This past week I had someone ask me some questions about fetishes and it got me thinking quite a bit on the subject. This also seems to flow with some of the things I have written about over the past few days.
While there are those in the lifestyle that would deny the sexual nature of things, I believe that by and large Femdom and D/s are driven heavily by our sexuality. It is common in writing for the terms kink and fetish to be used interchangeably. While they are similar, I believe that all fetishes are kinks, but a bit stronger in their nature.
To confront these topics with clear definitions it requires the concept of “normal” sexual arousal. While people will probably hate the use of normal as the word choice, kinks and fetishes are widely considered to be abnormal or unusual, so it does serve as a starting point.
For clarity, here is how I would define a normal sexual response:
Arousal caused by the act or fantasy of sexual stimulation, physical intimacy, physical attraction, or emotional stimulation to someone of the opposite sex for heterosexuals/bisexuals or same sex for homosexuals/bisexuals.
So… thinking about sex, normal. Kissing, normal. Admiring an attractive face or body, normal. Being wooed by heartfelt and meaningful words, normal. Basically, this list covers what society at large consider(ed) to be appropriate actions.
A kink then becomes an act or fantasy that causes sexual arousal for reasons that fall outside of those basic categories. Being tied up (or tying someone up). Being spanked (or spanking someone). Having your face sat on (or sitting on someone’s face). The list can go on and on.
Fetishes are of the same nature. What makes them a more refined version of a kink is the intensity of the desire. How I separate them in my own mind is that I see kinks as a preference and fetishes as a need. A kink you can do without. A fetish must be fed or the desire will overwhelm you.
The life of a fetishist is not an easy one. In many cases there is a lot of shame, a lot of guilt, and a cycle of self-loathing, purge, and rebound. Many a fetishist has wanted to wish it away, denied themselves, only to have it return later on just as strong or stronger as it was before. I have come to feel it is part of a person’s sexuality.
The difficulty of fetishes in relationships are often because the significant other of the fetishist often feels threatened and diminished by the fetish object. e.g. a woman dating a man with a shoe fetishist may feel like he cares more about the shoes than about her. He may reinforce this idea if he would rather masturbate onto her shoes than have sex with her. He may reinforce it even more if he only notices her shoes, only buys her shoes as gifts, and seems to neglect giving her compliments over other aspects of her appearance, personality, or accomplishments.
It’s kind of a vicious cycle, since piling guilt and shame onto a fetishist often makes the fetish even stronger. The majority of fetishists I have known over the years (myself included) have honestly desired to be able to wish the fetish away. Feeling guilt and shame over the arousal makes a situation ripe for fetish development. Most want to be normal many times over. Many have been rejected because of their fetish and fear rejection each and every time they reveal it to someone. Accepting someone’s fetish will go a long long way to endear them to you.
Personally, I believe that a sub’s kinks and fetishes provide the perfect tool to exploit. Their hope to have someone understand and accept their “abnormality” makes them naive when they encounter the most basic kindness in regards to it. They can be lulled into comfort and encouraged to share every deep and dark secret they have. They will will share their fantasies and give detailed accounts of what affects them. Once they have revealed it all they will be vulnerable… and prime to hear the Domme’s “true thoughts” on it (which may be blatant lies). Letting him know that his fetish makes him less of a man, perverse, and shameful, but she graciously “tolerates” it as long as he provides quality and obedient service will keep him off-balance. He will worry that he is not good enough and in turn will try harder on all fronts. This provides reinforcement that most women would not accept him as he is and make him more likely to go “all in” with his dedication. It might appear kind of cruel but in actuality he will be ecstatic that he wasn’t sent packing.
Once the fetish and its intricacies are known, it can be used and twisted in various ways. If he has a fetish for boots, they can be worn but only when he is locked in chastity. Or the fetish can only be used when accompanied by an act that he dislikes greatly, e.g. while inflicting significant (non-pleasurable) pain. Talking about it verbally and teasing with it can keep it as a continuous carrot to manipulate him. It also provides an additional symbol of desire that can be taken away and withheld.
Another route that can be taken in long-term relationships is forcing the sub to develop kinks (and possibly fetishes). Men can be conditioned sexually by creating sexual associations. Seducing him while he does chores and whispering something in his ear like, “It makes me so wet to see you so hard at work,” will get things started and providing some form of pleasurable contact upon the completion of the chores is one example. It will not take long before he starts building a kink for doing chores. Similarly, strictly controlling the environment and acts of how he receives pleasure is quite effective. The repetition will breed associative familiarity. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the touch, and so on will sink into the brain and become kinks. Limit his pleasure to this specific form over a long-period of time and it may create fetishes.
Once he has a set of abnormal desires worked into his sexuality, he is prime for a bit of insecurity to exploit. If a Domme makes it clear that she is the only one who would accept someone broken like that, he will be forever tied to her in that way.
While these techniques might not appeal to everyone, I’m guessing there are a handful of people out there thinking “ooh, I want to do that.” In any case, I am living proof that these techniques are quite effective.