For some time now, I have felt the need to reach out and express my welcome to the people in my community with sexual fetishes. I don’t know how many of those reading this post might be in that group, and I don’t know what the frequency of fetishism is among the general population. Quite frankly, the main reason I have felt the need to speak about the idea of fetishes is that I hear and know so little about them. The fact is that some of the people I most respect experience some form of sexual fetish or another, and I want to make it clear any and all of you that I welcome you into my life as you are.

The world has changed radically in the 29 years I have been on this planet. When I was young, the word “gay” was rarely spoken, and when it was, it was nearly always with an awkward, jocular, or insulting tone. In the last few decades, many of our communities have transformed to the point now that “gay”–the word and the concept–no longer carries the same stigma it once did.

But the word “fetish” is still unspoken and unacknowledged. In most circles, it is still relegated to the realm of edgy comedy. We act as if fetishes don’t exist, or as if they are  among the unspeakable things. I don’t suggest that we should talk about them to promote them. We need to talk about them because they are real, and the people who experience them are good people. Fetishists must be able to live their lives without the fear of being “discovered”. They must know they are safe in our communities and in our lives.

To be clear, I have no opinion on how people with fetishes choose to engage with their erotic predisposition. I don’t know what is healthy and what is not. But somewhere right now there is a 12 year-old boy who is growing up in a world that doesn’t understand him and the things he feels, and a 50 year-old married woman who feels she must hide her secret desire even from her husband. These sweet people did nothing to feed the urges they experience. They just happened.

If you find this message resonating with you, I hope you know that you are just as deserving of respect and admiration as any of us. There is no need to hide. You are welcome here.


One thought on “Fetishes

  1. Thanks for opening up respectful and empathetic conversation about this subject! I think it’s important that we as individuals and as a society learn how to communicate about these things. In order to form healthy relationships, people need to be able to identify their own needs and desires, express them, and invite their partners to do the same.
    One thing I wish people would talk about more is that fetishes/kinks don’t necessarily revolve around sex. For some people, kink is a different form of sensuality, which may or may not co-occur with sexual forms but is to some degree an independent set of drives or desires. Just like how the more cerebral side of relationships and orientation (romance and other forms of emotional bonding) is complex and varied, the visceral side (sensuality and sexuality) contains a lot of harmless natural variation.

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