Several times in my “career” as a fetish model, I’ve encountered the “fetishists are creepy” stereotype.
Many people believe that if someone is aroused by, say, farts, they must be a complete weirdo in all aspects of life. They must be “that guy” (always a guy) who calls random people in the phone book and just breathes heavily into the phone, the guy who walks around in a trenchcoat waiting to flash young girls, who’s caught masturbating in the public library. Or worse, I’ve heard fetish is “serial killer shit” – that only someone crazy enough to murder people could possibly get off on (insert weird fetish of your choice).
Sure, there are weirdos. I get emails and tweets from them. But far more often, they’re neutral – neither nice nor mean, polite nor rude. And its not uncommon for them to be kind, intelligent guys who I could surely enjoy a cup of coffee with if I’d met them at a job or school.
Its not WHAT a person is into that makes them a creepazoid or not. Its how they handle it.
Consider a breast fetish. Most people wouldn’t say they have a FETISH for breasts because in our society breasts are seen a sexual. But a guy jerking off to a video of bouncing boobs is no different from the dude who masturbates to videos of women’s feet. Its sexualizing a specific part of the body, also known as “partialism” among psychologists. No different from the ladies who can’t get enough of The Situation’s “situation” (Lord knows his sparkling personality can’t be carrying all those girls back to the Jersey Shore house). Social convention leads us to label the same sort of act in different ways.
Our fellow with a boob fetish could express it in “normal” ways. Admiring photos and videos of breasts, licking or sucking on their partner’s tits, even fucking and ejaculating on them. He also could express it in a creepy way, by grabbing random women’s breasts in public. By refusing to make eye contact with a female, and rather stare her in the chest. By murdering women so he could cut their breasts off and save them as a souvenir.
In my experience, I get about as many tweets, comments and emails from guys being weird about “normal” sex as I do fetishes. Who somehow assume I’m putting naked photos and videos of myself on the internet because I want to fuck THEM. Who send me their phone number (expecting I’ll call???). Who send me a picture of their dick like I should be impressed (I’m not).
Guys can get really creepy, but its not categorical – its attitudinal.
Edited: May 30th, 2012