While speaking at a sex show in Vancouver, a colleague mentioned a discussion with her morning waiter from our hotel restaurant. He confessed to her that no woman he has yet met was "perfect" enough for him.
As such he decided the best compromise was to buy a perfectly proportioned blow-up doll. Problem was it was going to cost him over $10,000 (USD). He had been saving from his two waitering jobs and had almost come up with the entire amount. He was eagerly anticipating when he would finally be able to have his perfect woman.
What I found interesting was my colleague's reaction. She is in the business of selling sex paraphernalia and yet she was mildly disgusted with this man's intentions. From her reaction, I assumed he was some overt pervert let loose in Vancouver.
As fate would have it, the next morning this man was my waiter. To my surprise he was extremely courteous and polite; in fact, he was the epitome of professionalism. As I covertly watched him under lowered lashes, I could tell he treated his fellow female (and male) staff with the same level of respect.
It seemed to me he was a nice guy who happened to want sex with a blow-up doll.
Fetishes are definitely something people don't understand and therefore label as deviant. Because these people don't toe the what-is-socially-acceptable-for-sexual-behaviour line (i.e. heterosexual monogamous sex) they are automatically labelled as freaks.
Case in point. When writing a newspaper article, I listed off "normal sexual behaviours"; on that list was BDSM and fetishes, among other things. My editor removed it because as she explained, "I went to the newsroom guys and asked them if they thought these were "normal sexual behaviours" and they all agreed they were not."
So, some newsroom guys who have no training in sexuality get to be judge and jury to what the public gets to read. Meanwhile, letting people wrap their minds around what are healthy sexual pursuits gets edited out.
Some people have certain proclivities that make them sexually aroused -- like BDMS, feet fetishes, or latex fetishes, or blow-up dolls. So what?
As long as they are safe, sane and consensual with what they are doing, then there should be no reason to judge that person. Yet we still do -- even people in the sex industry who deal with this all the time are judging.
You (yes, you) mingle with fetish people on a daily basis. It's only when you find out what they are up to behind closed doors that things get weird for you.
I appreciate complete sexual tolerance will never be something I will see in my lifetime. Ironic, as people feel they are liberal enough when it comes to sex.
Follow Trina Read on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@DrTrinaRead