A fetish model is a model who wears fetish clothing and/or devices. Many such models wear what is termed as fetish fashions which are clothing styles that incorporate extreme elements designed to elicit a strong emotional reaction or desire on the part of the watcher. Such clothing range from exotic stylized bathing suits to extreme costuming including body armor and sci-fi fantasy suits.
Several popular sub-categories include bondage photography and exotic glamour photography as well as fantasy costuming as popularized in Japanese manga productions and fantasy stories such as Dungeon and Dragons which is usually referred to as cosplay.
Several pornographic actors and glamour models also act as fetish models wearing such fashions. Most fetish models who specifically perform in heterosexual erotica are female.
Types of fetish models
There are multiple categories of fetish models such as: bondage models, latex models, corset models, even wedgie models, tattoo/body piercing models, shoe models, shibari models, and Nyotaimori / food models.
Fetish models are usually considered to be distinct from gothic or alternative models who are usually far more niche specific. Fetish models may only involve themselves in the overall aesthetic aspects rather than a specific area such as sexual. Fetish modeling is usually considered to be a part of the adult industry due to its popular perception as an "adult only" appreciation. However in recent times, many aspects of the fetish fashion market have been incorporated and accepted into so called mainstream fashion whereby fashion creators will directly use exotic fabrics such as latex or sheer instead of cotton or wool for their creations.
Fetish usually relates to anything that can cause an interest or desire on the part of the observer/participant that is not limited to be part of a person. For example, a person who wears boots can be a considered a fetish as it is NOT merely the person that others are interested in per se but the image that the person has while wearing the boots. The same is true of a person who engages in selective bodily appreciation i.e, foot fetish they are attracted specifically not to the entire person but may just be intensely appreciative of that person's feet.
Thus fetish appreciation is very subjective and what stimulates one individual may not interest others if not directly openly repulse another as in more extreme appreciations such as scat.
There have been several notable performers and producers of both the bondage and fetish area who have attained mainstream notability. The most recognized is the 1950s bondage model and pin-up girl, Bettie Page who posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs and was subsequently featured in Playboy. 
In the 1960s the popular Great Britain TV program, The Avengers incorporated much fetish costuming for their lead female performers including Diana Rigg's famous leather catsuits and leotards as well as Tara King's continual over-the-knee boots and shoulder length leather gloves.
More recently, Michelle Pfeiffer wore a full body latex catsuit in her role as Catwoman in the feature film Batman Returns. In the Matrix film trilogy, Carrie-Anne Moss in her role as Trinity also wears full body latex based catsuits.
There are specialized publications that feature and promote fetish models in, including Skin Two, "Secret," Italian "A Magazine" (not to be confused with the now defunct A(sian) Magazine), and Marquis.
Fetish models may run personal adult pay websites and are featured on fetish adult pay sites.
There are also fetish fashion designers. Most of these designers employ fetish models for their clothing line. There are even fetish fashion shows hosted several times a year, including Vex, The Baroness, Skintwo, and House of Harlot.
There are also a few male bondage models in heterosexual erotica including Peter Holmes of BoundDomination, but most male bondage models appear in homosexual erotica. A small yet profitable niche of male-in-bondage erotica includes men cross-dressed and in bondage that caters toward heterosexual men. Harmony Concepts, Inc. was among the first and few to capitalize on the realm of the cross-dressing bondage pornography in the early 1970s. Today's expression of cross-dressing bondage is mainly limited to internet based porn.
Another male fetish model is Matthew Reichenbacher. He has been featured in many fetish magazines.
In recent years, the annual SIGNY awards have been awarded to the bondage models voted as the best of that year. The SIGNY award winners for best bondage models to date have been:
- * 2000: Eve Ellis, runners up Ashley Renee, Andrea Neal,
- * 2001: Ashley Renee, runners up Andrea Neal, Eve Ellis
- * 2003: Jasmine Sinclair, runners up Amber Michaels, Ashley Renee
- * 2004: Jenni Lee, runners up Jewell Marceau, Emily Marilyn AKA:Molly Matthews
- * 2005: Jewell Marceau, runners up Ashley Renee, Christina Carter
1. ^ Essex, Karen, and James L. Swanson, Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-Up Legend. Los Angeles: General Publishing Group, 1996. ISBN 1-881649-62-8
2. ^ Foster, Richard, The Real Bettie Page: The Truth About the Queen of the Pinups. Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing Group/Birch Lane Press, 1997. ISBN 1-55972-432-3