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WHAT IS FETISHISM?

Fetishism is a condition in which a person is able to experience sexual satisfaction only through alternative sexual behaviours, said psychiatrist Dr Adrian Wang.

The consultant psychiatrist at Gleneagles Hospital added: "It becomes a problem for their spouses and for themselves because they are able to be aroused only through these means. That could mean finding sexual pleasure in certain objects or practices."

It is also difficult to discover as few people would come forward to admit that they have a fetish problem, he said.

"Most of the time, it is only because they are found to have committed a crime."

Some treatment methods include psychotherapy, a form of counselling, and behaviour-modification techniques.

Even then, such a treatment would take a long time - from several months to a few years - as it is a tedious process.

Said Dr Wang: "The person must also want to be treated, otherwise it is not effective."

PAST CASES

Aug 8

Tony Tan Tong Li, 17, pleaded guilty to stealing 14 sets of school uniforms, 10 skirts and five school T-shirts worth at least $500, all between 2012 and this year. He soon grew bolder and molested two girls, aged nine and 11.

May 15

Jonathan Peh Song Wee, 26, a research engineer at the Defence Science Organisation, was ordered to undergo a year of psychological treatment for trespass, theft and fraudulent possession. A total of 228 bras, which Peh could not account for, were found in his house.