Hand, glove, hair, clothing, foot and handkerchief fetichists are the most common of the entire group. It is easier to account for foot-fetichism than that of the hand. The female foot, unlike the hand, is commonly Been covered, and the early direction of the sexual thought toward it is partly due to that charm of novelty, heretofore noted, and partly to the more intimate association of the foot itself with the sexual parts. Shoe fetichism may also, probably, be partly explained by the latter hypothesis. Hair fetichism is forensically important from the seemingly greater frequency of its manifestation in acts of public violence, as well as the possible involvement of one or more of the physical senses in those manifestations.
Poets have rhapsodized about the smell of a woman's hair, likening it to the perfumed groves and flowers of Paradise; and there can be no doubt that different fashions of wearing the hair, from a merely aesthetic standpoint, produce different effects on different men. Moll reports the case of a man who became violently excited, sexually, whenever he saw a woman with her hair in a single braid; and Magnan, a similar instance where a man constantly dreamed of women with braided hair, and who never was potent for intercourse with one who wore her hair loose or in any other fashion. He never dreamed of the sexual parts of women; but only the braid of hair; the idea of touching which, or better, sleeping with it, producing the most powerful erections and ejaculation.1
Public hair despoilers are quite common in every great city; the following case taken from the Annalcs d'hygiene, April, 1890, being fairly representative of the class:
The man was a locksmith, aged forty, who was arrested at theTrocadero, in Paris, Hi flagranti, as he cut off a young girl's hair in the crowd. He stated that when alone in his room he felt sick, anxious and dizzy, troubled continually with the impulse to touch a young girl's hair. When it happened that he could do so, he had immediate erection, became intensely excited, sexually; and, without touching the girl in any other way, experienced ejaculation.
One evening he could not resist the temptation to cut off a girl's hair. He took it home with him, and there enjoyed with it the most exquisite sensual pleasure. His method was to rub his body with it, wrap it around his penis, comb and fondle it, and each time with the most powerful orgasm. The hair exhibited in the shops had no such effect on him.
To illustrate the psychopathic character of the phenomenon the following is useful:1