All right. This is something I’ve had on the back burner for a while: fetish shame.
Defenestrating solipsism, we are individual entities locked in our own heads. We have our own interior worlds, to which most people are not privy until we open our big yaps. Sometimes this leads us to believe that our experiences are entirely unique, that we’re thinking things no one else has thought of, that we see things and are interested in things that no one else could possibly understand.
Let’s take the kink, for example. When I was six or seven years old and I had my first giantess dream, I knew two things: 1) I’d discovered a part of my individual identity, and 2) under no circumstances must I share this with anyone, neither a friend nor an adult. No one could possibly understand. Outside of a couple unsuccessful sci-fi movies, this kind of thing just wasn’t heard of, and the fact that I was into it only meant there was something wrong with me.
I grew out of that. When the Internet was invented and released to the public, the first thing I did was search for giantesses (as many of us did), and I learned that there were images, stories, and communities waiting for me already. I wasn’t alone in this at all, and I took heart in that and contributed my own stories and ideas. Tentatively I began to express this to a few others, even in my real-world existence, and I was lucky to befriend some open-minded and generous women, to date a few of these, and to marry one.
Not everyone follows this trajectory, I realize. When I put out my stories and despaired of low visibility and readership, fellow size-fetishists took me aside and explained that not everyone is as “out” as I am, relatively speaking. They can’t even permit themselves to speak up and say “nice job.” Some people have tremendous shame surrounding their interests, and however negatively I viewed myself in the beginning, they see themselves much worse and have done for a longer time. Some people are in relationships with a less-than-understanding partner. Not to condemn the partner, but… good night, in this world of ours, is less tolerance what’s called for?
Our identities are inextricably tied to our sexuality, for better or for worse. Toxic masculinity comes from believing you’re not a “real man” unless a part of your body is a certain size or you’ve done certain things to a certain number of women, for no reason nobler than proving something to a faceless, hypothetical audience. If we’re ashamed of what we’re attracted to, if we can’t be honest with ourselves or those closest to us, then we’re not fully ourselves. We aren’t fully realized individuals.
A lot of work has been put forward to the end of sexual liberation, I guess you’d call it, even within my preferred size-fetish community. A couple years ago, “Three Greatest SFW Fetishes” was published, mentioning Macro/Microphilia in passing. The message here was, here’s something people are into and it’s a fact of life. It’s not freaky, it’s not hurting anyone, you’re not a bad person for liking it. I think that’s a good message to remember.
Now, VICE has historically been a bad-boy publication, seeking out the weirdest shit to point and laugh at, doing Jackass-type stunts to prove what badasses they are. At some point, however, someone in charge decided to turn toward legitimate journalism. They covered North Korea, being a little too praiseful of their own badassery and seemingly oblivious to the extent of in-depth, in situ coverage already redundant before they showed up, but still. They did something worthwhile. Earlier this year they composed an article that smacked of “oh boy, here’s some more freaky shit people are into,” reducing us from people with alternative passions to kinksters, a term that was sticky and disgusting in the ’70s. Yet the article itself is much tamer: for one thing, the interviewer really had no idea what they were getting into, in conversation with some prominent figures of various paraphilia, and therefore their questions were very basic, mildly presumptive. Regardless, our own beloved Giantess Tina fielded these questions responsibly, thoughtfully, sharing some dimensionality the interviewer obviously wasn’t anticipating.
So what drives us into our respective boxes? Here’s an example: a hardcore Normal. Susie feels no compunction against deriding and insulting that which she does not understand, and she never questions her myriad assumptions about how people function. To her, sex is only about shoving the penis inside the vagina; it’s beyond her comprehension how someone could be turned on by anything other than the basic, mechanical sex act. And to her, sex with another person is always preferable to masturbation, titillation, any other form of arousal or stimulation, physical or otherwise; it’s beyond her comprehension that someone might have preferences or moods that change from time to time.
Well, in talking about Susie, one will necessarily abuse the phrase “it’s beyond her comprehension.” In learning that the guy she’s dating is interested in size-fetish material, her reaction is naive to the point of irrationality: “You are aware that this could never happen in real life correct? [sic]” The VICE interviewer, Erica, betrayed the same naivete with her question, wondering how someone could ever achieve orgasm through imagination alone.
Because… no one should ever be interested in anything that isn’t real. This, from someone who calls herself an “alien movie connoisseur.” (Then again, she also calls herself a “craft extraordinaire;” at least she doesn’t claim to be an English major.)
Because… she thinks this man believes it’s possible to reduce humans to a few inches tall or blow them up to several hundred feet in height, with current-day, consumer-grade technology.
Due to her lack of understanding, her meanness of mind and smallness of spirit, she’s unable to process this kink in her partner, and not only can’t she shut up about it, she has to shame him for it. I’m not saying she needs to be into it: she can’t accept it in someone else. She can’t say, “Well, that’s your thing, and I don’t get it but whatever.” She has to ridicule him on account of his nonconformity (she moved from IN to TN: wanna guess her attitude toward ethnic minorities?). Susie promotes her borrowed and unexamined values as not just the standard for behavior but the only acceptable behavior.
This is exactly what keeps people from expressing themselves, from being themselves: the anticipation that their vulnerability will only expose them to a personal attack. Any deviance, in Susie’s eyes, deserves neither compassion nor tolerance but rather insult and condemnation.
But then, she’s an HR professional, and people who get into HR are fucked up.
[Image by Christopher Michel]