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Freud offers a different interpretation of fetish which is more anchored in the ideas of self-identity, sexuality, and its repression.

In his essay, "The Sexual Aberrations", he stated: "No other variation of the sexual instinct that borders on the pathological can lay so much claim to our interest as [fetishism], such is the peculiarity of the phenomena to which it gives rise." The Freudian meaning of fetish encompasses the idea of when an object (e.g. He argued that the fetish had two complementary functions.

Attraction can be viewed as a mechanism for choosing a healthy mate.Asian women, black men and women, and latina/os are often described as exotic, which is further discussed in Examples of Racial Fetishism.As Matthew W Hughey discusses in his article, "Making Everyday Microaggressions: An Exploratory Experimental Vignette study on the Presence and Power of Racial Microaggressions", Asian and Latino/Hispanic people were most likely to experience exoticization.The term has not been largely discussed in academia, however, because Freud's theories of sexual fetishism have become so influential since the late 19th century.Some writers who have extensively discussed racial fetishism include Homi K. The notion of "fetish" has been around for a very long time, and in fact, the origins of the word itself arose within imperial, racialized tensions.The term exotic, and being sexually interested in someone for their exotic traits, has become problematic when describing persons of color as it marginalizes their culture, reminding them that they are not a part of the norm, and their traits (physical and cultural) are considered as a part of the other.

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