Monday, August 17, 2009

Crush or Fetish?

Another three-part post. But this time I’m planning on having it finished and posted inside of a single week, rather than stretching it out over the course of seven like the last one ended up taking.

Of course, I wasn’t actually planning on that ridiculous seven week schedule for the last one. I never PLAN on these gaps and delays. They just kind of happen. In fact, if I hadn’t had this post nearly complete when Dad went into the hospital (again) on Saturday, there’d probably be nothing new here today.

[I swear, there are times that I think the hospital should issue my dad ‘frequent flier miles’ for his stays.]

But as I sit here typing this introduction thing, I’ve got the second and third part of this thing outlined, and neither part should take long to write, so I’m hoping that it all goes smoothly. Really, my only concern at this point is actually getting up to the library to post the damn things.

Oh, God Help Us, It’s Disclaimer Time Again!

Fetish is an overused word. And usually, when I see it being so carelessly tossed around, it’s also an improperly used term.

I bring this up because I’m going to be horribly misusing the word in this post, just like everyone else does, and I wanted you to know right up front that I DO know what it means. Despite what would be all the following evidence to the contrary if not for this little disclaimer.

‘Fetish’, when used in a sexual connotation refers to a body part, inanimate object, or abstract situation that – while not normally sexual in-and-of itself – is greatly arousing for the person that specific form of fetish affects.

I’ve seen and heard many a semi-informed argument whether a fetish is the same thing as a paraphilia. Paraphilias are acknowledged as medical/psychological disorders. A lot of people seem to think that ‘fetish’ and ‘paraphilia’ are interchangeable. But as I understand it, while paraphilia is an umbrella term that fetish sits under, fetish isn’t the only sexual behavior there. All fetishes are paraphilias, but not all paraphilias are fetishes.

Anyway, one of the biggest misunderstandings about what fetish actually means is illustrated by the guy who thinks that bare female feet are sexy, and then proclaims himself to have a foot fetish based on popular use of the word. (That could be me, by the way.) When in truth, one of the key ingredients in the definition of fetishism is the fact that a fetishist is unable to achieve sexual satisfaction without the object of his fetish being present.

I jack off. A lot. I’ve never jacked off with a foot in my lap (or my mouth, or whatever). And while I sometimes jack off to foot fetish porn, that’s only one in a large number of categories of masturbatory inspiration I’ve been known to use.

A true, by the books, according to definition ‘foot fetishist’ could only masturbate to foot fetish porn, and could only ‘complete’ a sexual act if there was some fetishistic footplay involved. (That’s not me.)

People these days seem to think that ‘sexual preference’ means whether you like having sex with men, women, or both – and that the term has no other uses. But a lot of what I see listed as fetishes (especially on places like FetLife) seem like they’d be more accurately listed as sexual preferences. I suppose that technically, I’d be considered more a foot preferencist than a foot fetishist. (Despite the fact that my spellchecker informs me that preferencist isn’t a word.)

The majority of the use I’ve seen ‘fetish’ gets falls somewhere in between the extremes of “I can’t get it up and get off unless she’s wearing studded leather” and “Like all guys, I think boobs are neat – therefore I must have a boob fetish!” Most people have what they call fetishes that aren’t (sex-)life or death necessary to get off, but are more than the basic genitals and erogenous zones.

And that’s the version of ‘fetish’ that I tend to use myself. I don’t list every part of a woman I like as a fetish (along with every sex toy I find interesting, and every fantasy that intrigues me), and I don’t seem to have any ‘true’ fetishes (nothing I can’t live without, if I had to). But if you ask me what fetishes I have, I can give you a long list of informal preferences that’ll probably make you sorry you asked.

The ‘Fetish’ of the Day

But this post isn’t about how badly I want to lick and suck on pretty bare female toes. Nor is it about my long-held desire to have some kind of erotic encounter with a woman made up like a clown.

I’m not here to talk about red hair, or unnaturally colored hair (fluorescent green, metallic purple, cotton candy pink, etc.), or pigtails, or glasses, or bridal lingerie. Today isn’t the day for discussion about body writing, or bananas as penetration toys, or girls named Molly (or Stephanie, or Jane), or any of a ridiculous number of things that really, really, really turn me on.

No, the current fetish of the day is something . . . different. Something that I’ve been pondering in the back of my head for some time now, wondering if it even IS a legitimate fetish (even by the loosely misdefined terms I’m using for it).

I Really Wish That Other Fetish Hadn’t Already Taken The Name

There are people who get off by watching a woman – either barefoot or wearing the infamous ‘sexy shoes’ – crush things beneath their feet. (Oftentimes live bugs and stuff.) This is known as the Crush Fetish, and it is going to cause me some problems this week.

As the existence of the previously known and acknowledged ‘crush fetish’ keeps me from using that name for what I’m going to be talking about, I will instead refer (once I get that far) to the Fetish of the Day as . . . the Fetish Crush.

Let’s hope that nobody confuses the two.

