Thanks to the internet, subcultures are morphing into global movements. Over the past 10 years fetishism, long associated with sexual abnormalcy, has surfaced from the underground. It is influencing the worlds of design, art, literature, the media and most obviously fashion. The term fetish is derived from the Portuguese word feitico, meaning relic. Imbued with holy and mystical properties, feiticos were often kept in elaborately decorated containers known as reliquaries.
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Fetish, Explained | AnOther
Sex was just as naughty and inventive in previous centuries as in our lifetimes, despite our perceptions of the past as often prudish, writes author Jemahl Evans. Our ancestors could be just as debauched, just as wild, just as depraved as anything our modern sensibilities can imagine. Attitudes have of course changed over the centuries, but sexual desire has most certainly not, and even historical periods or societies which superficially seem straitlaced are charged with eroticism under the surface. The Victorian and Edwardian age is often viewed through a prism of puritan attitudes. Yet, it is a period of large scale prostitution, celebrity courtesans, widespread literary pornography, the invention of the vibrator, and a burgeoning photo and film porn industry.
They also discuss other goofy censorship attempts and Rocket Launcher Jesus. Bizarre sexual fetishes are a staple of the human psyche--most everyone has them, and with the arrival of Internet porn, all the walls came crumbling down. Suddenly, everyone everywhere could share their sick, nasty fantasies with the entire world, safe under a veil of anonymity.
Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value, or powers, to an object. The term "fetish" has evolved from an idiom used to describe a type of object created in the interaction between European travelers and Africans in the early modern period to an analytical term that played a central role in the perception and study of non-Western art in general and African art in particular. William Pietz , who, in , conducted an extensive ethno-historical study  of the fetish, argues that the term originated in the coast of West Africa during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Pietz distinguishes between, on the one hand, actual African objects that may be called fetishes in Europe, together with the indigenous theories of them , and on the other hand, "fetish", an idea, and an idea of a kind of object, to which the term above applies. According to Pietz, the post-colonial concept of "fetish" emerged from the encounter between Europeans and Africans in a very specific historical context and in response to African material culture.