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About The Fetish   

I Don't Know Why, But... this just seems to turn me on!

What is all this talk about fetishes? I see the word get thrown around in so many places. There are fetish web-sites, magazines, books and movies. I've been asked what my favorite fetish activity is. I've also heard people say that they are really into fetishes (plural) as if they would say that they like music or sports. Then we have those that say that they are fetish specific... what ever that means! I guess it means they only like leather or panties or something. Oh yes, and then there are the newsgroups. Have you ever surfed some of those? You have your usual things like feet, panties, stockings, legs breast.

Then there are the more, shall I say, off center fetishes. Used tampons, cigarette butts and, this one is interesting, the Barbie fetish. You name it and someone gets turned on by it. The Webster's Dictionary defines fetish as: 1. any object believed by

superstitious people to have magical power. 2. any thing or activity to which one is irrationally devoted to. 3. any non-sexual object, such as a foot or a glove, that abnormally excites erotic feelings. Wow! It sure is good to know that my four hundred dollar leather boots, are not really classified within the realm of fetish attire. I mean, I bought them because they were so darn sexy and I suppose that my slave wanting to lick them clean all the time is also not classified as a fetish either? What I mean is, I consider my boots a sexual item and it's not abnormal for men to like them and even become sexually aroused when they see me in them. No fetish here, right?

Of course boot fetish is a fetish though. I am just trying to make a point that definitions regarding human behaviour are very limited in their scope. Today we see fetish attraction and the associated behaviour to them as being rather normal. Our modern life has many, many things that may be called a fetish if we really want to use such a definition with them.

What about football or hockey? Don't both men and women alike often exhibit 'irrationall devotion' to that activity? Do we want to think of our interest in sports as a fetish activity? What would ESPN really be about then? Do we need to modify the definition of a fetish to fit our life today?

It doesn't take a genius to see that a great deal of attention in advertising many of our consumer products today promotes an erotic dimension to what is 'any non-sexual object'. How many automobiles, soft drinks, clothes etc., are marketed using sex, or some erotic image, associated to them? These high priced ads want to get us turned on so that we will drop our money into their product. What's the difference between lusting over any non-sexual object, such as a glove and a Jaguar? Not much in my book.

The only real difference that I can see is that our culture has decided to place one erotically stimulating object into the category of sexual deviation and the other into the category of status symbol. We want to think of a guy who likes to touch and wear panties as a pervert, but see the sports broadcaster, with all his shouting enthusiasm every night, as entertainment. The distinction between what is fetish and what is not seems to be arbitrary or, at best, conditional on what our society at large wishes to accept as "normal".

I suppose if I would venture to push my thinking out of the social and cultural envelope, I would answer those that ask me what my favorite fetish activity is, I would have to say, going to hockey games and collecting Barbies!

What we are attracted to and what we wish to call a fetish is a personal matter. To each of us, something, somewhere and somehow, triggered an erotic response in us. Maybe we were just feeling horny one day by something that we have not forgotten entirely, but a certain something else attracted our attention. Then, shazaam! A fetish was born!

Maybe we just always noticed something in particular when our thoughts wandered off to thinking of or seeing erotically attractive people. After a while we began to associate that item (panties, a glove, shoes, whatever) with that which was sexually pleasant to us. Maybe we just got brainwashed by the pop media or porn. What ever the genius, we like our fetish because it makes us feel sexy and our life seem vibrant.

Classic issues with fetishes have always been: Is a fetish abnormal and is it healthy? Why we always lump both these issues together I'm not sure. I suppose that when we use the word abnormal regarding erotic issues what most people are thinking is something much more judgmental than a simple demographic evaluation of what the majority of a given population practices. Is it deviant behaviour or perverted is more likely the intent of such a question. Whenever sex is enveloped our culture always wants to put virtue and vice on either plates of a scale to determine the moral integrity of an individual. Frankly, in terms of the number of people in our culture that have fetish interests, I think we can make an assumption that most people, even those with the highest moral credentials, have something which may qualify as such. Let's face it, even if we spend most of our energy denying that we are made of flesh and bones, we still have that nasty, nagging sexual itch. What is normal really doesn't matter. No two people are exactly alike so we can't really believe that all fetish interests are exactly alike. Common themes do exist, but it's a fruitless effort to try to qualify these as 'normal or abnormal'. I think it may be better to classify them as 'frequent or infrequent'.

