Let’s face it, Brits are often portrayed as a prudish and uptight bunch, but new research has uncovered that this might not be the case, at least in the bedroom.
To celebrate International Fetish day (Jan 17th), research conducted by Vivastreet, has revealed Britain’s kinkiest and fairly out there sexual fetishes, and to put it mildly the results are enough to make you blush.
It seems that Brits really are a bawdy bunch, with fetishes such as BDSM, swinging, and voyeurism, all revealed as some of the UK’s top kinks.
But, what are the most searched sexual fetishes in the UK?
Top Fetishes in the UK
So what makes something a fetish? As defined by Oxford dictionary, a “fetish is a form of sexual desire in which gratification depends to an abnormal degree on some object, item of clothing or part of the body.”
According to certified sexological bodyworker & somatic sex educator, Stella Anna Sonnenbaum “sexual fetishes are very common and can show up in teenage years, or much earlier in childhood.”
To further explore the public’s turn ons, using Google data, the below fetishes see some of the most online searches in the UK, with a whopping 372,860 combined monthly searches.
BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism), tops the list with an impressive 90,500 monthly searches, while Dogging, has 74,000 online searches, Anal – 60,500, Spanking – 33,100 and Leather / Latex kinks with 23,500 searches on the web, round up the top 5.
Sin City: Top Fetishes per City
Aside from revealing the top kinks in the country, the research also revealed which cities are the biggest hotspots for the nation’s favourite fetishes.
For most cities, searches for BDSM by far topped all other fetishes – showcasing that the nation’s obsession with Fifty Shades of Grey clearly does not appear to be dwindling.
This is of no surprise to certified sex coach, sexologist and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: a guide to sex, love, and life – Gigi Engle, who argues that BDSM has actually “dated back centuries.”
She goes on to say that “fear and discomfort around bondage and kink typically comes out of misunderstanding what BDSM is—and is not. A lot of the time, we fear what we don’t know. Bondage and BDSM is not about physically and emotionally harming one another, it’s about a consensual exchange of power between two (or more depending on context) consenting adults.”
London sexual’s appetite broke the trend however, with searches for swinging and swingers taking the top spot as the number one fetish for the Capital.
This result coincides with recent research, which found that approximately 1.5 Brits are taking up the practice of partner exchanging.
Interestingly, while aside from BDSM, fetishes such as dogging, anal, latex & leather, the latter of which Stonnenbaum says “are one of the most common fetishes” and voyeurism made the top 5 kinks for most cities.
Interestingly voyeurism also appeared to be a rising erotism for many cities – meaning that we Brits don’t always have to be involved to get our kicks going.
The rise of voyeurism is no surprise to Gigi who believes “there is a little of both the voyeur and exhibitionist in all of us.”
According to Gigi, “there is something very sexy about watching people have sex – just look at how we consume pornography! There is also something hot and dangerous about the possibility of getting caught while having sex.”
Analysing monthly fetish search trends, it’s no surprise that frisky and adventurous sexual fetishes saw online searches peak in the Summer months.
With kinks such as outdoor sex and dogging seeing highest online searches in July. According to Sonnenbaum, “testosterone in men usually reaches higher levels in the summer months, which would explain an increase in sexual activity generally – not just concerning fetishes.”
Sex positive events facilitator and curator, Marti Birch agrees with Sonnenbaum citing that people generally “react positively to a warmer weather, wanting to enjoy ourselves and connect with others. That’s when our brains get activated and fantasies can flow into heads more easily.”
In contrast, role playing saw a spike in searches at the start of Autumn – a time where according to research, sexual activity is usually at its lowest – so adding something to spice up the bedroom antics is perhaps not that surprising.
Whereas, it seems that leather and latex in the heat don’t mix, with both kinks showcasing an obvious surge in online searches during the winter months.
Future Sex Trends
With the popularity of fetishes continuing to grow, our research also looked into the growing trend of online searches for each fetish, giving us a snapshot on how popular these fetishes could be in 2020.
The rise of fetishes could be in part, down to the internet and popular media. Birch agrees, citing that “Media and internet allow us to connect widely with others who have similar inclinations. That certainly increases a sense of belonging and connection which directly help us to feel less ashamed for who we are and how we express ourselves sexually.”
Are Fetishes Good?
If you’re interested in any of the following, our research clearly shows that you are not alone. What is more, according to a previous study, at least half of us are interested in sexual activities considered outside the “norm”.
When participating in a fetish it’s important to ensure all parties are safe. This is reinforced by Gigi Engle. According to Gigi, the three things that matter the most when exploring fetishes are: “consent, communication and safer sex practices.”
She explains that “If you have a fetish, no matter what that fetish may be you need to have consent to explore it with a partner, communicate everything you want to try thoroughly with your partner, and to practice safer sex with condoms, barrier methods, PreP, or whatever birth control and STI prevention you and your partner determine you need before engaging in sexual activity of any kind.”
Stella Anna Sonnenbaum reinforces the idea of having a reliable partner, adding that “a trusted partner is the best option to stay safe, however, your second choice might be an experienced and skilled practitioner, sex worker or dominatrix.”
Marti Birch concludes that when it comes to exploring your sexual fetish “your wellbeing should be always a priority.”
A special thank you to the following experts:
Gigi Engle: All The F*cking Mistakes: a guide to sex, love, and life
Stella Anna Sonnebaum: Stella with Love
Marti Birch: Sound of Birch
Using Google Trends data for the most searched fetishes for 2019, we analysed the cities searching for these sexual fetish queries the most, by applying search volume data from the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, correct as of 1st Jan 2019.
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