How much of our sexuality starts with childhood? I’ve been fascinated by sexual psychology for my entire adult life. Trying to understand the fuel behind certain fantasies or fetishes. I often wonder how an individual comes to the realisation that a certain item or practice does it for them? I truly believe that much of our sexual make up begins in childhood imprinting.
Imprinting is when a psychological mark is left following an experience when very young. Most often seen in baby birds when they attach themselves to the thing they most readily see as a parent after hatching it is speculated that humans can imprint too.
It’s long been theorised that foot or heel fetishes may begin as a toddler on the floor. It’s not that big a jump to assume that a child surrounded by beautiful shapely feet or exciting high heels may feel an emotional attachment to them which in adult life develops into a fetish. The same could be argued of spanking, DD/lg, puppy play, D/s, tickling, smoking and even uniform fetishes. All things which could possibly begin with childhood imprinting after a memorable experience.
Imprinting can even occur right down to partner preference. There are studies to suggest that we often choose partners with similar traits to our opposite sex parent or even strong childhood role models not necessarily biological relations. Sometimes physical, sometimes personality traits. For example a male with a strong female role model growing up may find himself attracted to Dominant women as an adult. A female child with a stern father may be a submissive sexual adult. Many men will admit to having teacher or conversely school girl fantasies this must surely stem from youthful attraction.
It’s often said of people who opt for older partners that they’re looking for a father/mother figure perhaps this is fulfilling a need to be nurtured, after all most of us like to feel taken care of and the ultimate nurturer in your life should be your parents. One of the most enjoyable parts of sexual submission is having the pressure of control removed. Submissives often say they feel freedom once they’ve made the decision to submit. Surely this is the closest to our childhood state as we could get as adults.
Some fetishes are obviously sparked in a desire to relive our childhoods for example Daddy Dom/ little girl, age play, adult babies or erotic lactation. Even spanking surely has a root in parental punishment. Some of the terminology is so close to the language used in childhood punishments, “you’ve been a naughty girl/boy and need to be punished”
At birth we don’t have instinctive sexual responses. It’s a learned process of linking external stimulation and physical sensation. Almost all our sexuality develops with things we see and learn in childhood all building to the point at which we are adequately equipped to deal with that response and emotion in the correct way.
Fetishes strongly linked with childhood are often the ones which provoke the most fear in those that don’t understand it. Age play, adult babies or DD/lg often get misunderstood and people confuse them with paedophile tendencies which is completely wrong. Just like you’re not gay if you enjoy pegging you’re not a paedophile because you like DD/lg play. It’s just a form of sexual expression between consenting adults.
When you think about it we all take comfort in things we enjoyed as a child, be that music or food or even a favourite place. Maybe fetishism is an extreme form of this same comfort.