Harvard Sex Week Reveals The Fetishes Of College Students

illustrated by Anna Sudit.
A new survey from Harvard's annual student-run "sex week" explored the types of sexual fetishes that students have, and how those play a role in their sex lives, hookups, and relationships. The biggest takeaway from the survey? Fetishes are more common than you might believe on college campus.
Out of the 50 brave (mostly Harvard) students who participated in the survey, which was run by the sex toy company CalExotics, 22% said they were down with fetishes, and 40% said they were "intrigued." The remaining sliver of people said that fetishes were "kinda weird."
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But before we get into what types of fetishes the participants were into, it's important to point out that a "kink" is not the same thing as a "fetish," even though the terms are often used interchangeably. A "fetish" typically refers to sexual arousal to an inanimate object, while a "kink" is more of an umbrella term for pleasure beyond normative penetrative sex. While we don't know what the exact survey questions entail, the results beg the question, do college students even know what a fetish is?
Well, 43% of survey participants said that they either have or believe they have a fetish, and the fetishes they said were the most interesting were "humiliation and power," which is traditionally considered a "kink." To get more specific, twice as many people said they favored a submissive role during sex over the dominant one. Nearly half of survey participants said that they've tried BDSM, while only 37% have delved into role play.
While this survey is not very comprehensive, one refreshing element that we can glean from it is that college students seem to be open to discussing their fetishes and kinks with partners, which is a good thing. After all, the best way to get your partner's consent is to actually talk about it. Many people worry that their partner won't want to participate in their kink, or will have apprehensions about being judged for their preferences, but in this survey, 53% told their partner about a fetish that they were interested in.
Who knows? Maybe this survey will inspire people to explore their fetishes in a safe, pleasurable, and of course, consensual way.
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