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Underwear fetishism

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One type of underwear fetishism involves stockings.

Underwear fetishism is a sexual fetishism relating to undergarments, and refers to preoccupation with the sexual excitement of certain types of underwear, including panties, stockings, pantyhose, bras, or other items. Some people can experience sexual excitement from wearing, while others get their excitement when observing, handling, or smelling the underwear worn by another, or watching somebody putting underwear on or taking it off.

Underwear fetishism is not considered as paraphilia unless it causes distress or serious problems for the person or those associated with them.


To determine relative prevalences of different fetishes, Italian researchers obtained an international sample of 5,000 individuals from 381 fetish-themed discussion groups. The relative prevalences were estimated based on (a) the number of groups devoted to a particular fetish, (b) the number of individuals participating in the groups and (c) the number of messages exchanged. Within the sample population (a population of adults online involved in sexual discussion), 12% indicated a sexual preference for underwear.[1][2]

In Singapore, there is a minority of males who appear to have a fetish for stealing women's underwear from outside their residences.[3] For example, in June 2020, a man was jailed for stealing underwear during the COVID-19 circuit breaker.[4]


A Japanese vending machine selling used panties for Burusera

Panty fetishism is a fetish in which one eroticizes panties (or similar styles of underwear). Fetishistic behavior can involve sharing printed or electronic material depicting exposure of panties, usually of a softcore nature, or direct sight and physical contact with the panties.

Some individuals have a paraphilia for a specific type of panty. For example, a common subclass of panty fetishism are panties that show the exposed buttocks (i.e. thongs and G-strings). Further, some individuals have the opposite preference, and are attracted to panties that cover the buttocks.

Used panties

One of the most common types of panty fetishes involves used panties. In this fetish, panties or other intimate clothing that have previously been worn are eroticized. With the advent of the Internet, a "used panty" industry has sprung up to cater to this fetish, consisting primarily of women or (on a much smaller scale) men selling their used undergarments through independent websites or panty seller groups. Sellers tend to charge for the number of days for which the panties or other garment are worn, and prices generally increase with time worn.

In Japan, this industry has a long-established brick-and-mortar presence, known as burusera shops.[5][6][7] Outside Japan, such shops exist only on the internet and are generally run by individual women or men, as opposed to registered businesses.


A woman wearing a pulled up skirt, stockings and garters

Some people experience sexual excitement from the look or feel of women's stockings. The attraction may be to the look or feel of the material, such as sheer nylon or silk, to the use of a garter belt, or to the act of a person donning or removing stockings. The attraction of stockings may include the perception that stockings and the associated use of garters, lace, high fashion, appliqué and the exposure of the thigh, are aesthetically pleasing or erotic.

Stocking fetishism may include other feminine clothing which contributes to enhancing the fantasy. Some men find it arousing to collect and wear stockings, panties, and suspender belts. In some cases, this is done for the purpose of momentary sexual stimulation. Others wear such a complete combination under a pair of trousers or beneath a business suit on a regular daily basis.[8]

The increasing acceptance with which modern societies have viewed this particular subject since the middle of the 1950s decade enabled many men to indulge in this practice to such an extent that it has been branded as a 20th-century social phenomenon.[citation needed]

In contrast to conventional face-to-face purchasing, the growth of internet purchasing has enabled men to browse through many different assorted underwear offerings anonymously. Presently, many manufacturers and retailers specializing in lingerie and associated women’s apparel throughout the world cater to the need of an ever-growing population of men who usually invest significant amounts of effort and expense in order to acquire whatever intimate garments may suit their particular needs.[9]

Such fetishists may also be divided into many subcategories relative to their attraction to certain types of stockings.[10] Some find fishnet stockings more arousing compared to other forms of stockings, for example. Other preferences include fully fashioned (seamed) stockings, seamless stockings, designer stockings, luxury stockings, reinforced heel and toe stockings (RHT), stay-ups, etc.

Garter belts can be very tricky to attach to a lace welt, therefore it is much easier to start wearing garter belts with old-fashioned regular stockings that have a plain welt without any lace, designs, or silicon lining. Usually, garter belt fits around the waist or just a little lower, but it is not a good idea to have a garter belt too low on the hips because it may begin to slide down when walking as stockings tug on the straps.[original research?]

In the Anime and Manga subculture, zettai ryōiki (絶対領域) (lit. Absolute Area/Domain/Region/Territory) refers to the bare skin between thigh-high stockings or socks and the skirt (though in some cases shorts also).

Silky full stockings and slip
Woman in a lace bra

Silk and satin

Some people experience sexual excitement from the look or feel of articles made of silk or satin fabric. Such interest is usually directed towards the person wearing silk or satin, but it can also be directed towards the garment itself, or to the feel of the garment when worn.

The attraction can be to the physical properties of the garment, such as softness, smoothness, drape, and shine, and to its association with elegance, glamour, romance and opulence.

The principal materials which are considered erotic are charmeuse silk (silk woven so that it has a sheen) and satins (such as acetate satin and rayon satin), but other materials with similar properties, such as polyester and spandex are also admired.[11][12]


Jockstrap fetishism is the term applied to the sexual arousal from handling, wearing a jockstrap, watching another put one on, or sniffing a jockstrap. To quote on jockstrap sniffing, "jock[strap] sniffing specifically refers to the practice of inhaling odors from unlaundered jockstraps for the purpose of sexual stimulation. Practitioners, (usually male) are known as 'jock sniffers' and acquire unlaundered jockstraps either by swapping such garments with like-minded individuals or by swiping them from locker rooms, lockers or unattended gym bags".[13] Sexual arousal generally concerns the jockstrap itself and is why it is regarded as a paraphilia rather than a fetish. It is also regarded as a homosexual exclusive fetish even though straight males do often do this as well.[14][dead link][verification needed]

See also


  1. ^ Scorolli C, Ghirlanda S, Enquist M, Zattoni S, Jannini EA (2007). "Relative prevalence of different fetishes". Int. J. Impot. Res. 19 (4): 432–7. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901547. PMID 17304204. (Table 3)
  2. ^ Dobson, Roger (2007). Heels are the world's No 1 fetish. The Independent Online Edition, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2007-02-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed February 2007.
  3. ^ "Man arrested for series of underwear theft in Tampines: 2,500 undergarments seized by police". Stomp. 2020-04-03. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  4. ^ "Jail for serial bra thief who left house during circuit breaker to steal underwear". CNA. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  5. ^ "The economics of pricing used panties". April's Body. 13 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  6. ^ Natalie Paris (3 February 2014). "The world's weirdest vending machines". Telegraph. UK.
  7. ^ Charles Waterstreet (21 June 2014). "Vending machines reveal cultural tolerance of abuse". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ Jeanette, Doris (2011). "Sexual Empowerment for Men: Love and Understanding for Men Who Wear Panties". Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Lingerie Tips for Men". HerRoom. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  10. ^ The Stocking Passion: Imagination and beyond (retrieved on May 9, 2007)
  11. ^ Steele, Valerie (1985). Fashion and eroticism: Ideals of feminine beauty from the Victorian era to the Jazz age. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 0-19-503530-5.
  12. ^ Browne, Ray B. (1982). Objects of special devotion: Fetishism in popular culture. Bowling Green University Popular Press. ISBN 0-87972-191-X.
  13. ^ Pronger, Brian (May 15, 1992). The arena of masculinity. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0312062934.
  14. ^ "Understanding Male Sexuality".