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Trichophilia, also known as a hair fetish, is when someone feels sexually aroused by or attracted to human hair. This can be any type of human hair, such as chest hair, armpit hair, or pubic hair. However, the most common focus for this attraction seems to be human head hair. Trichophilia can present as a long or short hair fetish, hair-pull fetish, or haircut fetish, among others.
A sexual preference involving hair is not uncommon. While the actual percentage of people who have trichophilia is unknown, it is a fetish that both men and women can develop. Here, we go over how it can show up, the ways people experience this type of fetish, and how to live with it. Trichophilia is a type of paraphilia.
According to board certified psychiatrist Dr. Margaret Seide , a paraphilia is an erotic focus on anything other than the genitalia of a consenting adult human partner. According to a study , nearly half of the 1, participants expressed interest in at least one paraphilic category. Trichophilia can manifest in a variety of ways. They are usually attracted to a specific type of hair. For example, trichophilia triggers can include:. She also points out that for some people, just touching hair can bring the person to orgasm.
Gail Saltz , associate professor of psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell Medical College, says a hair fetish can involve any type of color, texture, or aspect of hair. It can also involve any form of interaction with hair such as looking, touching, or grooming.
The symptoms of trichophilia, or how it makes you feel, depend on the type of hair and situations that cause arousal. This can be different for each person. But in general, having a hair fetish really just means that you get erotic pleasure from the object — in this case, human hair. That could mean you get pleasure from getting a haircut, or you experience an erotic sensation while watching a shampoo commercial. That said, she points out that if hair needs to be the one source of erotic stimulation in order to achieve sexual gratification, then the fetish has turned into something more serious.
If trichophilia goes beyond a normal sexual preference and causes distress to yourself or others, a doctor may diagnose you with a paraphilic disorder. Seide says trichophilia is considered a disorder when it brings dysfunction to daily life or causes distress to the individual. An example, says Seide, would be if a person began to act on urges to touch the hair of a nonconsenting person. As a result, Seide says it can bring considerable shame and anguish to the person, and they can feel tormented or even disgusted by their thoughts.
For example, someone with this type of paraphilic disorder may start showing up late to work because they spend an excessive amount of time on fetish websites. If trichophilia changes from a fetish to a disorder, there are things you can do to reduce the urges and better manage the condition. Since there is no cure for trichophilia, Seide says treatment will focus on management of the condition. That said, she points out that treatment is only recommended if the condition is leading to a disruption in your life, or you feel tormented by the urges.
However, if trichophilia is causing problems, or you have a diagnosis of the disorder, Seide says there are a few options for treatment:. Trichophilia is a sexual fetish involving human hair. If this fetish is interfering with your daily activities or relationships, or causing harm to someone else, consider seeing a mental health professional. They have the tools to diagnose and treat trichophilia. Talking about sex can be awkward. But it's also a key adult skill. We asked sex and relationship experts for the best ways to talk about sex.
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How to Manage Trichophilia, or a Hair Fetish. Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph. Manifestations Feelings Fetish vs. What are the specifics? How does it make you feel? Fetish or disorder? How to manage. The bottom line. Read this next. What Is Partialism? Medically reviewed by Carissa Stephens, R. How to Talk About Sex Talking about sex can be awkward.
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