What is Fetish

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What is fetish sex all about?

This article was written by Violet Blue.

Besides publications from fetish communities, little has been written about fetishes without sensationalizing them as bizarre, strange and deviant practices held only by a handful of people. This is despite the numerous conventions, well-attended events, magazines and newsgroups with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and fetish fashion boutiques all over the world. In many people’s minds, people with fetishes occupy the freakish end of the gene pool when it comes to sex, and politely consider fetishes a place where people with far-out sexual tastes can get their needs satisfied.

The truth is, when you look at cultural stereotypes of what constitutes “normal” sex, pretty much anything you do outside of married heterosexual missionary intercourse can be considered “deviant.” In reality, everyone has a fetish of one kind or another — a position, eye or hair color, or body part. When you think about fetishes in this light, it seems as though sexual fetishes are standard-issue, doled out to everyone with genitalia and a brain.

And they are — but I’ll admit that sometimes it’s fun to explore the more otherworldly sexual obsessions of people who seek out sexual experiences that I consider strange or puzzling, such as human ponies, balloon popping and bug crushing. Nowhere in the world of sexual expression do humans become more playful, and their tastes unpredictable, than in the world of sex classified as “fetish.”

When someone has a sexual fetish, it means that for them an object, manner of dress or specific scenario takes on a magical quality, has deeper meaning, and becomes part of their favorite sexual experiences — or are sometimes absolutely required for satisfying sexual release. The item or predicament is that person’s most reliable sex toy, and as we all know when it comes to coming, when you find something that works, you mine it for all it’s worth. Sometimes there is a rational explanation as to why a particular person is attracted to a certain pair of shoes, wearing restrictive and beautiful corsets, watching women smoke in the nude, or pop balloons during sex — though more often, there is no explanation for the magnetic pull of a fetish. We have many culturally accepted explanations as to why big boobs and huge cocks are fashionable, or even everyday, sexual fetishes, but people with fetishes outside the norm get stigmatized. This is tough to cope with when you (or your lover) have a fetish.

Fetishes do not discriminate based on gender, race or class. The fetishes themselves do not choose to be good or bad, to be owned by men or women. There are female fetishists who eroticize the same objects in the same manner as do men, though we tend to see more of the male perspective on the web and in magazines because culturally men are considered the primary consumers of pornography, and thus, sexuality. So gender isn’t a reliable explanation. But no one gets hit on the head, like in the movies, and wakes up with a fetish. Clinical explanations about fetishes evolving from childhood experiences and Freudian experiences with parental nudity all reek with the same contrived stink as theories about homosexuality from the 1950s.

Sometimes there is no rational explanation for having a particular fetish — though fetishists themselves are generally a very articulate group, and if you asked an individual in a Facebook group (before it gets censored) or chat room, I’ll bet you’d get an interesting earful.

Apart from amputee, giantess and other fetishes, fashion and rubber fetishists are a breed apart. Fetish fashion, and its refined connoisseurs, makes a couture designer’s obsessions seem trite. Leather, shiny rubber, PVC, plastics, liquid latex, corsets, stilettos and fantastically high heels, stockings and more all occupy this highly sexualized realm of style. This LatexWiki is a free, helpful source of information on rubber and latex fetish use and style.

Fetish fashion is a huge worldwide industry, especially in North America and Europe, and the sexuality inherent in “fetish” blends seamlessly with S/M practices and Gothic style — and it’s a common to see fetish events that are also S/M play parties. For the moneyed rubberist, corset-wearer or hard-core human animal fetishist (such as pony or dog), the fashion has become a fetish unto itself. The women at San Francisco’s renowned corset house Dark Garden have told me tales of fetishists who have custom-made rubber suits for every imaginable occasion, including a rubber undertaker’s suit. Fetish balls and conventions are typically high-fashion events with strict dress codes that embrace a wide variety of fetishes — as long as they dress to the nines.