Fetish Glossary

Venus O'Hara's Fetish GlossaryThe word fetish derives from 15th century Portuguese feitiço, which meant charm or spell. A fetish is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object. The terms “erotic fetish” and “sexual fetish” were first introduced by the French psychologist Alfred Binet in the 1940s.

Today a “fetish” is an object, non-reproductive body part or action whose presence or existence causes excitement and/or arousal in an individual. An object might be latex or heels, a non-sexual body part could be legs or feet and tickling or smoking are examples of actions.

“Fetish” is also used as an adjective that relates to anything connected to the world of BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadomasochism) such as fetish wear or fetish clubs.

Please find Venus O’Hara’s Fetish Glossary below with definitions and images.

No Pain, No Gain (BDSM)

Pain has always been a part of accepted behaviour in conventional sexual relationships. The loss of control that defines the act itself anticipates scratching and hair pulling; love bites are a more obvious reminder of recent pleasures.These “in the moment” expressions of passion are intuitive and spontaneous. The application of pain when associated with BDSM is different, it is methodical and organised for a specific purpose; it refines the production of pleasure by the exploitation of its polar opposite. There are many intelligent applications of pain in the world of BDSM, enough to sharpen appetites that are subtle or broad. Spanking is an arousing interplay of punishment and sensuality, randomness and design.Whipping is a more direct approach to the use of formal chastisement without sweetness to balance it. Temperature play tests our reactions to heat and cold to enhance sensation to a much greater degree. Even rope burns from shibari bondage can have an appeal all of their own.The list goes on and on. To read a lot more about the uses and value of pain in the search for greater pleasures and to enjoy more images from this set, please refer to LOVE ME LIKE YOU HATE ME, my forthcoming book about BDSM written with Erika Lust and due for publication in Autumn 2010. Photos by David Vega.   Enjoy! Venus O’Hara

Rose Flagellation

A red rose is the very definition of romantic delirium even if its stem is an emblem for potential pain. Flagellation or flogging is the act of methodically beating or whipping (Latin flagellum, “whip”) the human body. Specialised implements for it include rods,switches, the cat o’ nine tails and the sjambok. Typically, flogging is imposed on an unwilling subject as a punishment; however, it can also be submitted to willingly, or performed on oneself, in religious or sadomasochistic contexts. Whips provoke a variety of sensations in the whippee depending on their weight or the material they’re made of. With bare-handed spanking, paddles and canes the force of a potential blow can be modified on a whim; from a subtle caress up to a hard blow. In contrast, there is an absolute minimum speed for striking with a whip and the impact of its blow is dependent upon its velocity and weight. Many dominants have a range of whips for different effects: soft leather and suede reddens the skin, heavy leather can abrade it, rubber and horsehair sting the flesh and ones made of chains are made to caress. The inspiration for this set was a poem called “Farewell My Siren” (For Venus) written for me by Christopher Drake. It’s striking imagery is intensely visual and it depicts a redhead with porcelain white skin who gets whipped by roses. I couldn’t resist organising a photo-set to accompany it. Photography by Daniel Bauer. Enjoy! Venus O’Hara

Bathing Suit

I knew that I needed something colourful to wear for the upcoming photo-shoot so I searched through my cupboards and draws and dug out the bathing suit that I had almost forgotten.It had a high-cut leg, which proved just how old it was since that style hadn’t been seen since I had left university. I knew that I would have to pair the suit up with a more contemporary item to hide its age so I found some almost-new bikini bottoms and found the look I wanted. I had been in the second year at uni and I knew that I would be spending the next academic year living and studying in France. The first thing on my wish list was a new bathing suit because I didn’t have one and I knew how much I needed it. I arranged an overdraft but to be able to use it I had to provide an itemised budget to justify the amount. I sat in front of the Bank manager as she read my list, saw the purchase from Top Shop and asked me whether a bathing suit could be called an essential. I said it was, made my case and got the money. Years later, in the kitchen of my apartment, I put the old bathing costume on and poured out-of-date tetrapak soups and bad tomato ketchup over myself to get into character. I went a bit mad then and turned the kitchen, and myself, into a total shambles. After a […]

