Tuesday, 15 October 2019

THINGS I LEARNT FROM BEING WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS A FETISH


Although this post has been approved of by the person it regards/who has inspired me to write it, their identity is neither relevant nor going to be disclosed. Please respect this and meet my sexual partner pseudonym: Joe.

Before I met Joe, I knew almost nothing about fetishes, aside from the fact that they were probably weird. Chances are, that’s about as extensive as your knowledge as well. But never fear! I can’t stress enough how much my mind was opened by Joe and the world of fetishism, and I want to pass on what I learnt - like anything, talking about it and raising awareness helps remove stigmas and makes this whole sex thing a lot more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. There are loads of different fetishes, but I will only be talking about one, as it’s all I've had experience with. So get ready to learn what I learnt about foot fetishes:

- So, what actually is a fetish? Contrary to popular belief, fetishes are not just a sexual fantasy or for people who are particularly experimental. If the term ‘having a condition’ didn’t have so many negative connotations, I would describe having a fetish as a ‘condition,’ but unfortunately, that makes it sound like it needs to be cured. No, a fetish is how someone is hardwired. Literally. Let me explain:

The part of your brain that controls your feet is located immediately next to the part that controls your genitals (the somatosensory cortex, if we’re being sciencey). This closeness between feet and genital response is recognisable even for someone without a fetish; have you ever sort of felt an orgasm all the way into your toes? Or felt your feet cramp up even though you’re not telling them to when you’re having sex? Well, Joe’s foot fetish is a result of those two areas of his brain having sort of fused together, it's called ‘neural crosstalk.’ He was born with it. It is part of his anatomy. So even though pleasure and fantasies seem about as far away from being ‘scientific’ as possible, our sexual appetite is still the result of a bunch of atoms and reactions.

- If you think you might have a fetish, you probably don’t.  As aforementioned, there is no thinking involved; fetishes are an involuntary attraction. Sure, you might have a sexual fantasy or a favourite position. You might get really turned on by neck-kissing - but that doesn’t mean you have a neck-kissing fetish. To try to summarise the intensity of the attraction, Joe said to me:
‘If I was on a nudist beach, I’d be looking at the ground.” 
Still not appreciating the intensity?
As a treat (for example, on Joe's birthday) we would top-and-tail.

- Fetishes are more common than you think. It’s impossible to find an exact statistic because few people would readily admit that they have one. Because of the biological neural crossover, foot fetishes are definitely believed to be the most common. Fun fact: Elvis Presley had a foot fetish. The king of sock and sole!

- It sounds obvious, but having a foot fetish doesn’t mean you’re attracted to all feet. In fact, think about how many ugly feet there are in the world. Joe would agree with you. If anything, he was fussier than the average person when it came to who he was attracted to; if they were super fit but had weird toes, it was a no from him!

Having a fetish does not automatically make someone a hyper-sex maniac. The word 'fetish' has become synonymous with all things kinky and erotic, but people who have fetishes are absolutely capable of functioning with the same sexual self-control as anyone else. When Joe told me about his fetish, I remember thinking: how on earth am I meant to accommodate this? I don’t like feet? I don’t get it? The whole thing seemed very weird and intimidating. But, as with any sexual situation, it is not your responsibility to ‘perform’ for the other person. You’ll work it out together, the same as you would anyone else! In fact, it can be fun, and you might learn about yourself too! If you’re open-minded and detach yourself from the judgemental society we are all absorbed in, you will absolutely find things that are mutually enjoyable that you probably never would have (I never knew how nice foot massages could be!)

- Now, let's talk foot pics. You've seen the memes about selling photos of your toes for quick cash. It seems ludicrous, right? Well, I've certainly not sold any, but I can confirm that pictures of (nice!) feet are adequate sexual stimulation for someone with a foot fetish - preferable even to nudes. That said, I'm not sure why anyone would actually buy them (sorry gals) considering there are plenty of sites online to appease foot fetish needs: Wikifeet has feet pics of almost any celebrity you can think of! 

Don’t shame someone because they have a fetish. It’s literally discrimination! As we appreciate that you don’t learn or choose to be homo/heterosexual, you can’t choose to have a fetish, it’s just a part of who you are. Normally people say ‘Gross, how can you be attracted to feet?’ - but hopefully, you now know how that question is redundant because the person with the fetish doesn’t even know the answer. It’s not a conscious choice that they can bother explaining. Okay, we can’t all empathise with being sexually attracted to feet, so we easily dismiss it as weird and make people like Joe feel very ashamed or depressed as a result. But this lack of empathy is the fundamental source of homophobia, ableism, transphobia, etc. When we don’t understand because we don’t experience the same things, our automatic reaction is not to accept. But no one is asking you to send pics of your feet or dress up in rubber or have a fetish yourself, avoiding unkind comments and being interested rather than completely dismissive is sufficient enough! How lovely would life be if we could all be empathetic and accepting?

I hope that this post has shed some light on the wonderful world of fetishism. Remember, the world is a better place when we celebrate difference rather than shame it: please keep spreading the love!
Love, Haze x x x
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