The Relationship Between Clothing and Sexual Arousal

Clothes form an integral part of sexual arousal, and how we dress can make all the difference. So what makes clothes sexy, and why do we get dressed up to get down and dirty? 

Why do clothing fetishes exist?

Kinky boots, latex dresses and leather gloves are just some of the clothing items that jump to mind when you think about kink and fetish, but why is that?  From 1887 up until the sexual revolution, the term fetishism was used to classify psychological illness. Since the 1950s, its usage became more positive to indicate someone who had a sexual preference for something perceived as unusual.  

Some of the more common fetishes are all related to clothing, and some have sexual connotations; for example, red clothing is often seen as more sexual, no matter what that item is. And figure-hugging or revealing clothing is the go-to for getting some sexy attention! 

What makes clothes sexy?

Often, what makes clothing sexy to us is the context we have for it. It's likely to be very personal to you and your associations. However, certain materials seem to have an innate sexiness because we are sensual beings. 

The feel of specific materials such as satin, silk and velvet are pleasant to the touch, but it's not just how a fabric feels; the scent of leather and latex, for instance, are often part of their attraction. Neither is it all about how clothes look; it's how they feel, smell - and even sound. The snapping noise you get when slipping on a latex glove, for example, is powerfully sexy in itself.

fetish clothing man in shower with latex outfit
Getting sexy wet in latex.

Fetish fashion

The 1970s saw an explosion in liberation, and as part of this, fetish clothing became a symbol of freedom where it was used to portray powerful women. These days, the use of Fetish and BDSM clothing in fashion and haute couture continues, demonstrated by Jean-Paul Gautier's corsetry, for example, and Mugler's leather and rubber creations. So, not only is clothing a turn on when you have a specific fetish for an item of clothing, fetish clothing has become a symbol of beauty and attractiveness within society too.

clothing fetish, woman in latex and boots poses on a chair
Turned on by fetish clothing?

Do you have a clothing fetish?

Here are some simple questions to answer to find out if you've got a clothing fetish. 

  • Does seeing a particular item of clothing, on or off a person, turn you on? 
  • Do you often fantasize about people wearing certain items like stockings, gloves, corsets etc.?
  • Are you more excited to see a person in a specific outfit than naked? 

If you answer yes to any of these, you probably have a clothing fetish. Yay! It's something to explore and celebrate. Maybe you can add it to your profile to show others at precisely what you're into. 


Clothing and sexual objectification

The power of clothes is that you can take on a role and become something else when you wear them. Why do you think dressing up for sexual role play is so popular? It's fun to become a fireman or a nurse, a maid etc. and step out of yourself and become something else for a while. 

The same can be said of dressing up in any outfit that makes you feel sexy; it's like slipping on a uniform or an empowering mask. It can give you the confidence boost to embody your rugged sexiness. No wonder we get hot under the collar just thinking about those sexy outfits! 

fetish clothing uniformed woman role play with man
Uniforms play a leading part in role play. 

There is a fundamental consent issue here, though. It's only ever OK to sexually objectify a person who has permitted you to do so. Explicit consent is as essential here as in any other kind of kink or fetish play. A person wearing sexy clothes isn't necessarily doing it to turn you on, and although it's fine to notice and appreciate them looking good, it's not OK to sexualise them. As long as you always keep that in mind, you can't go wrong. Respect the person first, then with consent, enjoy all the kinky objectifying you like! 

The clothes you wear really can say a lot about you and what you're into. You can try out a different role, be silly, serious or just damn sexy.

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