17:14 GMT22 January 2021
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    A medical student has been suspended by the University of Miami, which is investigating allegations he copied dozens of pictures of female undergrads and posted them on foot fetish websites. Sputnik looks at some of the weirdest sex fetishes, which make feet look positively tame.

    Photographs of scores of female University of Miami medical students turned up on foot fetish and other saucy websites in 2017, after being copied from their owners' social media pages.

    The women were not naked in any of the pictures, but they were showing enough flesh — especially in the podiatric area — to excite fetishists.

    The Miami Herald reported in November Alex Zhang, 25, was suspected of distributing the snaps — and has been suspended from the university and is subject of an internal investigation.

    So what are the sex fetishes that make foot worship seem positively passe?

    Autoplushophilia

    Simply put, this is arousal by the idea of dressing up as giant cartoonish animals.

    Devotees of this particular fetish are known as "furries" — although technically you can be a "furry" without being into the sexual side of it.

    When furries have sex or mate (because they're animals, after all) it is called "yiffing."

    In 2012 a barbecue in West Windsor, New Jersey hosted by a character calling himself Tony Ringtail got out of hand when two furry guests began yiffing.

    The Mayor of West Windsor, Shing-Fu Hsueh, said it was "inappropriate." 

    "People were appalled by what transpired there," said Councilman George Borek.

    Calm down, tiger. 

    Formicophilia

    To some people, having insects crawling over them, or on another person, and perhaps nibbling their genitals is their idea of heaven.

    They are formicophiliacs and, while few in number, they seem to spread across the globe.

    In Japan this particular fetish is known as genki genki, and there is much erotic art and pornography focusing on the subject.

    Some formicophiliacs smear themselves with honey in order to attract insects — and some even place bugs inside certain body orifices.

    In Dr. Brenda Love's Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, she writes the sexual thrill comes from the tickling or stinging sensation or from infliction of psychological distress on another person.

    Tickling itself — without insects — is also a fetish, known as titillagnia.

    Psellismophilia

    Stuttering affects one percent of the world's population and many sufferers find themselves the butt of jokes.

    ​But if they were to come across a psellismophiliac they could find that their speech is an instant aphrodisiac, for this is a fetish which involves arousal to stuttering.

    Natalie, a 22-year-old psellismophiliac, explained her condition on an online psychology forum.

    "I feel like I can't date regularly because I won't be sexually interested in anyone who doesn't have a stammer," she wrote.

    Natalie added that when she mentioned it to boyfriends they tried to pretend to stutter but she said it failed to arouse her like the real thing.

    Acrotomophilia

    Those with this condition find themselves uncontrollably aroused at the sight of amputees.

    In an article for the disability charity, My Handicap, Barbara, who had her leg amputated, described her relationship with her partner, who admitted when he met her he was an acrotomophile.

    "We hit it off immediately. This relationship has boosted my self-esteem," said Barbara, who said her ex-husband had also been an acrotomophile but hid it for most of their marriage.

    An arguably even stranger fetish is apotemnophilia, which is to be aroused by the idea of yourself as an amputee.

    Defecaloesiophilia

    This one really takes the biscuit.

    Defecaloesiophilia is the condition of being sexually aroused by painful bowel movements.

    For most of us sex is the last thing on our minds when we are suffering from diarrhea or painful stomach cramps.

    But the opposite is the case for defecaloesiophiliacs.

    Dr. Mark Griffiths, Professor of Behavioral Addiction at Nottingham Trent University, said he'd never actually come face to face with someone with the condition — although he was aware of people who had hemorrhoid fetishes.

    Conversely, defecaloesiophobia, as the name suggests, is a morbid terror of painful bowel movements.

    Climacophilia

    Falling down stairs is, to most people, something to dread and to avoid.

    But to climacophiliacs it is the ultimate turn-on.

    Or is it?

    ​Dr. Griffiths is skeptical of its existence.

    "I have spent hours online trying to track down any evidence that climacophilia exists and I have drawn a complete blank…There are no online forums where like-minded climacophiles congregate and there are no climacophiles that have written so much as a one-sentence confession of being sexually aroused either by falling down stairs or watching others fall down stairs," writes Dr. Griffiths on his blog.

    The condition was listed in Jesse Baring's 2014 book Perv: The Sexual Deviant in all of us.

    But Dr. Griffiths points out in an academic review of Baring's book, in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, Dr. David Ribner made a specific reference about Baring's inclusion of climacophilia and said it was "incredulous…is there really someone out there who can only achieve orgasm by falling down a flight of stairs?"

    "Based on my own research I think I can answer that question in two letters: No," writes Dr. Griffiths.

    Stygiophilia

    Stygiophiles are attracted to the idea of "sinful" sex which they hope will send them to Hell. 

    It is the thought of eternal damnation that gets them off, rather than the sex itself.

    There has been much speculation around where the fetish comes from with some assuming it is linked to an arousal by heat and flames.  

    It could be closely related to pecattiphilia, which is sexual arousal inspired by commitment of sins such as adultery or incest and feelings of guilt.    

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