Note: This is the last entry on the lecture series that I was hired to do. I just wanted to share this information with all of you. I will be doing the actual workshops in California in April, but as I was preparing them I wanted to make them available to all of you wonderful people who follow me. Thank you for your support.
Introduction to Kink: Fetishes
When you think of kink, what you are really thinking of are fetishes. So what is a fetish? It is something that a person finds sexually exciting, but which is not considered to be part of the mainstream sources of sexual stimulation. We’re all turned on by different things, and many of us are turned on by things that we may not even understand. That’s okay. This is just a little information about some of the most popular fetishes, and what they are all about.
Anal Sex: Most young people do not even consider this a fetish anymore. Anal sex has become pretty mainstream, though I am sure it would turn our grandparents hair if they knew. I think it is exciting to people because it is considered to be forbidden, and also because for men it stimulates the prostate gland, which is sort of like their G-Spot.
Bondage: Obviously this can be as simple as using whatever is handy to tie a person’s hands together, or as complicated as shibari (Japanese rope bondage.) Some people who love to be bound are fine with a simple restraint like gear ties, and some desperately want to feel the experience of being slowly worked into an elaborate set of knotwork. Either way, the pleasure is from the experience of being bound, and from the restriction of movement that comes with it.
Impact Play: This can be something a simple as a bare-hand spanking, or as complicated as paddles and whips. It is simply the joy you feel when you are hit with something. Impact play is one of the most common fetishes, and I think even most vanilla people like the idea of spanking.
Electrical Play: This is often using something like a Violet Wand of Tens unit. My Pet really loves electricity and electrical play, and many people find the sensations enjoyable. It’s the involuntary stimulation of muscles, the feeling of the electricity in the air, and a whole host of feelings related to the joy of electricity. Please note that it is very important to do this safely with toys made for electrical play. It is not safe or in any way okay to use things not designed for electrical play. I don’t care if you felt sexually aroused when you saw someone hooked up t a car battery in a movie. You cannot do this in real life. You will stop your heart.
Role Play: There are lots of different kinds of role-play. Many people enjoy playing out rape scenes because of the involuntary nature of the concept, which allows them to play with ideas they wouldn’t play with in “real life.” Others enjoy playing scenes involving age discrepancy, such as adult baby play, daddy-daughter play, or teacher-student play. As long as these scenes are negotiated in advance, there is nothing wrong with enjoying whatever fetish turns you on, but please remember that everything needs to be safe, sane, and consensual.
Furries: The media often portrays furries as too strange for words, and it’s unfortunate that these people are denigrated so much in popular culture just because they enjoy dressing up as animals to have sex. It’s about getting in touch with a more primal nature, and realizing that humans are animals, no matter how evolved we think we are. And for people who find their own bodies unattractive, it’s a safe place to hide (inside a suit) and be something other than themselves.
Feminization: Many men enjoy being forced into traditionally feminine roles, such as wearing female clothes or being forced to do housework. I think this is a reflection of how society lets women be “tomboys” while simultaneously forbidding men from showing any hint of femininity. I am sure you’re seeing by now that the main theme is taboo. If something is forbidden, it is bound to be fetishized.
Foot Fetishes: This is perhaps one of the oldest fetishes, and there have been many incarnations of this fetish. Some have argued that foot binding in China was a result of men having a fetish about feet. I personally have a friend who is really into feet, and also socks (particularly those with stripes) and shoes (particularly those with straps.) Foot worship, boot worship, boot blacking, and all related fetishes seem to be related to the idea that feet are an overlooked part of the body. Certainly they have a lot of nerves, so if you find yourself with someone who enjoys feet, you may enjoy it more than you expect.
Hook Suspension: There are groups all over of folks who like to be hung from hooks that are carefully placed under the skin. I saw my first hook suspension when I was seventeen, and I remember being shocked at how much the skin on the subject’s back could stretch. It must have been 12 to 14 inches off of his back, and yet somehow it was still attached. I admire the peace that people seem to find when they engage in hook suspension, and it does look like a very spiritual experience. However, like many folks, I worry too much about skin damage (scars and potential infections) so I prefer to watch.
Note: This is a very short list of just a few fetishes that are common. There are lots of fetishes, and it seems to me that as society accepts more and more things, fetishes get stranger and stranger (to accommodate the need to taboo). I think the key is not to judge “strange” as “bad.” Strange and weird things can be wonderful and enjoyable, and there is no reason to fear something just because you have never done it before.
There are many fetish lists available online, but of course, none of them are comprehensive because there will always be something else that someone else fins sexy. That’s not a bad thing. The difficult part is to find someone who is willing to indulge your fetishes, and to be able to communicate those fetishes effectively to your partner. It’s also important to be able to manage your disappointment, because no matter how much someone loves you, they imply may not be comfortable with you peeing on them. It’s important to respect the fact that just because you like something, doesn’t mean someone has to do it for you.
It’s also important to remember that just because something looked exciting to you in a pornographic move, that doesn’t mean you will enjoy it in real life. You may watch needle play in a video and think the blood is sexy, but in reality perhaps you are worried about germs and infections, and you don’t really want that done to you. It’s okay to find something exciting and still not want to do it. That’s the beauty of fantasy.
The key to experiencing fetishes is to find where your limits are. You have to really evaluate what you are comfortable with having done to your body. No one can tell you (and no one should try to tell you) what you are okay with. It’s a journey that we all have to take on our own.
It’s also important to note that you may change your mind over time. You can start out with limits in one place, and as you go through life, you might reevaluate where your limits are and push them farther. There is nothing at all wrong with changing your mind about what you are okay with. There is nothing at all wrong with thinking something is disgusting at first, and then coming around to wanting to try it years later. Don’t judge people whose limits are in different places than yours, as your own limits may move over time.
A fetish is nothing more than a thing that you find sexually arousing. It’s not a frightening thing, or a thing to be judged for. Many fetishes are based in acts that are considered taboo by mainstream people, and this is to be expected. Remember that you are the only person who can decide what you are comfortable with, and that you should never let anyone make you feel bad for the things that you find sexually exciting. We are all on our own journeys, and it’s important to remember that you can’t understand someone else’s journey because you haven’t lived through the things that they have lived through. Tolerance and understanding are key in the kink community, and I hope you will all remember to do your best to be open-minded about new ideas, and to show compassion to those who are different. That, more than anything else, is the spirit of the kink community.