Like the other forms of sexual perversion, previously considered, erotic fetichism may frequently Impulse in express itself in strange, and even criminal acts, such as theft of the objects of fetichism, secret pollution with such objects, as masturbating against them, or making violent assaults upon women for the purpose of obtaining them.
This latter form of the obsession has only recently been very clearly illustrated in Philadelphia, where the fetichism took the form of a little girl's shoe, and numerous children were more or less seriously injured and frightened by an unknown man forcibly cutting the shoes from their feet, after dark; but without manifesting the slightest desire to otherwise violate or assault them.
Fetichism may apply to any part of the female body. Binet's case of the man who evolved the idea that the nostrils of a woman are in some way the seat of her sexuality, is interesting from its exaggerated absurdity. This man's liveliest sexual desires were always associated with a woman's nose; and, being an artist, in sketching profiles of Grecian female heads, he always made the nostrils so large that sexual intercourse by that channel would have been nearly possible, in life.
Iiinct, probably, more than any other writer, studied and analysed the whole fetichism of love; developing the fact, along with Tarde, that the fetich may vary just as widely with nations as with individuals. Through fetichism he explains the attraction of the blonde for the brunette, nullifying the law of opposites in sexual selection, for a particular expression of the eyes, for a perfume, a hand, a foot, a boot, an ear; filling up the whole complicated chain of mental processes involved in sexual love, and making clear the otherwise inexplicable problem why love is sometimes a passion and sometimes a cold mental process; sometimes inspired by the beautiful, and sometimes by the ugly; and, in addition, pointing out certain deep-seated psychological principles which, if perfectly and generally understood, would vastly, I think, promote not only domestic happiness, but a more intelligent administration of legal justice.