BDSM, ‘cross-dressing’ and foot fetishes are some of the most Googled in the United Kingdom.
An analysis of Google search data revealed BDSM is search for on average about 184,000 times a month in the UK. BDSM is an umbrella term for a range of sexual kinks from, roleplaying, bondage, discipline, domination and submission and, sadomasochism.
Foot fetishes and ‘cross-dressing’ came next in the list of popular fetishes at 39,242 and 33,993 monthly searched respectively.
Cross-dressing is a derogatory slur used against the trans and gender diverse community. But the American Psychiatric Association lists it as a fetish if ‘cross-dressing or thoughts of cross-dressing are always or often accompanied by sexual excitement’.
Other fetishes rounding out the top 10 included, swinging (partner swapping or sharing), uniform fetish, group sex, edging (withholding climax), water sports (urination etc), electrostimulation and voyeurism.
Escort agency Xstasy.com commissioned the study. It chose which words to include in its research ‘based on popular news articles around top fetishes’.
The study does not break down data based on users sexual orientation or gender identity. But according to Xstasy.com representative, Alicia, ‘everyone has a fetish and our data proves a lot of the UK are searching for them’.
‘Everyone has a fetish, whether this is public or a secret behind closed doors. Our study reveals there is a big appetite for kinks across the UK,’ Alicia said.
BDSM was the most search term in London and Edinburgh. Foot fetish searches topped the list in Sheffield and Liverpool, with cross-dressing most popular in Leicester. Glaswegians searched most for electrostimulation, while people in Birmingham searched most for edging.
Swinging was the most searched for fetish in both Manchester and Leeds.
‘Other research has found that having a fetish actually makes you more healthy or healthier than those who don’t. It also suggests that suppressing them can actually result in psychological damage,’ Alicia said.