Sunday, March 13, 2016


If your culture tells you that the only way to express a certain sexual desire is through deviant means, where the fetish itself is indistinguishable from its accompanying vices, then it's not hard to imagine a person having an affinity for this desire going through a tentative and troubled process of discovery in which they must question whether it is the vices they are attracted to as much as the fetish itself. Is it not clear, then, that this strategy - entirely apart from discouraging people from adopting this particular fetish (as if people have that choice) - serves to steer those who are "afflicted" with such a desire into those vice-ridden behaviors that have become associated with it? Is the concept of erotic attraction to specific forms of beauty we don't understand so odious that we must sabotage a person's ability to maintain their human decency in the face of the desire to transgress some contemporary taboo, in the process creating more of the vice we condemn?

If it is at all possible to conceptualize a deviant fetish in a positive light, unmarred by a priori connections with universally condemned behaviors (such as the selfish - as opposed to a mutual - pursuit of pleasure without regard to the consent or well-being of others) - as I have tried to do in the past regarding voyeurism and exhibitionism - even though the deviant's desires may be problematic, would this not be preferable to driving the fetishist into a psychological corner, in which they must choose between ultimately resolving their cognitive dissonance through an internal acceptance of the antisocial tendencies associated with the fetish ("if fetishists are bad, and I have this fetish, then I may as well join the dark side"), and leading a mental life on the knife's edge between flying straight, and giving in during a moment of weakness to the never-ending darkness and self-loathing of a lifetime of denying one of mankind's most basic needs?

Simply put, does nature create monsters, or do we create them ourselves, materializing from our paranoid anxieties as if from a self-fulfilling prophecy?

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