The question of if a fetish is unhealthy is altogether a different matter. Here we can make an evaluation that will have some qualitative value. If the fetish interest is something that imposes itself on people other than those that voluntarily wish to be involved, then there is definitely a problem. Any fetish interest or practice must have an inert impact on anyone except he or she that has the fetish.

A fetish must also not negatively affect a person's life. If practicing a fetish creates problems with relationships, employment, finances or the law, something is wrong. If this is the case for someone then they need professional help.

Beyond the above mentioned concerns, I think most of our fetish interests are quite harmless and are simply expressions of our individual erotic emotions.

Within the context of BDSM, fetish interests abound. Some people will assert that the practice of BDSM itself is a fetish practice, which makes some sense. In general, I have found that most the people in the lifestyle that I know see Domination and submission as a skeleton practice which support a wide variety of fetish interests.

BDSM involves all of our senses. What we see, touch (or are touched by), hear, smell, and even taste are all color tints from our erotic palette that are used to create a mosaic of emotions and physical sensations that we crave so much. It's rather obvious that the clothes we wear and the toys we play with (whips, bondage equipment, etc.) are all intended to satisfy specific aesthetic preferences that flip erotic switches in our psyche. Leather, our second skin and the meat of many of the instruments of bondage and torture, is blatantly obvious

as a common fetish to many in the lifestyle. Leather has grown to be a symbol of dark erotic passion.

Leather garments are the default uniform for all that wish to project an attitude of defiance, rebellion and sensual freedom.

Not everyone is into leather though. Rubber, latex, PVC, satin, silk and lace all have dominant places in our lifestyle. These materials themselves constitute a fetish interest for many, however they are fashioned. Specific types of clothing are also important. Many people crave seeing or wearing corsets, cat suits, chaps, garter belts and nylons,etc. In fact, the list is much too long to even attempt to touch on the infinite variations of material and type of fetish garment which is worn or otherwise worshiped in the lifestyle. To each there is it's own dedicated following. I like many different materials and costumes, but love leather the most.

When one ventures off into role-play, they find even more erotically stimulating items that become fetish interests. I have met many a person that get turned on by the old white nurse's caps. Even the vintage white cotton nursing dresses (which are hard to find now but I do have a few) are craved by many.

Uniforms of all sorts are held in high regard by some populations and stiffly starched Nanny outfits by others. Equestrian riding clothing holds great interest by those that get into an aristocratic look and let's not forget all of those medieval re-enactors that use an interest in history to disguise their fetish. You name it and someone out there is lusting for it!

How we play with a fetish is really a matter of choice based on what the fetish means to us. If we are dominant, wearing something that symbolizes the kind of dominance that we perceive ourself as is important. If we are submissive, we may want to wear or see someone wearing something which triggers a helplessly erotic response in us. We may wish to wear something, be beaten by something, lick it, touch it, smell it, see it, or even hear it. Have you ever heard the voice of new leather boots as they are first worn? They have a certain crunching type sound to them when they are flexed that I simply love.

The details of the fetish are often very important to many people. Lace may need to be a certain color, or satin have just a certain sheen. Some people hate thong panties, but will die for a full cut back which covers the buttocks. The close stitching or texture of fabrics may be what really turns someone on about something. Having something cling tight to their body may be what is important to another. Other popular fetishes are very high heeled shoes, very long nails on a Mistress, bright red lipstick, spandex and lycra girdles or clothing... The list goes on and on...

Whatever the fetish interest is, it usually won't go away by trying to talk yourself out of it. Fetishes are erotic triggers to us and have more power over us when we deny ourselves access to them. For the most part, they are harmless and are simply expressions of individual erotic temperament and taste. Where they come from may be a mystery, or may be very obvious. Whatever they are and wherever they came from, they really are not something that need give us worry or concern. In fact, I like to think of them as gifts. Small pleasures that we are able to enjoy as we pass through life like beautiful gardens. To really get the most out of life and enjoy this time we have as living, breathing humans, we need to stop, look at, and smell the leather, er, roses. Hey while you're at it, don't forget the thorns!


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