Remembering my Time in Paris – Venus O’Hara

Photos by David Vega I remember my first ever French lesson at high school vividly. I listened attentively and took special care with my usually messy notes. I wrote neatly and underlined the titles with two red lines. I smelled the brand new Tricolore text book and dreamed that one day I would study French at University and have the opportunity to live in France. Years later I was living my dream studying French at uni and I was about to choose a year abroad programme. I had dreamed of living in the South of France in a small picturesque town by the sea and doing an Erasmus (orgasmus) programme. Unfortunately economic reality struck and I had to choose a work placement instead. So dreams of palm trees and Mediterranean life were shattered and images of Paris started to appear in my mind. Admittedly, my initial feeling was disappointment but then I started getting used to the idea. It took me a few months to adapt to Parisian life. Being in a foreign country was one thing but also adapting to working and non-campus life was equally challenging. I worked in a multinational near La Defense and I rented a studio close to Place de Vosges in Le Marais. Weekends were lonely at first but that changed when I discovered the “FUSAC” magazine and I became involved in many expat social groups and French classes for foreigners after work. Soon enough I made many friends and my out of work agenda […]

Trying to Walk in Fetish Heels – Venus O’Hara

The height of a female dominant’s heels is a particularly valuable device for emphasising her superiority in a BDSM relationship both physically and psychologically. The higher they are and the more lethal they look, the greater the adoration those heels demand from a cringing sub. They must never be too high to walk in, however, because the stern and unforgiving attitude they portray depends upon a confident stride. Extra high heels are usually worn by submissive females who use their inability to walk in them as a way to emphasise their subordinate role.Their bambi-walk combined with the glamourous length of leg that the heels allow sets up an arousing prospect for a dominant male. In this set I’m wearing heels borrowed from Kitsch in Barcelona and not my beloved discount ones. More images from this amazing shoot will be available soon in the pages of LOVE ME LIKE YOU HATE ME, my forthcoming guide to BDSM written with Erika Lust which will be available Autumn 2010. By the way, I couldn’t walk in the heels properly and needed the help of the photographer to move around the studio. Photos by Antonio Martinez Galiot aka Jokerbcn.http://www.ipernity.com/doc/jokerbcn Enjoy! Venus O’Hara  

Modelling the Orgasm Dress – Venus O’Hara

My good friend Carolina Medrano asked me to model her “orgasm dress” which was part of her Masters Degree in Fashion Design. I was more than happy to collaborate and I enjoyed the experience of having a dress made-to –measure immensely. I haven’t had much experience in fashion but at least I didn’t have to learn to walk in any killer heels as part of the presentation! The dress was made with fiber optic making it light up in the dark. I’m just hoping that I can find the opportunity to wear the dress again because it really was… orgasmic! Orgasm Dress designed by Carolina Medrano. Photography by Toshiko Sakurai Enjoy! Venus O’Hara

Apron Fetish – Venus O’Hara

In Japan, the word Hadaka means nude and when it is paired with apron, a particular fetish is described. The term Hadaka apron is used to describe a situation where a person, almost always a woman, wears an apron over over her nude, or partially underwear covered body.Many men love the fantasy image of a maid. The idea of seeing a woman performing menial tasks while they sit and watch, go about their business or lead a more relaxing life is timeless. When I wear a white linen apron and fix my hair in a vintage style I begin to feel like a fantasy maid; sweet and subservient to a masters desires. I imagine all of those Victorian maids embodying the wildest fantasies rehearsed by deeply repressed Victorian and Edwardian gentlemen. They may look pure but the flimsy, revealing fabric displays their young bodies perfectly. Today the Victorian maid has been tranformed into the saucy, provocative fetish temptress that is imagined and lusted after today. She is the stuff of erotic legend and has been at the heart of their fantasies for almost a century and a half. Many men love the fantasy image of a maid. The idea of seeing a woman performing menial tasks while they sit and watch, go about their business or lead a more relaxing life is timeless. When I wear a white linen apron and fix my hair in a vintage style I begin to feel like a fantasy maid; sweet and subservient to […]

