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10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Fetishes
Someone says fetish, and our brains immediately think up 50 shades of hot candle wax, whips, and chastity belts, but not all fetishes are about sexual gratification. Sometimes, we just really love something intangible, inanimate, or non-human. And that counts as a fetish, too.
Let’s explore 10 things you didn’t know were fetishes. Who knows, you might find, like I did, that you relate to many of them.
10 Religious Fetishes
The rabbit foot aside, if you jump onto eBay or take a safari across Africa or the Far East, you’re likely to bring home venerated objects like masks, ancestor figures, amulets, and other antique objects. For centuries now, people worldwide have revered objects they believe possess supernatural powers to protect against evil, give them power over others, enhance fertility, or control nature.
While the communities these items originate from associate them with spiritual beings, many of us see them as modern works of art that can improve the look and feel of a room. Well, if you find yourself immensely drawn to tribal figurines, masks, and crystal bowls and possibly own one or several of them, you probably have a fetish for religious objects.
We’re still trying to find the “phile” word for it.
9 Love of Military Fatigues
So maybe we’ve watched too many movies, but some of us could never resist military fatigues (or was it the wearer? It could be both). From the all-too-familiar olive drab green t-shirts to combat boots, button-ups, trousers, and oh-so-cool sunglasses, the battle dress is more than a passing fashion or sensual thing. They’re like a “must have, must own” kind of thing.
Uniforms likely represent a set of concepts that we find attractive—think authority, competence, power, discipline, professional duty, and heroism potency. In our minds, the person in uniform becomes a fantasy based on what we associate the uniform with. Hey, even Cap couldn’t resist Peggy Carter in uniform, and she also only had eyes for him.
8 Cynophilia (Excessive Love of Dogs)
Wow! That would make half the world cynophiles because we love our furry friends. It’s one thing to love and care for your dog and a whole other to have this intense and irresistible love for dogs. How do you know that you may be a cynophile?
You’re excited around dogs, even when you don’t know them. You feel drawn to dogs even if you don’t own one. You sense strong emotional connections to dogs even though you’ve never met one and want to own a dog knowing fully well that you may not have the resources to look after one.
If this sounds familiar, then you’re probably a cynophile. Is it a bad thing? Absolutely not; besides being loyal companions, hanging out with dogs may help reduce stress, improve your overall mental health, and potentially lengthen your life expectancy.
7 Ailurophilia (Strong Devotion to Felines)
Now that one-half of the world loves dogs, we can happily apportion a huge part of the other half to cat lovers. Ailurophiles don’t just love a cat or keep one; they are totally and completely in love with their feline friends.
They understand that cats only “meow” to communicate with you. They don’t meow at other cats unless it’s a kitten meowing at its mommy. So that universal sound we associate with cats is much more than ordinary. It’s a special sound that a cat develops to be deciphered by itself and its owners, and yes, ailurophiles understand the vocabulary.
Ailurophiles will come home and greet their cats before anyone else like it’s the most normal thing to do. They will ditch loved ones or create excuses just to return to their cats and enjoy quality time with them. They get separation anxiety anytime they have to leave their cats for several hours or a couple of days and feel betrayed when their cats curl up with someone else.
Team feline will go to great lengths to care for their cats—we’re talking about gourmet cat foods, toys, and treats. And yes, they don’t mind waking up at night to feed or play with their cat simply because that’s what the kitty wants.
This infatuation isn’t without its benefits. Stroking your cat may help relieve stress while holding it close as it purrs creates a sense of comfort and security. Who doesn’t want that?
6 Dinophilia (Enduring Love for Dinosaurs)
What could be so wonderful about a domineering, fast, crocodile-faced creature with teeth and claws that can rip you apart in seconds? Yet growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, we played with dinosaur toys and devoured nearly every book we could find about them. And possibly the reason we still flock to movie theaters to watch the latest Jurassic Park films.
This obsession is as prevalent among kids today as it was back then. Our enduring love for dinosaurs probably stems from the thrill of unraveling a centuries-old forgotten species. Perhaps it’s the terror these animals wield—animals that can only be destroyed by earth-shattering asteroids or Chris Pratt and his buddies.
Many kids outgrow their dino-curiosity phase, but for some, the intense interest remains even in adulthood. If you own dinosaur paraphernalia, are continuously impressed by dinosaurs’ massive and intricate skeletons, or have a trip to the Teufelsschlucht dinosaur park (and other dino fossil-focused spots) on your bucket list, you’re a dinophile.
But then, an obsession with all things dinosaurs might be a good thing. It rouses curiosity, aids cognitive development, and is a serious confidence booster. I mean, how many people can rattle off the tongue-twisting scientific names of dozens of dinosaurs that existed in a lost world?
