Fetishism as a sexual deviation was first classified in 1887 in Binet's work "On fetishism in love". The dynamics and unconscious aspects of fetishism were highlighted by Freud in two monographs published in 1905 and 1927. He showed that fetishism can be characteristic of a normal love, when "the connection with the normal is carried out through the psychologically necessary reevaluation of the sexual object, which is inevitably transferred to everything associated with it..."
The case becomes pathological only when the desire for a fetish is fixed stronger than under normal conditions and takes the place of a normal goal, then, when the fetish loses its connection with a certain person, it becomes the only sexual object.
At the same time, Freud, like many researchers of fetishism, has one significant methodological error: the axiom about the pathological nature of fetishism is used as a prerequisite. As a result, the researcher seeks to understand and explain not the phenomenon in all the complexity and ambiguity of its history, but the disease. In the description of the disease, terms that focus on absence, weakness, infantility, violation, etc. are used.
In a number of cases, a construction is similar to a myth is used to explain a phenomenon based on mythological consciousness. For example, Freud says that a fetish is a specific form of unconscious fantasy that acts as a defense against the realization that a woman does not have a penis, which can be explained based on infantile sexual theories.
Freud speaks of the fetishist's lowering of the desire for a normal sexual goal, explaining this by the executioner's weakness of the sexual apparatus: "This weakness depends on constitutional conditions. Psychoanalysis has proven the influence of sexual intimidation in early childhood as an accidental condition that pushes away from the normal sexual goal, prompting its replacement"...
The desire to see a painful phenomenon in fetishism and in a fetishist as a potential patient, is unproductive from a scientific point of view, does not lead to an explanation of the phenomenon, but to its "explanation." The methodological basis of this approach, as M. Foucault showed, was laid and worked out in the classical era, when the church and the authorities treated everything that went beyond the norm as unreasonableness and madness, and placed those who were declared sick and criminals in the same places of isolation. What is repressive medicine as well known today.
It seems productive to us to focus primarily on the differences in the perception of a thing by ancient and modern people, on the changes (mental, social, religious) that have occurred since the time when the thing and the person were divided and ceased to be recognized as parts of a single whole. In this case, the struggle of the church against manifestations of paganism or the struggle of the enlighteners against prejudices can be seen in the context of these changes, in the context of the history of culture.
In this case, it will be possible to raise a number of questions (if, of course, it will be possible to forget about perversions and their replication in the cinema, porno and other industries): does the fetishist have a more acute perception of things in comparison with ordinary, "healthy" people? Doesn't the fetishist keep the ability, lost by the majority, to feel the thing and its owner as a whole (which allows him to receive sexual pleasure)? Nowadays it’s much more easier to find like-minded people thanks to different BDSM and fetish dating sites. There people with any fetish may not only find the perfect match for sex and relationships but also find friend who share their lifestyle.