How Can Someone Have a Poop Fetish?

Evolution may provide one explanation.

Feet, Feces and Statues

These are such common fetish objects that experts have given them names. (Coprophilia, by the way, is arousal to shit.) Sexual fetishes don’t stop at objects, either: Specific settings and scenarios—everything from caves to foggy weather—are well documented in the existing fetish literature.

To fully understand this concept, it’s first necessary to differentiate a true fetish from fetish behavior. “The clinical definition of a fetish is that you need this object or activity to be aroused, but that’s pretty rare,” says Justin Lehmiller, director of the social psychology program at Ball State University and a faculty affiliate at The Kinsey Institute. “It’s far more common for people to enjoy fetish sex on occasion”—BDSM being the most popular example—”but not truly have a fetish.”

Whether you’re a dabbler or a full-on fetishist, however, it’s not always clear where these sexual proclivities come from. What we do know is that a person’s personality and sexual history likely play a role. “Habituation might make a more frequent behavior seem dull after a while,” says Roland Imhoff, a professor of psychology at Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg University who has authored research on fetishes and sexual motivation.

Imhoff compares “vanilla sex” to eating the same kind of pizza every night for dinner. Even if you love pizza, you’re going to get tired of eating the same pie night after night. Likewise, white bread sex may grow boring—especially for people with a high sex drive who are doing it all the time, he says. That boredom may lead you to try novel and increasingly exotic forms of sex—including sex that incorporates fetish objects. If that experimentation leads to excitement and—the ultimate payoff—an orgasm, you may be more likely to revisit unusual or “deviant” forms of sexual adventurism, he says.

That helps explain BDSM and some of the more common forms of fetish sex. But how does a person develop a serious attraction to less widespread fetishes—like sex in caves? Or around wood

The most likely explanation is that a person is exposed to something unusual or exotic during an especially pleasurable sexual experience, Lehmiller says. Maybe a woman has terrific sex in a cave, or a guy spends his childhood enthusiastically masturbating in his dad’s woodshop. These events could form powerful associations in the brain—associations made all the more powerful because they were rewarded with an orgasm.

Once that reward pathway is formed, the association between the fetish object and sexual pleasure will be strengthened every time that person has cave sex or plays with himself around wood. And despite what you might guess, there isn’t a significant Freudian or subconscious element to all this. Lehmiller says most fetishists can remember a specific sexual event or encounter that kicked things off.

But even that theory doesn’t always account for what may be one of the most polarizing fetishes of all: poop. Fecal matter is inherently revolting to most of us, but researchers have a theory as to how someone could develop an attraction to it.

Research shows that, when people are aroused, their disgust reflex shuts down. That makes sense from an evolutionary perspective; soap, toilet paper, and breath mints didn’t exist for most of human history. Sex was a dirty, smelly affair. If arousal didn’t overpower our disgust toward bodily fluids and excretions, our species wouldn’t have lasted long.

Lehmiller offers a hypothetical: “Maybe a guy is in the shower with his girlfriend, being intimate, and she urinates on him,” he says. Because the man is aroused and his disgust reflex is muted, he may find he enjoys the introduction of human waste into the equation. “I’ve heard stories like that,” he adds. He also points out that anything considered taboo is likely to kindle excitement. If you’re the type who gets a thrill out of the forbidden, exposure to urine or shit during a sexual experience could—emphasis on could—stimulate a new fetish.

Your personality may also play a role. “There are probably some traits that predispose people to enjoy fetish sex,” Lehmiller says, adding that sensation-seeking is one example. Or it could only be how you’re wired: One study suggests that the areas of the brain that light up in response to pain and pleasure have a lot of overlap; crosstalk between these overlapping networks might help explain why BDSM is so popular.

But there’s still a lot we have to learn about how these associations develop. And it’s important to note that not everyone who has fantastic sex in a cave, or a wood shop, or around poop, for instance, is going to develop a taste for it. As Lehmiller puts it, “It’s a complex question, and I think there is more than one answer.”

This now bring us into properly defining coprophilia

So what is coprophilia?

Coprophilia is the condition of desire for sexual gratification and sexual arousal derived from the smell, taste, or sight of feces or the act of defecation. It commonly is referred to by the slang term scat. Although ostensibly a somewhat limited practice, it figures prominently in the foundations of the science of psychology. Sigmund Freud outlined a stage of psychosexual development called the anal stage that involves the child’s obsession with the anus as an erogenous zone. The process of toilet training sets up a conflict between the child’s pleasure in defecation and pressures exerted on the child to control his or her bodily functions. The way children resolve this conflict is seen as a primary means of establishing the way they later will deal with authority and issues of possession.