What Is a Crush?

When adults get themselves a boyfriend/girlfriend, the relationship is usually based on the existence of (whether real or not) love. But when kids attach themselves similarly, it’s only called ‘love’ by them. Adults look down on them and say that it’s just a crush.

Call it a crush. Call it puppy love, or infatuation, or whatever other term makes you happy. A crush isn’t a true emotional connection in the sense of romantic love. What it is, as near as I can tell, is an obsession.

But little kids don’t know obsession. They’re familiar with love, courtesy of television and movies and whatnot. And, of course, their parents, if they come from a non-dysfunctional family.

(A functional family is borderline. But if a dysfunctional family is way below the line, and a dystopia is the opposite of a utopia, then is a family that’s far above the line a ufunctional family? Why the fuck do I sit around wondering about these things?)

When a child becomes obsessed with another child (traditionally a child of the opposite sex in this still largely homophobic world of modern parenting) and ‘realizes’ that these feelings are ‘love’, it’s, “Oh, look, how cute, Jimmy has a little crush on Alison!” Or whatever.

But these crushes aren’t limited to age appropriate pairings. Or even category appropriate. Examples here are the kindergartener’s crush on his teacher, or the adolescent’s crush on the big famous rock-n-roller. [Not that I ever daydreamed about having a romantic relationship with Cyndi Lauper when I was young. Oh, heavens, no. *Turns and walks away, hands in pockets, whistling innocently.*]

So If That’s The Standard Crush, Then What’s Today’s Post About?

I’m a pervert. I’m into BDSM. I’m kinky (in theory, if not in practice). Kinky BDSM perverts don’t get ‘crushes’. And the only time that kinky BDSM perverts have something that could be called ‘puppy love’ is when they’re fucking their collared-and-leashed partner doggy style.

Since trying to become an active part of the BDSM and Sex-Positive communities, I’ve met people that I want to play with. I’ve met people that I want to fuck. But I’ve also met the other people.

What other people? I’m so glad that I pretended you asked. I’m talking about the people that I have to play with. (Not ‘want to’, but ‘have to’.) And the people that I think that I’ll die if I don’t fuck.

Unlike a small child, I understand obsession. As well as things like lust. I’ve met people that I know I’m not in love with (not yet, at any rate). But find myself obsessing over them.

Oh, not all the time. These people don’t occupy my every thought or anything. But I do find myself thinking about them more and more here lately. (Hence the blog post.)

Part of their recent increase in my thoughts is due in part – I’m almost certain – to my legendary virginity and my equally legendary desire to rid myself of it. I think that the conjunction of “This is someone that I have to fuck!” and “I have to fuck someone!” is causing me brain problems.

So Just Who Are My Fetish Crushes?

Ah, ah, ah . . . not so fast. Let’s start off with what type of people are my fetish crushes, and then move on from there.

So far, in the past year-and-a-half(-ish), I’ve attended: two KinkFests (which included two dungeon play parties at each event), the Halloween party at the Asylum Dungeon, three of Darklady’s ‘Sex-Positive’ parties (including her famous annual Masturbate-a-Thon), and a couple of munches.

Whenever I walk through a play party, I’ll watch people playing, and I’ll think to myself, “Man-oh-man, would I ever like to play with her.”

But here’s the thing: When I see a man and a woman playing together, I can’t tell if they’ve simply come together for the moment to play, or if they’re in a monogamous relationship, taking the opportunity to play in a semi-public forum. (Or on BDSM furniture that they themselves don’t own, or whatever.)

So while I walk around thinking, “I’d like to play with her,” I also find myself thinking, “I’d like to play with someone like her.”

I’d like to play with someone like her. Be in a relationship with someone like her. Have someone like her as a submissive/slave. Et cetera and so on.

I definitely have the mindset that I need to find myself an unattached woman for an eventual relationship (BDSM or otherwise) rather than plucking a specific somebody out of an already on-going situation.

But the more I experience the few goings-on that I’m able to within the local community, the more people I become aware of. I’m not so much actually meeting people as I am becoming familiar with the local players. The people that everybody knows. (The ‘Norms from Cheers’.)

Some of these people have made me think thoughts close to – but not quite at – Fetish Crush level interest. Some of them are people that I’d definitely seize the opportunity to play with, given the chance.

But my actual Fetish Crushes thus far have been more along the lines of celebrity/professional types in the local sex and/or BDSM fields. I’m talking about writers, artists, workshop instructors, and so on. People who I not only find incredibly hot, but who also hold what I see as being some position of authority.

Yeah, crush might usually be between equals, bur Fetish Crush – at least for me – is more along the lines of the teacher/rockstar thing.

I Repeat: Just Who Are My Fetish Crushes?

Well, I’ll tell you this . . . there are currently two of them. And if I really am back on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, then there are two posts left this week.

Cue evil laughter.

Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha . . .

Cue ‘TO BE CONTINUED’ banner.

To Be Continued

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