As far as fetishism goes, getting turned on by sweat is objectively not weird. Sure, most of us may not have any outstanding opinion on the bodily fluid, other than considering it a mildly uncomfortable and sometimes unsightly annoyance. But that doesn’t mean that people who are particularly fixated on sweat are disturbed.
When you consider the modern scale of fetishism, which counts kinks like feederism and looners, the sweat fetish stands out as refreshingly banal. Freud even wrote about it—you can’t get more basic than that.
Needless to say, it’s one of the most common kinks out there and, as such, occupies a huge online market. In fact, “workout” is the most popular scent on our site among Americans and Australians.
So what is it that makes sweat such a turn-on? And what does the online sweat fetish community look like? Keep reading for all the details.
It’s true, Freud really did write about sweat. Rather, he wrote about sexual arousal derived from smelling sweaty body parts, and he called it osphresiolagnia. As with pretty much any psychoanalytic explanation, he chalked it up to childhood-based repression. Though this reasoning is far from widely accepted, there has been little scientific research on the subject since Freud’s 1909 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality.
These days, when people talk about sweat fetishes, they’re less likely to attribute it to osphresiolagnia than to osmophilia or salophilia.
Osmophilia is a smell-based sexual attraction to the odors of bodily fluids, notably urine, sweat, and menstruation. Some people credit this olfactory inclination to human pheromones, which very well may be the case for some women who are attracted to sweaty men. In fact, fresh male sweat contains the hormone Androstenol, which hijacks the female brain to arouse her.
Notice, though, that I said “fresh” male sweat. Once Androstenol has had time to interact with the oxygen in the air (about 10 minutes or so), it transforms into the chemical Androstenone. This stale sweat gives off an odor that is actually repulsive to most women, which could explain, in part, why women make up the minority of people buying used underwear and other garments online.
Salophilia, on the other hand, has roots in a different sense. Salophilic sweat fetishists are not aroused by smell, but by the taste of salty things. For salophiles, it doesn’t matter if the sweat is fresh or stale. The salty tang is all that counts. These are the people responsible for sweat-themed porn videos that involve lapping up sweaty armpits, feet, and ass like a kid with a popsicle in the summer.
Unlike the host of ever more bizarre fetishes that seem to surface every day, the sexualization of sweat is nothing new. For example, Native American sweat lodges, intended for healing and purification, were eradicated by colonizing Christians who found the idea of sweaty, naked people too dirty to bear.
This historically taboo mindset is part of the reason that it’s such a common fetish today, but also why it’s often expressed in perverse ways. One woman even wrote an entire article in Vice calling out the male gym-goers who wait like vultures to occupy machines she’s used and sweat in before she has the time to wipe them down. When she asks a sexual counselor about why they might do that, he opined:
"Sweat is a way of connecting with you...he may be thinking about you, he may be watching you as you work out. It's possible the pheromones and the sweat could be a turn-on that contributes to arousal."
That could have also been the impetus for the 2005 string of locker room robberies in Osaka and Nara, Japan. The loot? Old gym uniforms. When police asked the culprit, a 22-year-old Torau Fukuda, why he did it, he cited his overwhelming sweat fetish. If only he knew that within a few years, he wouldn’t have to commit crimes to get his rocks off. The sweat fetish community would explode online.
Fetishists like Fukuda now have a home on the Internet. Sites like Sexy Sweat and Maverick Men exist with endless streams of curated sweaty content featuring men and women basking in their favorite salty excretion. Video thumbnails show men with their faces stuffed in armpits, shoes, and asses and being punitively smothered with feet.
And then, of course, you can find fetish videos on any porn tube. A 2018 article from Pornhub Insights took a look at the sweat fetish community on their site and found that the 5,000+ sweat-themed videos they host are watched over 300,000 times per month.
Unsurprisingly, searches for these videos peak in June, when the sultry summer weather is starting back up. They also found that men are 44% more likely to search for sweat-related videos and that the most sweat-intrigued age group is 18 to 24-year-olds.
On social media, sweat aficionados band together under hashtags like #sweat and #sweatfetish where they can trade pics and maybe even arrange a sale. Instagram is good for sweaty and disproportionately foot-centric content to add to the spank bank. Whereas those looking to buy used sports bras and panties or even amateur sweat porn might head to Twitter instead.
But why shop for soiled undergarments there when you can browse an online marketplace that exists for that very purpose?
Used panties and sweat go hand in hand. One sweat lover told Metro UK that he first discovered his penchant for perspiration after buying used panties and stockings online. He says there’s no better smell than sweaty panties, and he’s not alone in thinking that.
On Sofia Gray, vendors often advertise sweaty underwear, like the California-based Peaches and Cream, who is selling one pair with this description:
“Wore these all day at work and then really got a good sweat on. It was butt day at the gym so they were constantly riding up 😉☺️ Felt so good to peel them off me at the end. Hope you enjoy 😍🥰”
Finding the perfect salty pair is as easy as filtering your search by scent. Workout, masturbation, and sex are the scents most likely to fulfill your sweaty desires. Otherwise, you can reach out to your favorite vendor and make a special request.
If you’re interested in finding out if sweaty panties are for you or if you just want a closer look at the world of sweat fetishism, check out the workout-scented panty collection on Sofia Gray. From lightly sweaty to totally soaked, we’ve got panties and even jockstraps made to order.