Hi there, I have been dating my boyfriend for about 8 months and we are sexually active. Not very long into our relationship, he began telling me about how he loves wearing track/athletic pants. He wears them usually for sexual reasons because he likes the way they feel against him. He also asks me to wear them a lot and always without underwear. He likes for us to rub against each other while wearing them. He also wants us to go out in public together in them and go for walks in the pants and socks. I think he also has a foot fetish because he’s always asking me what kind of socks I have on and suggesting which ones I should wear.
I’m just wondering if this is a common fetish. And also, I’m not sure how to tell him that I’m not into this and that I don’t want our sex life to revolve around wearing these pants without hurting his feelings or making him feel like he’s weird.
A: It appears that your boyfriend has what is called a benign paraphilia. It’s “benign” because it’s essentially harmless. For some reason, he is aroused by the feel and sight of these pants and socks. Where it may cross the line to something more risky is his desire for the two of you to go out in public in them. If he is aroused by the activity, he may inadvertently offend the neighbors – which could lead to trouble for him.
It doesn’t matter if his fetish is or isn’t common. I’m not sure if there is a way to know. What matters is that you are uncomfortable. Part of becoming a couple is figuring out how to have a rich intimate life that is satisfying for both of you. That means talking frankly about what is erotic for each of you and finding ways to accommodate each other. You say you don’t want your sex life to revolve around wearing the pants but are you willing to play with it a little? Can the two of you find a way to integrate his desires with your own? Talking this through is likely the next step in discovering each other and deciding if you are a couple.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jul 2011
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Boyfriend is obsessed with track pants. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/07/25/boyfriend-is-obsessed-with-track-pants/