What is a Primal Fetish? Definition + More


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Last Updated: April 17, 2021

A primal fetish can be defined by the desire for sexual activity where participants are in tune with their animalistic selves.

People who have this fetish often identify closely with an animal (or perhaps even more than one) that they act like during sex, or even in other interactions with their partner.

They may not identify with a particular animal either, they may just act animal-like when aroused. The animalistic behavior will continue through all sexual interaction. These are all common in primal sex:

  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Growling
  • Hair pulling
  • Spanking
  • Screaming

Sex between those with a primal fetish may look like they are wrestling, with the dominant partner overpowering the more submissive partner.

It may be playful and tender, or might be more violent and rough. There aren’t any rules – the participants follow their impulses, driven by instincts.

People that have this fetish typically identify with being the “prey” or “predator” which is similar to submissive and dominant. They may even identify with a particular animal as well, which may influence where or how they have sex. Animals they identify with may be real or imaginary (for example, werewolves are a common animal in the community).

Similar to actual animal relationships, many primal fetish relationships aren’t monogamous. That said, this fetish can definitely happen within a monogamous relationship. They often call partners their “mate.”

In the primal fetish community, forming tribes is common (similar to real animals). In these groups, members of tribes are protective of each other.

Primal Fetish + BDSM

Those with this fetish often find like-minded partners through BDSM dating sites or other communities/forums online. These usually have a dedicated section for particular fetishes (such as the subreddit BDSMPrimal).

Since submission and dominance is a key aspect of primal dynamics, BDSM and primal fetish can have a lot in common. However, people with a primal fetishe don’t typically use props such as handcuffs like many people in the BDSM community. Safe words as well as hard/soft limits are common within both groups.

Also, many within the community state that their desires are not fetishes since they don’t rely on an object or particular behavior like other fetishes.