Emetophilia is a type of sexual arousal that centers around vomit. It is commonly described as a fetish, and people who identify as emetophiliacs typically find sexual pleasure in vomiting, watching or hearing others vomit, or even just fantasizing about this bodily function. People often want to observe or participate in the act of vomiting as a part of sexual intercourse or the broader sexual encounter. Like most fetishes, this one is highly personalized and a lot can vary from person to person or couple to couple. In general it is not considered a disorder, and unless it interferes significantly with a person’s life or routines, there isn’t usually any need to discuss it with medical providers or others. Just the same, those who find their proclivities troubling can often find resources, whether online or in the counseling community, that can help them channel their urges differently.
Understanding Arousal and Fetishes Generally
Sexual preferences and attractions can vary widely from person to person. In general, arousal happens when a person sees or feels sensations that trigger a hormonal sexual response. These sensations are often understated, like an outfit or a whiff or perfume, and are often triggered by certain language or suggestive terms. Arousal by vomit isn’t usually thought of as common, but then again bedroom behaviors aren’t often widely discussed in public settings.
Emetophilia is typically considered a type of sexual fetish. A fetish is a broad category of behaviors that affix sexual meaning to objects that are otherwise considered non-sexual. Some examples include people who take sexual pleasure in the look, feel, or smell of feet, or who become aroused only in the presence of certain costumes or outfits. Another example of a sexual fetish is the enjoyment of acts that involve urinating or being urinated upon during sex. People can have multiple fetishes at once, so depending on the individual vomiting might be combined with other inclinations and proclivities. In other cases it stands alone.
Some emetophiliacs derive the most pleasure from simply observing or even just listening to others vomiting. In these cases, the simple act of vomiting can be a sexual trigger wherever it happens. It doesn’t have to actually be a part of an actual sexual encounter to qualify. So long as a person finds the observation arousing, it qualifies.
Some people are more interested in the sensations they personally feel when they vomit rather than witnessing the acts of another. Others take pleasure in physically engaging a partner in the vomiting. For example, a person might want to vomit on his or her partner or have that partner vomit as part of the sexual act. Some people with this fetish might also want to throw up into a partner’s mouth.
Fantasies and imagined happenings frequently also play in. People with this fetish often spend a lot of time thinking about vomit in sexual scenarios, even if they never actually act on those urges. Fantasies are a big part of arousal for many people.
Most people are not adversely affected by this type of sexual attraction or proclivity, and as such, they do not need treatment for it. In most cases they don’t ever need to talk about it, unless they choose to engage a partner. A person may, however, seek mental health counseling if he or she feels the attraction is causing problems. For example, an individual might seek help from a mental health expert if he or she doesn't feel in control of behaviors related to this fetish. Counseling might also prove beneficial if a person's desire for acts that involve vomiting causes problems in his or her romantic relationships. Additionally, support groups may be able to provide camaraderie and judgment-free sharing if an emetophiliac wants to talk to others with the same interests.