I was recently asked this question and here’s the synopsis of my take…happy to have your input!
First of all, it is important to establish what one means by “fetish”. Originally, 17c, a fetish/fetiche was an amulet or charm that bore the wearer some form of luck, or at least warded off evil spirits. At the turn of the 20th c and the advent of psychology, notably Freud, fetish, as sexual fetish, became known as an object required to create sexual gratification, ie, shoe, boot, fur, etc. Around the same time, Sado-Masochism also evolved as a term (based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade and Sacher Von Masoch), defined as sexual gratification through corporal punishment (flogging, spanking, etc) or erotic humiliation, (embarrassment, objectification, degradation). As of late, say the past 15 to 20 years, the term fetish is most often used as a “turn on”. Such as, “I have a spanking fetish”, or “I have a rubber fetish”. The current speaker rarely requires the object or activity to achieve orgasm, but does find it more pleasurable with said piece.