DEFINITIONS OF COPROPHILIA

Coprophilia is related to this psychosexual conflict but is not a developmental stage. It is a condition that occurs in adults and represents the small number of individuals who reject social pressure to control elimination and instead find the act of defecation pleasurable and erotic. Because of the relationship of coprophilia to eroticism and anality, for much of the twentieth century, it was considered by psychologists to be related almost exclusively to homosexuality (Karpman 1948). After frank analyses of actual sexual behavior such as that of Alfred Kinsey and other studies in the post-sexual revolution era, the ascription of coprophilia solely to homosexuals has been shown to be false. So few data exist that there appears to be no consensus about the connection between coprophilia and the choice of sexual partners.

The term coprophilia also has a more general definition as an affinity that can become an erotic fascination with filth and uncleanliness. Among the very few case studies that address coprophilia, several use the term in this sense. A 1955 study of a woman named Evangeline, for instance, describes the pleasure she took in maintaining a filthy home. Although a great deal of the filth consisted of her feces and that of her pets, most was of a generalized nature (rotting food, dust, animal hair, etc.). She expressed no particular interest in the act of defecation but took delight in its product as well as the presence of other types of waste material (Xavier 1955).

REACTIONS TO COPROPHILIA

Coprophilia generally is regarded as the most taboo consensual sexual activity and commonly is reviled as much as or more than violent or non-consensual acts such as rape and pedophilia. It is considered so transgressive that unlike other fetishistic or paraphilic sexual practices, there is very little published literature on the topic. Not only is there a shortage of popular material, but even academic literature seems to shy away from the topic. A very few medical and psychological studies have been conducted, but even among those disciplines, little research exists. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association (1994) classifies coprophilia as a paraphilia or atypical sexual interest. It falls under the category of “Paraphilia Not Otherwise Specified,” which is a blanket designation used to describe conditions that occur in such small segments of the population that they do not warrant individual headings. This is not an accurate measure of the prevalence of the practice, however, for the DSM-IV is primarily a diagnostic tool for conditions that are to some degree debilitating. If sexual activity involving feces is incorporated into an individual’s sexual practice with no apparent effect on other aspects of that person’s life, it will not necessarily figure into the statistics in the DSM-IV.

A nonscientific measure of the discourse on coprophilia would be the pornography industry. Although the adult entertainment industry is quick to capitalize on most sexual practices, including rape, pedophilia, sex with animals, and other fringe practices, very few magazines, websites, or films feature coprophilia. A limited number exist, although there is no concrete information about their popularity. The majority of non-commercial websites that address the topic seem to be constructed by practitioners of coprophilia, making their information biased at best.

THE PRACTICE OF COPROPHILIA

Coprophilia usually is considered an unsafe sexual practice because of the possibility of infection from contact with the waste products of the human body. Contact with one’s feces is generally safer than contact with that of a partner but both carry risk, particularly of bacterial infection. Hepatitis is a particular danger to coprophiliacs, although many other infections are also possible. Coprophilia can be practiced relatively safely if there is no direct contact with the feces. If it is practiced alone, this would include smelling or looking at the feces after defecation; using mirrors, video technology, or photography to watch one defecate; or taking extreme pleasure in the sensation of defecation. These acts are less safe when practiced with a partner, but if the arousal and gratification arise primarily from viewing the act of defecation or from smelling the feces, the risk of infection is minimal.

Several variations on these practices exist, along with a proliferation of slang terms that seem to belie the ostensibly small population of individuals who practice coprophilia. The term glass-bottom boat is used to describe defecation onto a piece of glass, clear plastic wrap, or another transparent material while a partner watches from below. Thus, there is a feeling of being defecated on without actual contact with the feces. Direct defecation onto a partner’s body without a barrier is described by the slang terms steamer and Cleveland steamer. This is a far riskier behavior, but as long as the feces do not come into contact with broken skin or a body opening, the risk of infection is minimal.

The most taboo form of coprophilia is the eating of feces or coprophagia. It is thought to be practiced by an exceptionally small number of people and is one of the riskiest sexual behaviors. Some species of animals, such as rabbits, routinely practice coprophagia as a part of their digestive process, and others, such as dogs, engage in the practice without any apparent physiological need. In humans, however, it is a rare occurrence.

