Robert BŲrstling

Wetlook paraphilia - aspects of a sexual variation

EFS - Congress Berlin, July 01. 2000

What is Wetlook?

Wetlook is the inclination to wear wet clothing and to obtain sexual pleasuret by viewing other people wearing wet clothes.

In most cases, respondents report that they had this inclination already in early childhood. Most of them mention the ages of five or six years - some mention even earlier ages.

Men as well as women are involved, although the proportions are not known. However, their behavior seems different. Many women, who are "into wetlook" enjoy wearing wet clothes themselves, but few enjoy the look of men in wet clothes. Men seem to enjoy both equally. However, I cannot prove that, yet. I can only report my own experiences.

Conspicous is the high proportion of homosexuals, bisexuals and heterosexuals with sexually indeterminate orientations. There are "heterosexual" men who feel attracted to men in wet clothes or who seem to change their sexual orientation when they wear wet clothes themselves. There are also heterosexual wetlookers whot turn to transvetites just in the water. Finally, it is noticeable that many other paraphilias occur in the"wetlook scene". There are wetlook pedophiles, shoe fetishists and others.

What are the basic structures of wetlook?

 Wetlook has many faces. Still, one can recognize some general structures. Wetlookers use their shower or bath tub to get wet. But they also go swimming outdoors. Most of them go out in the shelter of the darkness at night. Most of them do it secretly. Especially in West howEuropean countries it unusual to wear casual clothes in the water - except a bikini or swimming trunks. Nudity or partial nudity is accepted for swimmers. However, people react with disgust, if others leave their clothes on in the water. Thatís why people who are into wetlook have to do it secretly.

You can divide the wetlookers into the Staywets and the Getwets.

The Staywets get themselfes wet and enjoy running around wet as long as possible. Manys of them even go to bed with their wet clothes on.For the Staywets the fact of being wet is most important. They donít care abou thow they get wet. They can even enjoy getting wet in the rain.

The Getwets are different. For them the moment and the way of getting wet is most important. The moment of getting wet gets them into an emotionally "high" condition. They change their clothes several times to get wet again. Their aim is to reach orgasm while feeling stimulated this way. By the way: There are wetlookers who are able to have an orgasm without masturbating just by watching women in wet clothes.

Two other groups are the Jumpers and the Walkers:

The Jumpers enjoy the sudden-surprise effect. One of them described it like being caught in a situation of no way out and no turning back.

The Walkers need the suspense of getting wet very slowly; knowing that there is a way of turning back while breaking a limit. The hesitation can last an hour or more.

The Winter Swimmers prefer ice-cold water. They go even swimming, when there is already ice on the lake.

Moreover, there seems to be a group of wetlookers who have a very strong inclination to get wet, but they donít associate it with erotic excitement. I am not really sure, if they just pretend, not to be stimulatated, or if they really have other reasons to get wet with their clothes on.

Related to wetlook are the so called Messys.

Messys obtain sexual excitement by using other liquids than water.

I found out following fractions:

-Mud and qicksand, paint and paste

-Food like drinks, chocolate and custard, eggs, pies, pasta and stew.

It is even reported, that there are people into liquid manure but I guess they might be better described as cases of Urolagnia and Coprophilia.

Most of the wetlookers cannot do without shoes, and many of them say that their clothing must have been worn during the entire day before they get wet.

Especially women have a passion for expensive, precious and elegant dresses like business suits and evenig dresses. For some it is very important to soak or even ruin very expensive shoes. They spend a lot of money on that, and they buy more and more clothes to try them out.

The thrill of overstepping a limit reaches another dimension if it results in ruining oneĎs bank ac count.

People can be specialized in uniforms, sport fashion, motorcycle suits, leggins, latex, acryl, leather and other materials. Or just casual clothes.

The rules of getting wet can be:

  • The more clothes the better
  • The more expensive the better
  • The more unusual in the water the better

Breaking a limit and the appeal of the forbidden seem to be very important.

One can say: "Actually I donít dare going into the water, but I enjoy to let it happen." It is a play with the inner resistance that makes the soaking of clothes so delightful. So the feeling of wet clothes on the skin is always connected with a cognitive association.

Children in Europe are brought up never to get their clothes wet. So the soaking of clothes is kind of forbidden. But I talked to people from other countries, where swimming fully clothed is established or even prescibed by morality or religion. Those wetlookers might not associate wet clothes with the appeal of the forbidden.

I would like to know if wetlook paraphlilia occours at all cultures. Is it a matter of upbringing and education? Is it influenced by moral ideas? Is it caused by a childhood experiencel?

It might be possible, that there are several completely different reasons that cause this inclination.

I do not suppose that Wetlook has anything to do with Urolagnia, because many wetlook symptoms can not be explained by it.

Anyway, there are wetlookers that suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, depressions and other mental disorders, but not all of of them.

According to what wetlookers report, I assume that the desire was always there before the first experience.

One example: A little boy at the age of five watches his mother washing clothes in a washbasin. He asks her, if one could put them on even when they are wet. She explains that one has to wait until they are dry. After she hangs up the wet clothes on the clothes line, the boy climbs up to the laundry attic and stares at the clothes with fascination. Finally he can no longer resist and puts them on.

Which implications does this paraphilia have?

People whot go swimming fully clothed in public can become objects of desire for wetlook fetishists.

I know a pedophile man who is a sort of scouts guide. He makes the boys jump into the water and takes pictures of them. He even asks their parents, if he might expose the pictures on the internet and they donít mind, because the boys are completely clothed.

Few people realize that casual clothing can be a fetish, as well. Until now, protection of the young is only related to nudity (pornography) - but not to casual clothing.

Wetlook fetishism can turn into an addiction. The restless search for material in the internet and spending many hours at lakeside can cause loneliness. Since the desired sight is very rare, the wetlooker remains unsatisfied and may become depressive.

On the other hand, for some people who are" into wetlook" it is just an enrichment of their otherwise conventional sexual practices. For others, it is the only way of becoming sexually active at all.

If Wetlook is a personĎs only sexual activity, he or she will probably never have a harmonic relationship - or will even no relationship at all.

I got to know men suffering from depression, ADD and Borderline Syndrome who use their wetlook inclination to control or repress their problems.

But there is even a productive side to Wetlook: Apart from the erotic-video industry that, today, features about 15.000 titles of Wetlook - films, Wetlook immages are getting used as eye-catchers in commercials and advertisments for various products, tourism, and fashion marketing.

It is also used in music videos. Perhaps some marketing specialists can help in designing a scientific resurch project. It might be interesting to find out how many people feel attracted to the sight of wet clothes.

Though there are a couple of surveys about Wetlook on the Internet, the results are not useful for scientific purpose.

Internet surveys can only reach people with private internet access - mostly men.

I would like to start a truly scientific research project. It would be useful to find out, how many men and women are involved.

Since this kind of fetish is not yet well establishedt, the persons involved live among us like stranded extraterrestrials, believing that they are abnormal or even perverted.

Wetlook must be better understood if one wants to help those involved to understand themselves better.