Ripped Tights Fetish

It came as a surprise when I received requests for a photo-set based on the fetish of ripped tights. I had no real idea of just how popular it was and how far its visual delights had spread. Its power as a superior fetish is based on the visual desire for the shapely legs of a beautiful woman wearing tights who then wilfully frustrates that desire by destroying the tights by hand while she’s wearing them. She undermines her anticipated sophistication with unexpected trashiness; any elegance compromised by debauchery. In vandalising an enhancement to her own glamour she embodies a thrilling contradiction and flaunts her erotic power over any audience. It takes hard work and a sense of humour to ladder a pair of tights properly. I was rolling around on a shifting surface of screwed up clothes and feeling naughty as I dug my fingers in to grab the material and tear it. The photographer was only too happy to join me and rip them a little more himself. I even crossed my legs and used my heels to penetrate the thin material and exaggerate the effect even further; laughing as I did it. As the flash went off, again and again, we were careful to maintain the sequential narrative of the mayhem. The holes in the stockings had to appear in the right order, just as a cigarette burns down in small stages; for the fans there’s nothing more important than that. Photos by David Vega. Enjoy! Venus […]

Ironing Fetish

When I’m feeling organised at the weekend, I like to iron all my clothes for the following week. Everyone hates ironing, but in fact the process is very relaxing and relieves stress. I had been wanting to do a session ironing for some time. Andrew O’Hara kindly offered to help me out and he nearly had a heart attack when I answered the door dressed in a PVC dress and heels. He told me that recently he had been suffering dizzy spells and low blood pressure. He has since told me that just after the shoot he had a normal blood pressure reading. Not sure if the ironing had anything to do with it. Here I am again trying to make domestic stuff look interesting. Enjoy my ironing fetish! Venus O’Hara     Buy this figure-gripping and reflective PVC dress here

Naked Face – Going without Make-up

I feel more naked if my face is seen without make-up than when I have no clothes on. It’s so natural for me to get made-up in the morning that it just seems like part of waking up and accepting the realities of adulthood. When I was younger I learnt the importance of finessing my face, enhancing its riches and distracting unwelcome attention from what I imagined were imperfections. When my face is naked now, I remember what it felt like to be less than an adult; vulnerable, unsure, unfinished. Naked-face fetishists adore that combination of self-consciousness and disclosure that only an absence of make-up allows. Every young woman has a fleeting moment when she is as beautiful as she will ever be and every day that passes subsequently becomes a pursuit of that ideal. Men who adore the naked-face fetish see that perfect moment held and flaunted every time the eyeliner and lipstick is left in its drawer. I was told recently that my untouched face was pure bliss. The fetishist explained that my random gatherings of freckles and naturally pink lips were essential. My white skin with its star-fields of unpredictable pigment needed to be seen he said. There were many men who dreamed of the arousing potential inherent in my washed and scrubbed face and would be only too pleased to tell me so, he concluded. I looked into his expressive eyes and I knew it was true. Enjoy! Venus O’Hara Photos by www.sebasromero.com

