Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. Credit: JSHJ.

Ars Erotica

What one woman labels kinky, another person calls a crime against cake. Offering a taxonomy of erotic fixations.

One of the most exciting moments of childhood is the day you discovered your parents’ secret porn stash. For me, it was finding my mom’s Joy of Sex while snooping around for gifts during the holidays. Frankly, it was better than Christmas morning itself.

Ever since unleashing the beast that was my confused tweenage sexuality, I’ve always been interested in the more fringe areas of what turns people on. I devoured the chapters on swinging, bondage, and fetishes. However, as I got older and started having sex, my early interest in the farther out became tamed by the standard sexual m.o. of a gal in her early twenties. I just kinda did what everyone else did. My child-like curiosity became stifled by convention and I was too ignorant to realize, until recently, that the Internet could be a thing that existed to help me rediscover all sorts of alternative proclivities.

With a little creative Googling (safe search: off), I’m well on my way to recapturing the magic that is discovering something new and arousing. Kinda like finding a sex manual in my parents’ bedroom closet where I thought a Nancy Drew box-set might be. Which, if you think about it, is very fitting. I’m basically the Nancy Drew of fringe sexual shenanigans at this point.



Looners are people who get off on popping, riding on top of, or generally being in the vicinity of balloons. While some relish the sound a balloon makes as it gives up its last breath, others become tearful at the thought of the rubbery playthings exploding into scraps. For those who enjoy the explosion, the balloon burst is often a metaphor for orgasm. For those who fear it, the burst is about death. In relation to other fetishes, looners are considered relatively soft-core and harmless.

Would I try it?

Probably not, and if I did, I would be in the camp of people who find it terrifying when a balloon pops. But not in a sexual way, I don’t think; the thought of testing it is making my vulva close like a subway door and I’m gonna pass.



Yeastiality is defined as sexual arousal by dough or bread. In particular, the smell of yeast. Some Yeastiality fetishists enjoy sex with baked goods and others are aroused by partners with yeast infections. Although this fetish might sound far-fetched, I spoke to adult entertainment performer and sex educator jessica drake, creator of sex instructional series jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex. She said, “Like we saw in American Pie with the romancing of the apple pie, some people would be in absolute heaven at a bake sale.”

Would I try it?

I would eat bread and have sex, yes, but I don’t really see them connecting in any real way in my life. I mainly like to eat and then have sex, or have sex and then eat. Those are both pretty great.


Allen Jones, Just Like That, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Fluegel-Roncak.


This is a paraphilia in which a person gets pleasure from licking and sucking another person’s nose and nostrils and perhaps even eating their boogers. A survey only found two people on all of OkCupid who listed it as an interest.

Would I try it?

No. Noses are the most disgusting of all human body parts and I’m including elbows in that list so you know I’m serious.



In this form of bondage, a human’s body is contorted to resemble a piece of furniture. This may or may not involve another person then having sex with that piece of furniture.

The term “forniphilia” was allegedly coined by Jeff Gord, the man who created the website “The House of Gord,” which is known online as an “ultra bondage” website. They list the following types of furniture that are common in forniphilia: Chandeliers, tables of all sorts and descriptions, lamps, pedestals, office chairs, rocking chairs, footstools, ceiling decorations, lawn sprinklers, and bird tables.

Would I try it?

Well, I do love furniture, but more in a scouring a flea market for a banquette from the ’50s and less in a wanting to screw an ottoman type way, so probably not.


Titillagnia (or tickling fetishists)

The act of being turned on by tickling or being tickled. As recounted in Salon, a patient described in 1947 by the psychiatrist Emil Gutheil enjoyed only tickling and fantasized about ticking someone to death, or at least until she foamed at the mouth. When his wife got sick of it, he sought help from professionals. “But this type of prostitute was so expensive that he could not afford them for any length of time,” wrote Gutheil.

I spoke with adult entertainment performer and fetish expert Casey Calvert. “Most people into tickling are out about it,” she said. “It’s not really a taboo fetish, because it’s fairly easy to incorporate, at least on a basic level, into a vanilla relationship.”