5 Pogonophilia (Love of the Beard)
There are beard wearers and pogonophiles. The former refers to men who don’t mind stubble from time to time and those who are too lazy to shave. Pogonophiles (both male and female) have a greater appreciation of lustrous facial hair. They love running their fingers through beards and will quickly notice other men with beards.
How do you know you’re a pogonophile? Growing a beard also means putting up with some discomfort, or if your man is bearded, you don’t mind the beard burn; if this is the case, you’re probably a pogonophile. If you don’t think twice about investing in premium products to keep your beard lustrous and smelling great or perk up whenever a bearded male enters the room or is on TV, you’re definitely on the team.
Beards are powerful; they don’t beg to be admired. Rather, they make males look more masculine. Bearded males generally look dominant and mature, which is helpful if you have a baby face.
They also reinforce patience and discipline. It takes time for a beard to form—you’ll probably feel like it’s growing in patches, and the itching will make you think of shaving it off. But if you push through, you’ll, in the end, enjoy an eye-catching lush beard.
4 Nyctophilia (Love of Darkness)
Something about the stillness when all light fades away and the bustle of life comes to rest appeals to nyctophiles. The darkness is mysterious, inviting, and comforting. All alone, surrounded by darkness, gets nyctophiles pondering over the big questions in life, which may be the reason why nyctophiles are such deep thinkers and even lovers of mystery.
Unlike insomniacs or people suffering from rotating work schedules or jetlag who find it difficult to sleep, nyctophiliacs crave darkness, and the invisibility empowers them—writers, composers, poets, and overthinkers, we see you.
Tell me if you can relate; night scents are your favorite, especially the trees and herbs that give off deliriously delightful scents. You can hang out by yourself in a dark room and feel perfectly okay, and in typical style can’t say you miss the sound of daytime noises.
Your mind goes into overdrive at night. You feel energetic, your best ideas flow, and you find inspiration to tackle creative stuff. You even enjoy nocturnal hobbies like nighttime swimming, stargazing, or sky-watching.
3 Pluviophilia (Love of Rain)
While everyone else looks forward to clear blue skies, gray skies are your thing. Those menacingly dark clouds that threaten to dampen everything excite something within you. You smile at the sound of rain and envision yourself melting right into it. Hello, pluviophile.
Growing up, most kids love jumping outside in the rain, but as adults, they quickly open up their umbrellas or find shelter. If you still love splashing around or enjoy the splatter of raindrops on your face, then you’re a rain lover. Rainy weather brings peace to your soul. It energizes you and inspires creative activities.
You love the earthy scent of rain and can spend a tremendous amount of time watching rain drop from the sky. If you’re not indoors close to a window with your favorite music observing the heavens do their thing, you’re probably outside doing the same.
Dark colors make up your wardrobe, but you also own colorful raincoats, umbrellas, and rain boots. Because in the same way, a rainbow against dark grey clouds looks perfect, you’re a mixture of bright and dark colors.
And yes, rain makes those snugly movie-watching times so nostalgic and falling asleep so much easier. I can see myself here, do you?
2 Coimetrophilia (Love of Cemeteries)
Some people don’t think much of cemeteries; they go in and bury their dead, and that’s it. Others would rather drive or walk long distances to avoid passing by a cemetery, and then there are coimetrophiliacs. People who have a special fondness for cemeteries and graves.
Not in the vampire, ghost stories, or dead bodies kind of way. A coimetrophile is attracted to the serene environment, the scent of freshly turned soil, moss-covered storm-worn and sometimes oddly shaped tombstones, and the majestic trees.
They love walking along old paths, reading names and dates, collecting beautiful (or weird) epitaphs, and taking pictures. They find comfort in wearing cemetery scents to funerals and memorials.
Before you think it’s morbid or something, there are fascinating stories engraved on tombstones that make for good reads. If you’re into historical stuff, you just might find your fill there and realize that maybe the cemetery isn’t such an ominous place after all.
1 Dendrophilia (Lover of Trees & Forests)
You describe trees the same way you would people. You love planting, nurturing, and even talking to trees. Hey, they do talk back—don’t they—if we are attentive and patient enough to listen. You don’t comprehend how people just chop down trees and would probably chain yourself to one that’s in danger.
Dendrophiliacs have an intense passion and respect for trees. They find solace among trees and can feel a deep connection to them. They care about things in their environment that affect the existence of trees.
A dendrophile will likely spend a lot of time around trees, hug a tree or several, and would rather go camping than stay in a hotel. You belong to an environmental organization, recycle everything you can, bring your own tote bag for groceries, and will only reach for the AC when temperatures reach sweltering points.
You make it your life mission to preserve trees, and that’s something we should all do.