Sploshing Warm-up – Venus O’Hara

When I was standing in my kitchen and planning this set I hadn’t yet worked with the photographer, Sebas Romero and I had no idea what sploshing was. I’ve always had a thing for mess and the way neat rooms can change their character completely when I make my mischief. I thought this when I opened a cupboard and found the forgotten food. It had been in there a long time. There was old tomato sauce, tetra-packs of stinking soup, ancient tubs of hard nesquik, powdery breadsticks and more. I couldn’t resist. It was time to indulge in my love of untidiness again, so I lined up all of my out-of-date goodies and knew what to do with them to make a set of provocative pictures. Sploshing or “wet and messy” fetish is all about seeing rebellious young women being smeared and splattered with gooey foodstuffs to ruin their clothes and wreck their make-up. When I think back to being covered in that old food I understand what the fetishists see in this kink; I had so much fun doing it. I’ll be shooting similar sets in the near future but to a more extreme level. After the shoot I was ashamed of the mess I made and I wondered, if anyone entered the kitchen without knocking, how I could possibly explain it to them. It took hours to clean up. Nowadays I know better and I’d wrap the whole room up in cling-film first. Enjoy! Venus O’Hara Photos by […]

Remembering my School Days – Venus O’Hara

My school days were tricky.  After an adolescence of puppy fat, acne and general growing pains, I began to discover my female powers. At eighteen I wanted to seduce the “unseducible” just to see how much girl power I really had. One significant male in a position of authority once told me to stop provoking him and that was like the girl in the Nabakov classic. Coincidentally a few days later I was at a friend’s flat and I saw a classic Nabakov novel on his bookshelf and I asked if I could borrow it. I wanted to understand exactly what the significant male had meant and pick up a few extra weapons of seduction on the way. This is a tribute to the schoolgirl fetish. Photography by Andrew O’Hara

The Symbolism of Menswear – Venus O’Hara

I’ve started to develop deep hatred towards traditional menswear, in particular ties, or rather tie-wearers. After working in an office full of them, I am annoyed by the status they try to transmit when in actual fact they are nothing behind that tie. I worked in luxury real estate for two years and I was the number one agent. Nobody could touch me, I was responsible for over 90% of the agency’s operations during the time I was there. One day my boss, who was in a tie of course, looked at my attire of the day, jeans and a smart shirt. He eyed me up and down and asked me if I thought I was dressed appropriately for selling luxury apartments. He really was shooting himself in the foot by asking such a question. It was easy, I just answered back “how many apartments have you sold in your tie?”. I felt great, but the tie thing still annoys me. The perception that people think that the man in a tie is always going to me more professional than a woman when often it’s the other way around. In this luxury real estate world I got to deal with many millionaires, entrepreneurs and VIPs. And I have to say the real movers and shakers I’ve come across do not find it necessary to wear a tie to work. However, I do absolutely love retro ties. They can look really cool as they do on a woman. Here is a […]

The Difficulty of Walking in High Heels – Venus O’Hara

I cannot walk in heels to save my life and I really envy women who can. My shoe-shopping is always very limited. Often it’s just a question of “which ones can I walk in ?”. That eliminates about ninety per cent of any shoes, sandals or boots in any shop. I have the dilemma of trying to find something which is comfortable and not too nun-like. It’s not easy. I bought these heels in a discount shop for just 10 euros a couple of years ago to surprise a lover. They have actually never been worn in the street. When I look at the photos, I realise that they’re actually not that high and I envy the real heel-wearers even more. I have tried to wear heels outdoors but it has only resulted in twisted ankles and bruised knees, so I’ll just stick to wearing them indoors and on camera. Enjoy! Venus O’Hara Photography by Andrew O’Hara.

My Love Hate Relationship with my Legs – Venus O’Hara

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my legs over the years. I was very self conscious when I was about twelve, I started shaving them just up to the knees. In summer the boys at school used to pick on me saying that they liked my white socks, when in actual fact they were referring to the milk bottle colour of my legs. When I was around sixteen I started experimenting with fake tan, which wasn’t as good as it is now, and I had the orange knee problem. I couldn’t find a solution for having tanned legs and a few years ago it no longer was a problem as I could no longer expose my knees in the summer due to the appearance of an ugly varicose vein just behind my right knee. Luckily I had it operated on two years ago and now the scar is hardly visible. Since the operation I’ve been determined to flaunt my legs. It took a long time, lots of fake tan disasters and even an operation, but I got there in the end. Enjoy! Venus O’Hara Photography by Andrew O’Hara.

