A wet and messy fetish (WAM) is a form of sexual fetishism that has a person getting aroused by substances applied on the body like mud, shaving foam, custard pudding, chocolate sauce , etc. It could also involve wet clothes, or any combination of the above. The arousal occurs when the substance is deliberately and generously applied to the naked skin, or to the clothes the person is wearing. It also could occur when seeing someone else getting wet and/or messy.
The fetish is divided into four major categories
- Messy - the applying of largely opaque substances not usually used in this fashion. This includes food, shaving cream and mud. A major subdivison of food play involves striking people with cream pies much like in silent comedy films. This category also includes wrestling in mud, oil or gelatin.
- Wet - The major varieties are of images of people in completely soaked clothing, usually involving full clothing ensembles.
- Quicksand - images of people sinking in quicksand. In drawn images, the stage where female characters sink up to their chests and their breasts are pushed up in response is a favourite.
- Underwater - Also called aquaphilia. Involves images of people swimming or posing underwater. Some subsets of this category are underwater fashion (models posing underwater, often while fully clothed), scuba, rubber (people in skin-tight rubber wetsuits), simulated drowning, and underwater sex.
Bodily fluids such as feces, urine and semen are not usually considered part of WAM. The former two are typically considered coprophilia and urophilia; the latter is rather mainstream pornography (see cumshot).
One theory is that the feeling of wet and messy substances on the skin is a surrogate for the feeling of touching a partners' skin while having sex. Other theories are that getting wet and messy amplifies or exaggerates the feelings of lust. Yet another theory is that seeing another person or yourself getting wet and/or messy is arousing, because it reminds of the natural moistures the body excretes when sexually aroused.
Part of the current awareness of wet and messy fetishism is due to the British fetish magazine Splosh! , which in the 1980s featured pictures of, and stories about, women in wet and messy situations.