Dita Parker

Friday, May 4, 2012

Objects of desire

High time for another installment of Frisky Friday, don't you think? I think we'd pick up where we left off and talk fetishes. No, don't go! If you've read even one of my FF posts, you know this may very well concern you, too. Spice up your sex life. Give food for thought, at the very least.

But when I said fetish, you saw a dude in latex licking lady-toe like mad. Some of you did, admit it. Because admittedly, the more mainstream the imagery has become (see e.g.: every other music video these days), the more exposure even the most hardcore branches have gotten and the more misunderstandings have ensued.

The thing is that when it comes to fetishes, everybody has one, or two, or a few. The problem is that when the word comes up, others often follow, words such as bizarre, deviant, taboo, perverted, kinky. Fetishism, like so many other sex-related terminology (see: post on porn), has become a blanket term for everything from a clinical condition where your sole source of sexual stimulus/satisfaction is sucking that toe/watching someone suck toe/thinking about sucking of said toe to the simple fact you find feet the most erotic part of the human anatomy.

A sexual fetish is a fixation ranging in degree from playful to paraphilic on a body part (e.g. breasts), an object (e.g. a bra), a medium (lace), an individual (lingerie model) or situation (insert favorite fantasy starring lingerie model) that is a prerequisite for your arousal. But since anything can and has been eroticized, is it any wonder the word fetish comes with baggage of the overweight kind.

Let's rummage through that case, shall we? First item, a prominent one: clothing. There are loads of clothes in that bag, Special Mention: shoes, uniforms and lingerie, leather and latex, and transvestic items. We could of course wear most anything that protects us from the elements. But most of us pay attention to things like colors and textures and tailoring, fabric and feel and function. Fashion. We dress to impress and we dress to attract. We emphasize and exaggerate. Some garments we simply find pleasing, some a pleasure, on ourselves or on others. Underwear, high-heeled boots, gloves, tight skirts, short skirts, military apparel, stretch fabrics...

Next to come out of that case: body parts. Partialism is an intense focus on a specific body part, a part some find as or even more sexually attractive as the genitals. So lots of hands, fingers and fingernails in that case. Plenty of legs and feet. Lips, breasts and buttocks, too. Many overlooked erogenous parts feature: the navel and knees, ears and armpits.

What else have we got in there? Hair, or lack thereof. Many a woman fancy a hairy chest or a shaved head. Many a man drool over certain hair colors, lengths or dos. For some, it's all about tattoos or body piercings. For others, it's an age thing, the knowledge they are much older or younger than you are. Some find there is no turn-on greater than a certain shape or size; a really tiny/large woman, a truly muscled man, a pregnant belly.

Impregnating that belly. Exhibitionism, voyeurism. Power play. Authority figures. (Which brings us really close to a related issue, BDSM, which deserves a post or seven all its own.) Sexual arousal may occur from anything. Anything can travel in that bag. But that anything is such a subjective, personal issue, it can be hard to understand why your turn-off is someone's turn-on, or why not everyone finds pleasure in the things you do.

Who's holding that bag? Someone for whom fetishes replace true intimacy and/or cause distress. Someone for whom fetishism is an integral part of their sexual identity. Someone for whom fetishes are a casual prop, an occasional spice, a playful form of intimacy and variety. Most everyone has some setup, person, personality trait or body part that turns them on more than any other they can imagine. Some have fun with it in the bedroom, alone or with their partners. It can be something so simple not everyone acknowledges it for what it is. It can be something you consider so atypical, extreme even, you'd never tell a soul what it is.

We agree, mehopes, that taste is a subjective issue. What lies within the boundaries of normal (now there's a word I find disturbing) sexuality varies not only by individual but time and place as well. Yesterday's horror is tomorrow's ho-hum. Don't be too hard on yourself. So your fetish borders on the unconventional (one of my favorite words). If it doesn't affect your life or relationships, if you're not hurting anyone with it, physically or emotionally, it should be a source of pleasure, not shame!

Sex is too important to be left drifting in the fogs of confusion and misunderstanding. It's a positive, pleasurable thing, is it not? At its best, sex is not only a source of physical satisfaction but a window, an exploration into your psyche, relationships and relationship patterns. Your next week's mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give it a think. Is there a certain type of person/personality you find especially attractive? Certain settings or scenarios you find super arousing? Specific body parts or paraphernalia that really turn you on? What lies at the root of them...that's not necessarily for me to know, only you to find out. I hope it helps you understand your preferences better. I hope it helps you enjoy sex and your sexuality more.

Until next time, dearest denizens! Keep thinking sexy thoughts.


Ann Jacobs said...

Great article! I find fetishes fascinating, so much so that I didn't just write a BDSM/fetish story, I wrote a whole series of them: Necessary Roughness, available from Ellora's Cave either as the series in a print book or the four individual stories. Each features a different fetish or fetishes: hair, cocks, body types, voyeurism, rope bondage, etc.

The story I'm writing now has a heroine who gets off, being watched, and a hero who pretty much prefers to be the only man watching her. It should be finished and in to our mutual editor next week--watch for Lovers' Feud, for a full-length story that has a non-sex story line as well as being chock-full of kink!

Dita Parker said...

Hi Ann,

Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

I find fetishes totally fascinating too, especially since it can be anything under the sun, literally. There are infinite variations to explore as a writer.

Since I'm not at it, jot it down, dearest denizens, and check out Ann's!

BeccL said...

Hi Dita,
Loved the article on Fetishes, and I'm looking forward to reading more on your blog

Dita Parker said...

Hi Becca,

Sorry for the hold up, had to catch some Z's! Stupid time difference...

And thank you! All the old posts should be tagged Frisky Friday. Well, future ones, too.

Have a great weekend, wherever you are! (Me? Northern Europe.)

Cris Anson said...

Thanks, Dita, for such a thought-provoking blog. I'm sure the average (is that like "normal"?) person has no clue of the range of things that encompass that word fetish.

And at the risk of being redundant, I'm thinking about my own fetishes....

Dita Parker said...

Hi Cris,

Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

If you thought it was thought-provoking, my work here is done. ;)

Ponder away. When I stopped to think about it, really think about it, I have to say I'll never look at certain things the same way again. Which is just as well.

Riley Murphy said...

Hi Dita!

Great post! As I emailed to you I had this really long comment that got lost. Big drag there, but what can you do?

Second time around I'm going to be shorter and say, I totally agree with you about the positive slant on sex/sexuality. In my recently contraced book, Reluctant Surrender, this (sex positive) concept is what the hero wants to impress upon his reluctant heroine. She suspects she may have submissive tendencies but has never acted on them because she preceives them to be wrong.When she tells him that these things aren't normal, he asks her who got to define what 'normal' is? God? Society? Her parents? She's never really thought about it before -Which leads them into a really great discussion about being authentic and embracing your own unique-to-you 'normal' whether it's your desires or needs. No two people are alike so 'normal' sex as opposed to 'kiny' sex have to synonymous, right?

Again, great post!


Dita Parker said...

Hi Riley,

You're here, you're finally here! Thanks for trying again. Bad Blogger!

When it comes to sex, if there's one thing I'll never tire talking about or encouraging people to explore is *their thing*, whatever that is. It may clash with popular opinion but so what? That's just an opinion. Someone else's opinion. What is it *you* want? It may clash with what your partner likes, but that's why I think it's imperative people talk about things.

And don't do anything just because someone asks you to, but if you're at all curious, why not? You never know what new favorites you might find!

So yeah, the discussion your characters have in Reluctant Surrender is a talk I believe everyone should have.

Thanks for playing, and happy writing!