The World of Erotic Books – Venus O’Hara

I had the privilege of working with some erotic publishers when I was working in export sales in a printer a few years ago. It was great fun and it caused a great stir in my company when I showed my boss the content of my “orders”. It was a family company and in theory they would prefer not to print such things but at the end of the day, money is money. It was funny to see how my boss covered up the printed sheets of erotica with sheets from different orders, just so that his relatives wouldn’t see the scandal being produced in the factory. I joked with the machine operators about going easy on the “magenta” when printing a book about oral sex. Here I am with my collection of erotic books collected from my time as a sales representative in a printer. I’ve also thrown in a couple of non-erotic books in just to make a bit of a contrast. Enjoy! Venus O’Hara Photography by Andrew O’Hara

Domestic Goddess

I have no liking for housework, in fact, I hate it. Being a domestic goddess just means endless repetitions of the same futile chores. They have no seductive potential for me. That’s the point though. What seem like dull duties to me, become highly arousing to a cleaning fetishist who will always appreciate my efforts and my outfit. To entertain myself I wear my yellow marigold gloves and a tiny apron. To stimulate my audience I add my discount heels and a sheer top to the ensemble. I can make any domestic duty look sexy. I think that the popularity of this fetish is based on the the movements that women make when they do things around the house. When they are on all fours, scrubbing steps and floors, the regular rhythm of their hips, forwards and backwards, duplicates the way they might look when they’re having great sex. When they’re dusting they inevitably push their bottoms out, proudly. Who could resist? Photos by Daniel Bauer.  

Gingham Fetish

My love/hate relationship I have with gingham began in my formative years. I hated it to start with because I had no choice about wearing it; I was forced to, every single lesson. It was geometric and impersonal; its lack of distinctiveness made it the perfect uniform. It came back into fashion for grown-ups recently, so I bought some out of pure nostalgia. Nowadays the gingham fetish is bigger than ever.  Suddenly it seems illicit and against the rules to wear it; the fetishistic buzz I get when I slide it on is incredible and now I love it. It only took me a short time to understand why gingham is such a major turn-on for some people, me included. A gorgeous young woman looks even younger when she puts on a gingham blouse.The rich combination of her youthful clothing and a conflicting sense of sensual experience, gained over time, causes such erotic confusion and visual pleasure in the eye of the beholder that I never get tired of exploiting it for my own enjoyment. When I remember the delighted voyeurs in the park who hid behind trees to steal glances and enjoy lingering stares at me while these pictures were shot, I can’t stop smiling. Photography by Daniel Bauer Enjoy! Venus O’Hara

Knee-length Socks Fetish

Welcome to the debut post of my brand-new fetish photo-blog. Here, in the near future, you will find regular updates containing my ideas and reflections on featured kinks with accompanying photo-sets that, I know, will illustrate my points in a more immediate and exciting way. I really can’t wait to guide you through the amazing variety of fetishes that are coming this way very soon. Knee-length socks are perfectly fetishistic in the way they affect the meaning of the most ordinary of garments. The semi-sheer chiffon blouse I wore in the photo-set clung closely to my shoulders and felt like I was wearing solid nothing. My pencil skirt suggested my curves but nothing more. Pulled down tight, it met the top of my patterned knee-length socks and the coverage was complete. Even standing in my discount heels, the image I projected was perfectly prim and proper. Then, I took hold of the skirt and pulled it up. Just a little bit. As the firm expanse of my soft, creamy thighs appeared between the top of the socks and the hem of the raised skirt I was transformed by that one small movement. What was prim became informal and what was proper became indecent. This is just an introduction to the world of fetish and it represents just the first post in a long list that includes the occasional kink you might have heard of, many that you haven’t and some you couldn’t possibly imagine. Photography by Andrew O’Hara Enjoy!

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