Fetish Series: Pushing Boundaries

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It is simultaneously really simple and really difficult to define what a fetish is.

From the Wiki page, the suggestion is that a sexual fetish is a focus on an inanimate object or non-genital part of the body. The idea is that a person gets sexual pleasure from something that is not inherently sexual.

In spite of this seemingly easy definition, I would argue that in practice, there are actually a lot of gray areas involved.

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For example, hook suspension is not a new practice, and not all people that do it fetishize it. However, some people who do it do fetishize it. So when we talk about it, it’s important to be clear that some do it for the mental clarity and the peace they feel when they are suspended. On the other hand, some get a sexual thrill from it. (Watching, participating, doing the rigging, etc.)

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Many things being fetishized are not always a fetish. Take Tens Units and Violet Wands, for example. Many people do use these devices to stimulate muscles after an injury or to help with muscle spasms (as is their stated purpose.) However, many others have an electricity fetish and consider these devices to be kinky. In fact, at most “tastings” (fetish events where you can try things out) there will be a station set up with a Tens Unit or Violet Wand.

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You are always going to find people who use a vibrator as a “neck massager” because that is how it is advertised and they really are that naive. Most of us can agree as a society that we know a Magic Wand is for female masturbation and not neck massages.

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My point is, in some ways a Violet Wand is a sex toy, and in some ways it is not. If you get a thrill from electricity like my husband does, then it is definitely a sex toy. However, if you’re using it for a muscle injury, then obviously it is not.

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Additionally, you are likely to see things like Violet wands and Hook Suspensions at a kink party in Arizona (where I am from,) but that doesn’t mean that the people who are there for those things are necessarily part of the kink community. So, on the outer limits of fetish culture there are blurred lines, and you should try to avoid making assumptions if you can. Always ask people questions rather than guessing at the answers.

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As I have said through all the posts in this fetish series I am doing, there are blurred lines. Vanilla people engage in a lot of behavior that could be considered fetishized, but they don’t think of it that way or interact with the community. And in the community many people do things that seem like they are extreme and pushing the outer limits of kink, but some of those people don’t consider those things at all sexual.

The key to all of this is just to try to remain tolerant, open-minded, and understanding.

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Introduction to Fetishes

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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.

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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.

Limits

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.

Summary

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.

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Forever is About Six Months.

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BDSM is a huge and varied thing. There are so many different sub-groups and various fetishes within the kink community that it’s hard to ever sum it up. From furries to foot fetishists to hook suspension groups, the rabbit hole is deep, and it’s a long way down.

I was talking recently with a Dom friend of mine, who was mentioning how surprised he was by things that he ended up doing, which he thought he would never do. He said someone told him when he got into the community that “Forever is about six months.” Meaning, you say you’ll never do something, not ever ever ever, and then you end up trying it down the road.

I have found this to be a regularly occurring phenomenon, so I thought I’d devote a post to the most common things people say that they will never ever do.

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Needle Play: The art of needle play involves putting needles under someone’s skin. Of course one must make sure that said needles are sterile and, because bacteria like staff and MRSA can live on the skin, you must also use alcohol to clean the skin before inserting any needles. This can be a simple affair with one or two needles used only for sensation, or it can become an art form when people use many needles to make beautiful and intricate designs.

People say they will never ever do it mostly if they are freaked out by needles, and the feel of one sliding into their skin. But if practiced correctly, needle play is not like getting blood drawn, because the needles do not go in that deep. They are meant to be slid right under the top layer of skin, and pushed sideways, so as not to go into the tissue and cause permanent damage. This actually causes very little pain, and because the needles do not go deep, it lacks the sense of violation that some feel when a needle to pushed deep into a vein for a IV or something.

Yes, I have tried it. It was an experience and I’m glad I did it, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to want to do it often.

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Piss Play: I guess there are a thousand ways to describe this one, though I mostly hear “golden showers,” or “watersports.” This is the act of someone peeing on you, or peeing on someone. Most typically done outside or in a shower or bathtub, it is something that plays on a deep-seeded taboo in the human mind that one should not touch waste from their own body or from someone else’s.

Most people say they will never ever do this because it is gross, and I admit that there is an ick factor involved. It’s better if the person doing the peeing drinks lots of water first, because there is less of a smell then.

I have talked to several people who ended up trying it, and mostly there is two sides to it. The first is the side of the person who wants to pee on someone. For them, it is often described as an act of control, or the ultimate submission of their partner to their will. For the person on the receiving end, I have had it described to me as being incredibly hot because it is so wrong to them. To do something so gross just to please their master brings them joy.

I also tried this, and I don’t see the appeal myself in peeing on someone (or being peed on for that matter). But I don’t judge people who like it because I’m into some strange things myself and we should never judge our fellow kinksters.

*Side note: I have never actually met anyone who is into scat play, nor have I ever tried it. I am sure someone, somewhere does it. But I guess I feel it’s so very uncommon that it doesn’t need to be addressed. I promise to change my mind of I ever actually meet someone who likes to play with poo. 

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Bukkake: This is basically playing with cum in various ways. In some cases, it can just be a man cumming on his partner, perhaps in a more taboo area like the face. Or, for a sub of mine, he would cum on my stomach and then lick it up slowly while making eye contact with me. It can even include food; for example a man cumming on a piece of food and then making his partner eat it.