One case study indicates that the consumption of feces can be a means of disposal of feces used for other sexual acts; the erotic sensation may be confined to coprophilia, whereas coprophagia serves essentially to destroy the evidence of coprophilic practice (Hingsburger 1989). True coprophagia, in which pleasure is taken in the act, seems to be confined to the realm of mental illness; even popular references to coprophilia almost never extend to coprophagia. There are at least partial exceptions to this, however. In water sports or urolagnia, the consumption of the body’s waste products is somewhat common. This practice is limited to urine, however, and does not include solid waste. Also, there is a somewhat common sexual practice called anilingus (referred to by the slang terms rimming and tossing salad) in which the anus is licked by a sexual partner. In almost all cases, however, cleanliness of the anus is desired by the person performing anilingus. Although the practice is related to taking pleasure from an ostensibly taboo act, the fascination is with the anus itself, not with defecation or feces.

Even rarer are instances of humans consuming the feces of other species, although such cases have been documented. One example was captured on film: In the 1972 movie, Pink Flamingos the director John Waters filmed his star, the drag queen Divine, picking up the feces of a dog and eating them. The scene intended to establish the complete perversion of the character as Divine campaigned for the title “the world’s filthiest person.” Even among the variety of sexual practices depicted in the film, the scene showing coprophagia is by far the best known and most notorious.

Another very popular example was the internet shattering clip titled 2 girls one cup

If you didn’t already know, the short film featured two girls, one cup, faeces, and vomit – and it’s probably one of the reasons online content doesn’t shock people as much as it used to anymore. However, despite being ever so disturbing, it racked up millions of views in the days after its release in 2007. But just why was the clip so popular?

For a video to go viral, it needs to have one or more of the ‘Three Hs.’

‘That is, it needs to have a heart – to tug at people’s heartstrings, to be helpful – to add value to them, or to have humor – to make them laugh. ‘2 Girls, 1 Cup is a strange one because while it’s not funny in the regular sense of the word, there’s a strong element of the absurd and a ludicrousness to it, which makes it entertaining. ‘As for the other two Hs, I’m fairly sure those don’t apply in this instance! ‘There was also an element of timing which made this work. It was both the most gruesome, and grotesque video which most people would have ever seen. ‘Something so disturbing, you almost couldn’t believe you were watching it.’

At the time of its release even up till date people are still arguing and debating if its real or not

‘Is it real?’ is a question many people were left asking after seeing 2 Girls 1 Cup. Although it has never been disclosed exactly how the X-Rated scenes were produced, there are some theories. The first is that the faeces are created from food – namely chocolate, coffee cream, and peanut butter. The second is that the woman cleaned her bowels before the film (well, that’s OK then). She then allegedly reintroduces the substance, and her rectum rejected it – making it look like she had pooed. Some even say that the vomit was real, but it was regurgitated before reaching the stomach, so it didn’t contain gastric acids. The finals theory is that the whole thing was made using computer graphics.

Either its real or not it didn’t stop the viewership as people were eager to see it. Though some people found it disgusting and refused to see it, up till date people are still searching for it online.

‘The shocking nature of the content meant that it brought the worst out in human nature – with people wanting to watch something that people knew would shock them.’ After its release, 2 Girls 1 Cup was also named as one of the most shocking videos to hit the internet. Mainly because most people had never seen anything like it.

People are still searching for it today. Corey Price, VP of Pornhub said: ‘While completely against our TOS and not hosted in Pornhub. As a result, we still get around 1000 unique searches for it every day. ‘We feel it went viral because it was one of the first shock videos and at the time YouTube was a new place to share hilarious reactions that pushed the fame of the video even higher.’

The film even sparked a series of shock videos, with titles including 2 Girls 1 Finger, 8 Girls No Cup, 1 Guy 1 Jar, and even 1 Girl 1 Cake, the nickname for the 2008 viral shock video – Cake Farts. Since it came out on January 6, 2007, an enormous number of reactions, homages, and parodies have followed. Most of which goes viral on YouTube.

1 comment

  1. This was the most in-depth and clarifying writing about this fetish that I have ever read. Several times I thought to myself…”Ohhh that makes sense!” I have always wondered if any real study was ever done and this confirms that very little has. Thank you!

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