Would I try it?

Hell no. This is too close to the dreaded tickle torture of my youth, and not in a sexy way. Tickling is the worst. Never tickle. I might be getting turned on typing this.


Allen Jones, Second Thoughts, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Fluegel-Roncak.

Cake Farts

Being turned on by sitting on a cake and farting into it or by watching a person fart into a cake. Calvert says it’s a “very specific fetish that falls into the wet and messy and farting categories.”

Would I try it?

I could never do that to cake. Cake is life.


Erotic Lactation

Erotic lactation refers to a person becoming sexually aroused by breastfeeding or sucking on a woman’s breast. This fetish is wide encompassing, including people who enjoy watching a woman shoot milk out of her breast, people who enjoy consuming breast milk in an adult nursing relationship, or forced lactation. (The latter is a form of very heavy bodymod play in which one will take hormones and manually manipulate the breast tissue until lactation is produced without childbirth.)

This can be a heavily stigmatized fetish because many people feel uncomfortable making the connection between child rearing and sex. However, Calvert says, “Just because you are into lactation doesn’t mean that you want to have sex with your mom. Once you get past that, this fetish seems pretty tame.”

Would I try it?

This is intriguing to me but I’m not sure how comfortable I am with going to town on a stranger’s boob. Maybe if I ever give birth, my husband can try. (Just checked with him and he made a gagging noise.) (I’ll take that as a yes.) I guess I’ll have to settle for these breast milk lollipops.



Mummification is a BDSM sexual bondage practice that involves wrapping another person’s body in a way that restricts movement. Sometimes body parts are left exposed so they can be stroked, tickled, and otherwise aroused. Calvert said her search for “mummification” on Fetlife—an online community for people interested in Bondage, BDSM, and kink—only returned one group talking about it and zero total fetishes. “[Those] search results really surprise me. I know many people into mummification. It’s very odd to me that there is so little of it on Fetlife.”

Would I try it?

As someone who can’t sit in a two-seater car because I feel like it’s closing in on my very soul, I’m gonna pass.


Allen Jones, Gentleman’s Excuse Me, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Fluegel-Roncak.


This is taking something beautiful and making it ugly, whether it’s rubbing dirt on someone, ripping their clothing, or anything that makes someone look like they ran through a carwash made of mud in their lingerie. Calvert says that, unlike many fetishes, salirophilia is represented in mainstream media as something sexy, rather than something funny. There are countless high fashion campaigns with smeared makeup, tattered clothing, or dirty feet.

Would I try it?

As someone who walks around with burrito rice in her hair on the regular, this isn’t too great of a step. However, the thought of ruining something lovely and getting turned on by it hurts me. Maybe it’s growing up without tons of money, but I really want nice things and I don’t want to soil them in the name of sexual gratification.


Head Scissors

Head Scissors is a fetish that involves someone wrapping their limbs around another person’s head until that person is forced to tap out lest he or she become unconscious. It’s a specific part of the female wrestling domination fetish and is all about the woman being in control. Calvert says, “The close proximity to the woman’s crotch also helps reinforce this submissive position. I.e. if you want to get this close, it’s gonna be on my terms.”

Would I try it?

The appeal is in domination with sexy appendages and I have to say: I get it. Probably. If by probably I mean yes. And I do.


Financial Domination

In this BDSM fetish, submissive men (or “pay pigs”) transfer large amounts of money (or pretend to transfer large amounts of money) to women (usually “princesses” or “sugar babies”) over the internet. Interestingly, not all men who enjoy fi-dom have wallets that match their proclivities. In an interview with Love and Radio, self-described Humiliatrix Ceara Lynch said she’s had many poor men get off on having her pretend to spend the money they don’t have. Calvert says she’s done a lot of research into this one, and she’s never once encountered a woman interested in giving money to a man.

Would I try it?

I would attempt to be on the receiving end. Gentlemen, please email with inquiries and verified balances.