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What’s your fetish: Dangerous fetishes

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. This column contains information about activities that are potentially life threatening or can cause serious bodily harm. The Collegian does not endorse engaging in any of these activities and the purpose of the article is to inform the public about each fetish, not encourage participation.

Fetishes may seem like a taboo subject, but they’re much more common than we may think. In one Canadian study’s population sample of 1,040 people, nearly half of their participants admitted to being interested in a fetish. 


College students’ curiosity and sexual exploration can increase interest 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.

Dangerous fetishes are ones that span anywhere from being a general risk to you or your partners health, all the way to being potentially deadly. 


Odaxelagnia is defined as the sexual arousal from biting or being bitten. This can seem incredibly harmless — and even very common — in the forms of hickies or play-biting your partner’s nipples. However, it can turn very heavy very fast and potentially lead to wounding.

Bug chasing

Bug chasing is known as the sexual act, typically among men who have sex with men, in which one commits to knowingly attempting to or successfully obtaining a sexual virus, including HIV. Those who participate in the seeking are called bug chasers and those who comply are called gift givers.

Interestingly enough, many who participate in bug chasing don’t actually want HIV. Many do it simply for the thrill or, intimacy it can bring. Some call it the “ultimate taboo, the most extreme sex act left on the planet.

In 1999, a study on bug chasing was conducted by Deann K. Gauthier and Craig J. Forsyth who put forth an academic article on it. In 2006, a new study was conducted by Christian Grov and Jeffrey T. Parsons where they utilized 1,228 different online profiles that identified with bug chasing and discovered six categories: the committed bug chaser, the opportunistic bug chaser, the committed gift giver, the opportunistic gift giver, the serosorter and the ambiguous bug chaser or gift giver.


Piquerism is a fetish defined as obtaining sexual arousal by penetrating the body with sharp objects — anything from heels to knives — as a sharp object is considered a phallic symbol. This can be taken to extremes that result in death. Areas of sexual gratification are usually targeted, such as breasts, buttocks and the groin.

For example, famous serial killer Albert Fish utilized a paddle studded with nails to flagellate his victims and himself. After his arrest, an x-ray showed 29 needles and nails lodged in his pelvic bone.



Autassassinophilia is defined as a paraphilia in which sexual arousal is obtained through the staged-fantasy that one’s life is in danger. This could be anything from role-playing that your partner is a stranger who has kidnapped you off the streets and thrown you into their vehicle, or pretending that your partner has broken into your house to kill you as the unsuspecting victim.

This fetish may also overlap with other fetishes, such as Bonnie and Clyde syndrome or autoerotic asphyxiation

Sexologist John Money coined the term after he performed a case study he conducted in his 1986 book “Lovemaps,” which he supposes arrived from reverse operant conditioning. He also performed a gender reassignment surgery that horribly failed and left a poor man’s testicles mangled, but that’s a story for another time.


Vorarephilia is defined as the sexual stimulation by the fantasy of being eaten alive, usually swallowed. This does not endorse cannibalism as this is a consensual act. This also can most definitely result in death. In a safe manner, many act out this fetish by telling stories or creating drawings in forms like manga or video games.

There are many more potentially risky, dangerous and even deadly fetishes out there. This is a curated list of those I found to be most intriguing and important.

This is the last of a series of articles dedicated to fetishes. Thank you all who have read this What’s Your Fetish series in its entirety!

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

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