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Underwear Fetishism

Written by Stephen Hunt


Humans have a wide range of diverse interests, including what they prefer sexually. Fetishes arise when sexual desire and gratification are linked to a specific object, action, body part, or demographic. A very common fetish is the fetishization of underwear; an object. This means that sexual excitement occurs over the observation, feeling, smell, and/or visualization of underwear (i.e. viewing underwear on the body or watching a person take underwear on or off). 
In this article, we will discuss what are the causes of underwear fetishism, common forms it takes, and if there is anything wrong with having an underwear fetish.  

What Is An Underwear Fetish?

An underwear fetish is when an individual is exceptionally aroused by underwear. Some characteristics of an individual with this fetish are:

  • Voyeuristic excitement viewing an individual in underwear
  • Arousal from exposing themselves to others in underwear (a form of exhibitionism)
  • Sexual admiration of themselves in different pairs of underwear
  • Arousal from the smell of used underwear (new pairs too, but primarily used)
  • The feel of different underwear fabrics turns them on sexually

What Causes An Underwear Fetish?

There is actually little factual evidence on what creates a sexual fetish, as too many variables make any hypothesis almost impossible to prove. However there seems to be a common thread where one’s fetish is associated with different forms of love, affection, or attention from one's childhood/adolescence. This has led many researchers to feel as if sexual fetishes are a conditioned response to either positive or negative influences when we’re young. These responses become an ingrained behavior/sexual proclivity in our adult lives.
It’s interesting to note that once established, a fetish typically lasts throughout a person’s life unless treatment is sought after by a medical professional.  

Common Forms of Underwear Fetishism


The obsession with collecting new or used panties is the most commonly spoken about underwear fetish among friends, in porn, and in mainstream media. This type of underwear fetish can involve either a male or female wearing panties to admire on themselves or others. Practitioners of a panty fetish often comment about enjoying the soft and sensual feel of the fabric used for panties, the skimpier silhouette that leaves more of the body exposed, and the smell. 

    In fact, smell plays a big role in underwear fetishes, specifically used panties. The frequency of this fetish has caused a thriving industry to form around buying and selling used panties online that are marketed by scent, days worn, excretions/excrement on them, and the original wearer’s demographic information. This allows the sniffer to feel connected on an intimate level with the wearer, as they can experience something about them that few people do, their scent. 

    Some men who wear panties also enjoy the risk of getting caught wearing them, which is part of an exhibitionist or humiliation fetish. 

    And finally, as with any fetish, the feeling of doing something taboo is also very enticing for many individuals. 


    A man may be aroused by wearing stockings due to their constrictive feel, the sheer fabric that shows what lies beneath the undergarment, the fact that pantyhose/stockings involve an individual's feet, or because they enjoy the silky feel of slipping on a soft fabric. 

    Men who enjoy this fetish often seek out specific types, such as open toed, close toed, high waisted, or garter belts, as well as certain colors, patterns, and designs. Men may wear them throughout the day under their pants or just during sex. If worn during sex, it is common to involve the pantyhose/stockings in the sex act - whether it be ripping them to allow for easier access to the genitals or allowing the feel of the fabric to be worshipped and, thus, heighten arousal. 

    Please note that this variation of underwear fetishism is often mistakenly labeled as an individual's uncertainty about their sexuality due to the stereotypical feminine nature of hose. But a man who enjoys wearing pantyhose or stockings does not necessarily desire to be a woman nor does it mean they are a transvestite. Of course there are exceptions, but that would be a gender discussion and not an underwear fetish discussion. 


    Jockstrap fetishes are often enjoyed by those who admire athleticism, men who enjoy homoerotic visuals, and the smell of a used jockstrap. A person with this fetish will often want to wear a new or used jockstrap as a way to show off their body. That’s because the nature of a jockstrap allows the wearer to feel both exposed and covered at the same time. Since athletes often wear jockstraps, it’s also subconsciously linked to fit, athletic bodies in our minds. That association makes it sexual since many individuals want to be or be with someone who has a fit body in a sexual way. Both heterosexual and homosexual men can fetishize jockstraps; it is not specific to any sexual preference. 

    The smell of a jockstrap is another possible allure, specifically the smell of used ones. Sweat and musk on the fabric again harken back to the mental association with an exposed athletic body. Similar to sniffing panties, by smelling a used jockstrap the sniffer feels a connection to the intimacy of what that garment has covered (i.e. the genitals). 


    Specific fabrics are often catalysts of underwear fetishes. Whether it is soft, rough, lacy, translucent, dark, light, smooth, or anything else - all of those appeal to different people and may incite arousal. 


    Collecting underwear is a light form of underwear fetishism, although it falls more under the paraphernalia category than a strict fetish. Collecting means just that - the individual purchases or collects a large variety of new or used underwear to either wear or admire. They can collect certain types (i.e. briefs, thongs, jockstraps, panties, etc), styles, or colors. 

    Is An Underwear Fetish Something To Be Concerned About?

    There is nothing to be concerned about if you or your partner are aroused by underwear/undergarments. Sexual diversity and exploration is a natural and healthy part of the human experience.

    However, the only concerns you may have is with the cost of collecting underwear or allowing this fetish to negatively impact your life or the lives of others. If you are unable to afford collecting underwear, do not collect it. You should never put yourself at financial risk for a fetish. This also applies toward your behavior. Do not harass individuals to see their underwear, steal/sniff it, or spy on them without their consent. Those behaviors are wrong and a violation of privacy. If interested in underwear on others, the most important things to remember are to be respectful and receive their clear-minded consent. 


    Through this article, we hope you have learned about underwear fetishes, including what they are and how they manifest.

    If you have a fetish for comfortable men’s briefs or trunks, both of which are incredibly soft, we encourage you to view the undergarments in our shop. All of our men's underwear at Hunt Underwear are made from lightweight, soft, and smooth modal blends that feel great sliding on or off.