Sex Research Reveals Just How Abnormal Our Fetishes Are

Updated: March 12, 2016
Sex Research Reveals Just How Abnormal Our Fetishes Are

If you ever feel like your sexual fantasies or habits are out of the “norm,” one study is here to tell you it’s all OK.

In a recent study published to The Journal of Sex Research, two Montreal-based researchers found 45.6 per cent of study participants had interest in at least one type of sexual behaviour labelled “abnormal,” including voyeurism, fetishism and masochism.

A study of 1,040 people from Quebec found that nearly half of them had sexual tastes that we consider outside of the norm.

“The main goal of the study was to determine normal sexual desires and experiences in a representative sample of the general population,” explains study author Christian Joyal in a press release.

The researchers found that 45.6 per cent of respondents said they were into in at least one kind of sexual activity that’s considered anomalous, while 33 per cent of people had actually experienced these fantasies IRL.

“These facts suggest that we need to know what normal sexual practices are before we label a legal sexual interest as anomalous,” explains Joyal. “Some paraphilic interests are more common than people might think, not only in terms of fantasies but also in terms of desire and behavior.”

So what were the most common kinky fetishes? Most people admitted they were into voyeurism (35 per cent), while 26 per cent of people said they were into fetishism. Another 26 per cent fantasized about frotteurism (which entails rubbing an erect penis on a non-consenting person’s body, so I really hope this remains just a fantasy) and 19 per cent expressed interest in masochism.

While men were more likely to self-report an interest in these so-called paraphilic behaviors than women, untraditional sexual tastes were still present in women, especially when it came to fantasizing about sexual submission. “In fact, women who report an interest in sexual submission have more varied sexual interests and report greater satisfaction with their sex lives. Sexual submission is therefore not an abnormal interest,” explains Joyal.