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What’s your fetish: Role-playing

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of The Collegian or its editorial board.

Fetishes may seem like a taboo subject, but they’re much more common than we may think. In one Canadian study’s population sample, they found that nearly half of their participants admitted to having a fetish. 


College students’ curiosity and sexual exploration can increase curiosity in fetishism. From a sample of college students in a study conducted by Harvard, 22% said they were interested in fetishes and 43% said they have or believe they have a fetish.

Fetishism is defined as a form of sexual behavior in which gratification is linked to an abnormal object, activity, part of the body, etc.

There are many different categories that span the fetishism criteria, and each category has multiple subcategories within it. Many fetishes can overlap with other fetishes. For now, I will discuss the fetish of role-playing and its various subcategories, from the familiar to the rare.

Sexual role-play means to act out a fantasy while engaging in a sexual activity, and, usually, each person plays a different character or persona.

Classic or uniform role-play

Classic or uniform role-playing refers to the characterization of oneself apart from who they really are. For example, one person plays the corrupt doctor while the partner plays the naughty nurse.

Aside from vanilla sex, which might just include changing positions, this type of role-playing is the most common. It may or may not include dressing up in a corresponding costume to make the situation more lifelike, or it may simply be a mental game.


While there are many definitions for a furry, a more generic definition is “one who has an interest (small or large) of anthropomorphic animals (animals who have human qualities, be it simply talking or having a human-like body).”

While not everyone associated with the furry fandom uses their furry persona for sex, some do partake in fursuit sex. Fursuit sex is having sex with at least one partner dressed in full furry costume. Some enjoy furry sex because they enjoy who their fursona allows them to be, and some others report enjoying fursuit sex because of a related fetish, such as plushophilia.

If this piques your interest at all, check out The Chateau in Colorado Springs.


No matter the fetish, we should not pass judgment on someone else’s erotica. whatever you’re into, just remember to always play safe.


Forniphilia, or human furniture role-play, is one of the more uncommon fetishes. Forniphilia includes using someone as a form of furniture, whether it be a table, a cabinet, etc. Reasons for wanting to become furniture for sex include getting sexual satisfaction from being objectified or humiliated as a form of feeling dominated, feeling of service to your partner or other personal reasons. Some also include bondage in forniphilia, but not all do.

Alternative sexuality fetish robots

Alternative sexuality fetish robots, or robot fetishism, refers to people who have a sexual attraction to a humanoid robot. Those in the community sometimes refer to themselves as “technosexuals.”

ASFR could also be a cross-over between statuephilia or mechanophilia, since it doesn’t always have to be a person dressed like a robot. It could also be non-humanoid robotics.

Paraphilic infantilism

This may be one of the most extreme forms of role-play. Paraphilic infantilism is a role-play that involves a desire for an adult to regress into a baby. Behaviors may include drinking out of a bottle, creating a playroom or wearing diapers. Possible causes for interest in infantilism could be due to psychological trauma that happened at a young age, a power move or an actual disorder caused by something biological.

The length and extent of absolutely all of the role-playing subcategories can be virtually endless. Categories are connected or lead to other fetishes within themselves. Fetishism can be complex and have many layers.

No matter the fetish, we should not pass judgment on someone else’s erotica. Whatever you’re into, just remember to always play safe.

This is the first of a series of articles dedicated to fetishisms.

Shay Rego can be reached at or on Twitter @shay_rego.

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