Pantyhose and sex

Dear Dr. Milrod:

Since I was a pre-teen, I have had something for pantyhose. The sight of a woman in pantyhose just drives me sexually nuts. It has now pushed me to seek professional sex workers to fulfill this fetish. However, I am a married man. Married to a woman whom I love, but who does not share or is even willing to share my fetish with me. She thinks that it is a bit awkward for her to wear pantyhose for me. My question is, where does this fetish come from? How can I cure it and stop it? I am afraid that if I do not control it, it will ruin my 12 years of marriage and family.

L’Eggs and Spanx

Dear L’Eggs and Spanx:

How harmless and charming is your fetish! Clean, innocent and quite mild! And great for women who live in very cold climates! Not to mention women who bless the day that supershaping pantyhose came out to smooth out lumps and bulges! Of course, if thoughts of women in pantyhose consume your entire day, if your earnings are impacted, if you pester your wife 24/7 to make her wear pantyhose and if your entire life revolves around the next collection of luxurious hosiery, then yes, you need to get another focus in life.

Fetishes come from various influences commingled with sexual impulses in the brain. It has been more or less determined that fetishizing is a combination of hypothalamic activity and testosterone surges – nota bene how true paraphilias and fetishism are absent in the female population. If you want to “get rid” of your fetish, it’s going to be very difficult. You can start going to a cognitive-behavioral therapist who will give you specific exercises to attenuate your thoughts. Then again, clinically, I think treatment like this may do more harm than good, and quite frankly, I’m not sure it would work, because you would most likely have to dampen your testosterone levels for this to function well.

I’m also wondering if your wife’s refusal to wear pantyhose could make it all the more attractive for you as a fetish object? What if she wore them every day? Would it still be the same turn-on? Maybe there can be some type of accommodating schedule worked out, where your wife will agree to wear them with some frequency. After all, wearing pantyhose is neither a painful nor shameful act; it’s quite normal and seen as a necessity by many. In any case, I don’t think you need to imperil your married life and family because of this. Perhaps there is something much deeper hiding behind those nylons after all.

Christine Milrod, Ph.D.

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