But if you set it up like you expect them to run away screaming, you're cueing people to be inclined to do just that.
posted by PMdixon at 8:22 AM on December 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is so sweet and innocent compared to the horrors I was imagining

Really truely this. I don't consider it a fetish at all. Where I think "fetish" does start... years ago I lived in a city in which my roommate (who had a rotating cast of partners, some with very unusual tastes indeed) and she informed me foot fetishes were common there. I was very young and didn't know whether to believe her or not until one day I was waiting for a train and out of nowhere, a man sitting next to me, who had been staring at my sandalled feet, asked me if he could touch my toes. I always wore closed-toe in that city after that. But there you have it. Enjoy your thongs.
posted by Crystal Fox at 11:23 AM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Woman here, feeling inclined to respond to this:

buddy, that's literally the point of thongs. you're fine

No, it’s not (necessarily) the point. I, and most of my female friends, wear thongs primarily to avoid panty lines. They make me feel sexy, sure, but that’s secondary.

It’s not great to assume that all women who wear a certain type of clothing are actively trying to turn you on.

All that said, OP, I agree that this is tame and you shouldn’t feel weird about telling partners that their thongs are Super Arousing for you.

posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:20 PM on December 26, 2017 [16 favorites]

First of all, there's nothing wrong with you and finding certain kinds of clothing more exciting than nudity is quite common.

Secondly, the concept of "normal" isn't really useful or well-defined when it comes to human behavior, especially sex. I think a more useful question to ask when it comes to sexual interests is whether they are harmful. Either to yourself or others, either physically or emotionally. If not, do whatever you like. You may enjoy Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jessie Bering. It's a fascinating read and really broadened my horizons in terms of understanding sexual fetishes and paraphilias.
posted by Cogito at 8:55 PM on December 26, 2017

Budding psychologist here (in process of a career change): what you have noted above does not qualify as an "issue". Not even close, so breathe easy. You are as normal as rain!

Echoing all of the above.

Also adding to schroedingersgirl: some women prefer wearing thongs as everyday underwear, not contingent upon their partners. So, outlook is good. Thongs are just more comfortable to some of us without taking men's opinions into any of it. Once I started wearing them I never turned back and I do not care about what men think.
posted by floweredfish at 4:35 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm so white bread/vanilla it hurts, but I'm pretty 'meh' about those many others who do have fetishes--usual or un.

Here's my personal basic metric w/r to fetishes:

Does it hurt you? Does it hurt your partner? Does anybody hurl afterwards? I'm not in favor.

It would be nice if you can giggle about it afterwards, but not necessary.

As for the rest, go for it and enjoy.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:24 PM on December 27, 2017

This is the OP. Thank you for all the replies. I've never really openly discussed this because practically no one ever discusses sexual things outside of a relationship. I was just wondering if I was somehow nuts for having this strong preference and if it is even normal to have strong sexual preferences. This is the only thing "off" about me, in that I mean this is my only kink or whatever you may call it, like people in to bondage or what have you. I'm just really in to thongs like some people are really in to leather or latex or whatever. As for why, I don't even know why it's just something that has always turned me on the most ever since I was a teenager, which is probably the same as why people are turned on by whatever they're turned on by it's not really a conscious thing.
posted by Thorium123 at 9:01 PM on December 27, 2017

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