Is it sinful to have a sexual fetish?
A sexual fetish is a strong interest in a particular part of the body or sexual practice. A fetish can vary greatly, ranging from simply a desire to obsession. Determining whether a sexual fetish is wrong is dependent on the person with the fetish and the extent of the fetish.
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For example, in the course of a marriage relationship between a man and woman, there is nothing wrong with finding a particular part of the body especially attractive. People are made in God's image and the marriage relationship is one in which husband and wife are intended to enjoy one another's intimacy. The goal is to desire mutual consent (1 Corinthians 7:5) and to submit to one another out of love for Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33). If the fetish does not dishonor the other spouse, make him or her uncomfortable, or become an obsession (an idol), then it seems there is nothing wrong with having a sexual fetish within the confines of marriage.
What about for those who are unmarried? While a particular attraction may not necessarily be wrong, lust is a sin. If the fetish causes one to lust, or if it becomes an obsession, then there is a problem. Jesus specifically noted, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). Romans 1:24 speaks of lust as "dishonoring" one's body.
First Thessalonians 4:3-5 adds, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God." The goal of the believer is to control one's thoughts and body in holiness rather that to give in to human lusts. Lust is also something God calls worthy of judgment (2 Peter 2:10).
Romans 6:19 teaches, "For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification." The proper response to temptation in this area is to draw near to God. When we, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8). Hebrews 7:25 adds, "He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them."
Again, depending on the specific circumstances and the people involved, a sexual fetish may or may not be sinful. Proverbs 11:6 gives warning that would apply to unhealthy sexual desires: "The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust." Our unhealthy sexual desires can take us captive. Instead, we are called to live a holy life and to serve God rather than to focus on any thought, action, or body part that would dishonor the Lord. Sex is a beautiful gift designed by God for marriage between a man and a woman. It is meant to be cherished and enjoyed. A fetish may be an acceptable way to experience that gift, or it may be a perversion of the gift. Seek His wisdom and His righteousness on the matter (James 1:2-5; Matthew 6:33).
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Does the Bible say anything about BDSM?
Is masturbation a sin according to the Bible?
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