An Exploration Of Armpit Fetish And The Community

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Are you embarrassed to stretch your arms after a long, sweaty workout for fear someone will catch a whiff? This embarrassment could be an exciting pleasure for folks with an armpit fetish. Otherwise known as maschalagnia, it’s when someone is sexually attracted to armpits. Let’s have a comprehensive look at this relatively uncommon kink in this guide.

Key Takeaways
  • People with armpit fetishes are sexually aroused by the armpit’s smell, look, or taste. Many tend to be turned on by underarm hair or prefer armpit hair.
  • There’s a clear connection between scent and arousal, and the armpit is one of the best places to sense natural body odor.
  • If you want to explore your armpit fetish, you can tell your partner that you enjoy their scent. From there, you can assess if they are open to armpit play.

What is an armpit fetish?

An Armpit Fetish, otherwise known as maschalagnia, is when someone is sexually aroused by the smell, look, and/or taste of armpits.  According to one fetish site, the scent of the armpit and its shape is often what attracts folks. Many folks with this fetish tend to be turned on by underarm hair (known as hircusophilism) or, at the very least, prefer hairy pits.

When scrolling through sites, the vast majority of images on the site tend to be women with hairy armpits. When browsing through the comments, it seems this kink is particularly prevalent among straight men. However, there are examples of folks of all identities being all about that armpit life.


Why are people turned on by armpits?

There is a clear connection between scent and arousal, and the armpit is one of the best places to pick up a person’s natural smell. One Reddit user describes discovering his fetish through his olfactory system.

“She had really wet armpits and some dark stubble, and as I guess she was dancing the whole afternoon in the sun, this smell was so intense and so womanly in some way. It was the most enjoyable sex I had had in my life..”

There’s a physiological reason sweat from one’s underarms can be alluring. The sweat in the armpits has 16 types of pheromones, which strongly affect attraction and arousal. One study measured the allure of armpits, collecting women’s armpit sweat and measuring its impact on the heterosexual men in the study. Saliva samples of the male participants were collected before and after the great sniff-off. They found that post-sniff men had a significant increase in testosterone and cortisol levels, indicating an increase in sexual desire.

A woman showing her armpit

There’s also a mood-enhancing effect of smelling, kissing, or licking pheromones. Androstadienone is a pheromone present in males, and when women smell this pheromone, they are more likely to experience an improved mood, greater focus, and increased sexual arousal. It’s no wonder some ladies are hungry for a sniff! Some research indicates that the scent of pheromones can help you pick a partner that’s a good evolutionary match. So this fetish can be your body’s way of guiding you to a well-suited partner!

For some folks, it’s the visual aspect of the armpit that excites them:

“What really gets me going is the curve of it, like seeing the shape when she lifts her arms just drives me absolutely wild, probably even more than the typical sexual bits do sometimes.”

For others, it’s more about women’s confidence not to shave their pits:

“She knows she’ll get hate and judgment from society for “not being ladylike,” yet she gives the finger to them and does her own thing. That’s the power you can’t buy. It’s either in you or it’s not.”

When doing a Reddit deep dive, many comments also explore the appeal of the visual connection between vaginas and armpits. For example, one Reddit user shared:

“You see a vagina; you see warm, wet, glistening, soft, smooth, and almost like forbidden, especially because it’s something that’s supposed to be kept generally hidden. An armpit fetish is an extension of that. Both can be smooth, moist, hidden, have an alluring scent, and warm.”

One main difference between vulvas and armpits, one Reddit user aptly notes, is that armpits are more accessible:

“you can see armpits everywhere in summer while a pussy is a woman’s most holy and best-guarded place.”

As with many fetishes, sometimes it’s a childhood experience that ignites one’s interest in a specific desire. As was shared on Reddit:

“I was hanging out with a neighbor girl, and she told me that her armpits were smelling funny sometimes. I asked her if I could check, and she lifted her arm. The smell was so intense, and I was so shocked by how aroused I was by that that I quickly went home.”

It’s the circumstances of our earliest arousal experiences that become imprinted on our sexual selves, often leading to the development of armpit fetishism.


How common is an armpit fetish?

As with many lesser-known fetishes, it isn’t easy to ascertain how common it is. It’s ubiquitous to be turned on by the pheromones emitted from an armpit and other places. However, many avid smellers are not specifically into the pits.

Several sites are devoted to exploring the beauty of the armpit, including Armpit Fetish and Man On Man Armpits.  Some are PG sites that show fully-clothed (mostly) women stretching, and more full-on sites depicting porn that uses the armpits in sexually explicit ways (such as using it for manual stimulation, etc.) Although it’s hard to know how many armpit enthusiasts are out there, after exploring one Reddit site featuring armpit photos that are 118k strong, it’s fair to say if armpits do it for you, you’re not alone!


How to explore it with a partner?

As with any fetish, sharing your desires with a partner can be challenging in a world with a long way to go in becoming sex-positive.  Remember that no matter how your partner responds – there’s nothing wrong with you.

Perhaps you can use a bit of tact to express your desire. For example, you can tell your partner you enjoy their scent. From there, you can assess if they are open to armpit play. As a general rule, it may be helpful to have an idea of what exactly you’re interested in trying so that you can paint a complete picture for your partner.

A couple having a discussion.

There are many ways to explore an armpit fetish with a partner. But it’s on you to share with your partner what your fantasy looks like.

  • If the smell attracts you, perhaps ask your partner not to shower and enjoy taking in their scent during sexual interactions so you can soak up all the delicious armpit pheromones. In this case, you should ask your partner not to wear deodorant, as it will detract from the smell (and is terrible for you to eat!).
  • If you want a full body experience, perhaps you ask your partner if you can bury your face in their armpit, as foreplay or during sex. You can also explore an armpit job. It’s also close to the breasts, so you can combine pleasures! Plus, there’s no risk of STIs.

The options are endless when transversing the world of armpit play. Happy exploring 🙂


PS, I am in the process of writing a book about demystifying fetishes. Please click here if you’re interested in sharing your experience with your fetish in the book (anonymously!) I also specialize in helping clients navigate fetishes. Please email me at [email protected] or check out my website to learn more.

Niki Davis-Fainbloom
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