This is the title of a thread began in the sexual identity section.

It seems that as the effects of sexual abuse are more explored that well-structured fetishes (as opposed to sexual fetish play) is connected to abuse -- either profound emotional abuse or neglect or physical and/or sexual abuse.

While the jury's still out about this, it would seem to make sense that if a person develops attachments to objects, body-parts or sexual acts at the expense of developing relational attachments (ie, a well-structured fetish that MUST be present for any sexual satisfaction whatsoever, or that is performed despite severe consequences -- loss of family or legal ramifications) then probably there's been an early, traumatic event in which the infant/child/adolescent experienced profound disruptions of early, reliable attachments.

There's some evidence that autistic individuals develop fetishistic attachments, but then again, they're blocked from relational attachments.

Anyway, there's a big difference between someone who likes to play tie me up, tie me down, games with trusted others and the person who is so driven to satisfy a fetish that they go against their own overall well-being, etc.... In the latter case it seems logical to assume that there's been a profound disruption of the attachment system.

I doubt that the existence of a fetish per se is what's at issue, but the ability to play at a variety of experiences which involves cared-for self and others.

I can't imagine that a person who can only be sexual with a shoe didn't experience real trauma. Likewise, I can't imagine that those involved in serious S&M practices wherein the choice of partner is absolutely secondary didn't also experience real trauma. Nor can I imagine that certain fetishistic practices, however they're practiced (even within loving relationships) isn't an expression of a repetition of experienced traumatic loss, like diaper fetishism -- as opposed to breast fetishes (which in the West few heterosexual men are completely without).

Take care,
Katie