This blog is nearing its 2nd anniversary. This is both a tremendous achievement for everyone who has read along for this long as well as for me for being messed up about my love life to have somehow managed to fill so many months with content about it. I’ve gone over all of my notable interactions and recollections of interactions I have ever had with the opposite sex, from elementary school to now, spanning over 30 years of futility. I’ve also gone over many of my own insecurities (especially regarding inexperience and virginity), as well as listed all of my dating flaws and strengths. Yet there is one topic which is related to all of this which I have danced around, if only because I never knew quite how to word it or go on about it without it seeming like gibberish. In fact I still don’t. But in the name of getting in at least one posting for June, I may as well try. This entire blog is supposed to be about me putting text to my own thoughts inside my head which I never share with anyone, anywhere, at anytime, regarding women. And this may as well be the big kinky elephant in the room.
I have a fetish. I mentioned it in passing in an article in 2014 but I honestly forget which. It doesn’t effect how I view women nor is it something I need to rely on to attain arousal 100% of the time. However, it exists, and has been a part of my sexual development (or lack thereof) since I was a child.
Supposedly, erotic fetishes have existed since history began, but modern psychology began mentioning and defining it at the end of the 19th century (circa 1887). They can revolve around almost anything, but usually revolve around a particular body part, activity, sensation, and/or object. It is still listed as a mental disorder in the latest “DSM” (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which doctors use as a guide to diagnose mental illnesses as of its 5th edition in 2013. Sigmund Freud connected it to genitals because, well, he did that with almost everything if you research his work enough. According to a study done in 2011, most people who have (or admit to) a fetish (or “fetishistic fantasies”) are men, to the tune of roughly 30%. This isn’t to say that women don’t have fetishes too, but as most of society and the media are constructed by men for men, as well as the longtime social stigma against women “owning” their sexuality, it either is less common or less readily admitted to researchers. The most common are “foot fetishes” but others include bondage (from soft to hardcore), rubber clothing, particular costumes, and so on. While it can be weird, apparently only 1% of psychiatric patients reporting it as their primary problem. It can lead to criminal activity if it becomes twisted enough to target children or animals, and it seems that no end of sexual predators seem to have some sort of fetishism to their acts.
I’ve not admitted that I have a fetish to anyone, nor hinted at it. In fact, I won’t even admit to what it is here, under the anonymity of text. I will say that it doesn’t revolve around anything illegal. Even if someone were to guess it, I would deny it. One of my friends admitted to having a similar one himself in high school, but I could never bring myself to concur or admit that I shared it. It is a part of myself which is locked in a box inside of me, which I do not share with anyone. It seems shameful and disgusting, even while to me it remains arousing. Which is an added complication when to me, sexual desire and lust have been one sided and frustrating for me. It is just one more obstacle or thing to deal with. It doesn’t help that most pornography or imagery which revolves around it seems to imply or showcase elements that I don’t like, but seem to be the norm for it.
Some men with fetishes seem to make their entire identity around it. Perhaps this is to “own” it, or to shift the feeling of awkwardness from themselves to others. I have heard of some men on dating websites admitting to such a thing in a profile or even opening communications. To me, that seems absolutely terrifying; perhaps even more so than admitting virginity. As embarrassing as it is to admit to being an older male virgin, it is possible for one reaction to be pity or sympathy. It is hard to sympathize with someone with a fetish. Then you’re just a skeevy creep, like a peeping tom who collects underwear. To the point that I even fear being more blunt about it here, on my own blog.
To a degree there is more of an openness to fetishes or “kinkyness” in recent times than in the past. Madonna pushed those envelopes in the 80’s and many other pop artists have done so since. Surely the success of fare such as “Twilight” or “50 Shades of Grey” can be attributed to this. I’ve seen the term “kinkshame” thrown about for those being judging towards it online, or at least joking as being so (as a shift from the term “slutshame”, where women are unfairly judged for being as confident about sex as most men are or want to be). But just because people are more willing to joke about kinks online or use it to sell songs, books, or films in the media, doesn’t mean that it is accepted. That I would be accepted. After all, that is something I have never felt within the realm of romance, dating, or lust – accepted. As close as I ever get is seeing the “you must be THIS TALL to ride” sign.
This is an odd post, I guess. I admit to having a fetish, how having it both arouses and excites me, and about how it, like everything else sexual about me, I keep to myself – all while keeping it a mystery! Maybe nobody has to “kinkshame” me when I secretly “kinkshame” myself. It’s neither a flaw or a strength, a handicap or a boon. Just something else which is there, which adds to the overwhelming sense of fear and learned helplessness I have revolving dating. So long as it isn’t directed at illegal or unwilling targets, I don’t harshly judge the fetishes of others. But I have long learned that being open minded myself doesn’t guarantee that anyone I encounter will be. It is not something I have made my identity, nor something which interferes with my interactions or attempted interactions with women. It is just there, another thing about myself to put in a box and bury from sight. It seems there are a lot of those elements within myself, so much of myself that I hide from the world behind a mask. I am not alone in this, but it can be lonely all the same.