This is often a never ever for people who find cum disgusting. It does have a odd taste and consistency that can put people off, and of course it is a bodily fluid and some people are just bothered by bodily fluids in general.

For me, I think the sexist example was the sub I had in Arizona who liked to lick his cum off of me, because he just looked so damn hot doing it. I also had a Dom who would cum inside of me, lick it up, and then spit on me. That was actually pretty sexy too. I guess this falls into the category of something I like to do, though only after exchanging STD tests because one should always do that before becoming fluid bonded to another person.

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Hook Suspension: This is when a person has hooks carefully placed into various points in their skin, and then is lifted off the ground or pulled by another person controlling the hooks.

The first time I saw a hook suspension was at a concert when I was 17. I remember being amazed at how far the man’s skin stretched from his body. He was swinging across the stage and the skin on his back was stretched about 18 inches from his bones. It almost looked like he had a pair of wings.

This gets a never ever reaction from a lot of people because they expect that it would be very painful to have their skin penetrated by hooks, and then used to support the weight of their body.

This is actually the one things I’m going to tell you about today that I have never done. I have wanted to. My friends in Suspension Merriment are wonderful people (I love that they call themselves “hookers”) and they always look so peaceful when they are hanging.

My reason for not doing it is because I don’t go into shock or get endorphins when my body is injured. I broke my arm a few years ago and instead of getting a rush of adrenalin and endorphins that helped me deal with it, it simply hurt the whole time I was getting to the hospital and waiting there to be helped.  I think for me, it would not be a spiritual and amazing experience, but more of a trial that I just don’t feel ready to endure. But again, I love the folks who do it. They are great people. I respect what they do and don’t judge another person’s kink.

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Fisting: This is one of those things that sounds really scary if you’re the owner of a vagina. After all, a hand is pretty big usually, and it doesn’t seem like it would fit. People say they would never ever do this for a lot of reasons. Girls worry that it will hurt, or that their vagina will tear. Also there is the concern that if it is stretched out, it won’t go back to being tight again.

First I’ll just say that the vagina is amazingly stretchy and meant to pass a baby through. Yes, it can stretch, and yes it will shrink back to it’s original size (though the time that takes can vary from person to person.) This doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous, because not using lube or moving too fast can tear the vagina and cause infection, or even require stitches.

I have done this, and I like it. It’s one of those things that I have to be in the mood for. But I like it, and have even gone as far as trying anal fisting, which I also enjoyed, (but again, I had to be really aroused first because I feel like tissue is more pliable and tolerant of abuse when it is full of blood and aroused). I have also done it to several girlfriends, who also enjoyed it once they were into it. Some took awhile to work up to it though, as in, not on the first try. I have yet to fist a guy, but I’m not ruling it out.

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I could go on and on. I know some people find furries strange, as well as pet play and rape play. Perhaps I’ll get to those another day. For now, these are just some examples.

I promise you that my 16-year-old self who first entered a dungeon was not okay with any of these things. At one point, they were hard limits for me. And over time, they became soft limits, and then I tried them.

In fact, I have found myself doing all manner of weird things, from dental play to role play, that I thought when I was younger that I wouldn’t do.

Rough sex with a little choking or slapping is a long way from hook suspension. It has certainly been an interesting journey. But the point is that “never ever” is something that we all say about something at some point, and it is truly amazing how fast you can go from that feeling of “hell no” to that feeling of “hell yeah.”

As the saying goes; forever, for many in the community, is about six months.

Final note: It should also be mentioned that a person’s chemistry with another person is a huge factor. It takes a certain type of person and the right kind of chemistry to push and break limits. Even if you’re okay with something with one person, sometimes you’re not with another. And that is okay. One can not understate the importance of personalities matching up and chemistry between people.

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To The Desert I Go…

This is the desert of Arizona.

This is the desert of Arizona.

So the scene in Arizona is wild. There is a lot of hook suspensions and small fetlife munches on a Tuesday night draw about 90 people. It’s a scene unlike any other I have seen.

The big thing I came here for is the Horns and Halos Fetish prom. I have been to fetish proms that were really awesome, but none as good as the ones in Arizona. I don’t know why that is, but these kids really know how to get some serious kink on, while drawing great bands and vendors as well.

The crowd cheering for Element a440 at a previous prom.

The crowd cheering for Element a440 at a previous prom.

There are usually strippers, stage shows, vendors, and all mannar of fun kinky things to do. A boy I met the other day told me he brought a paddle to the last Horns and Halos prom, and ended up with a line of girls waiting to be spanked. That’s the kind of stuff that happens at these proms.

Just a pretty girl on a stripper pole...

Just a pretty girl on a stripper pole…

When I was in Korea, I threw some small fetish proms that were fun, but barely broke 100 people. The Horns and Halos proms are so big that they rent an entire hotel for the after-hours party.

Side-stage kink/fetish show

Side-stage kink/fetish show

I’m really excited to be here for the next event. I’ll be promoting for Doctor Xtreme while I am there, and my Pet is even going to fly out. This is going to be SO much fun!