THOUGHT PORN: [BORING OLD FETISH?]

IS THE FETISH SCENE RELEVANT FOR A NEW GENERATION OR WILL IT DIE IN A DARK BASEMENT THAT’s STUCK IN THE 80’s?!

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Today I visited “Expectations” Fetish Shop in Shoreditch and once again left feeling underwhelmed and a little disappointed.

The lovely young man serving me was saying that he felt there were no young people coming to the store and he wishes this weren’t the case; so could “I”, as a young person visiting the shop and interested in fetish promote “it” and the, “Fetish scene”, to other young people.

This really got me thinking…(Dangerous I know).

I was visiting the shop because I wanted to find something sexy to wear for the clubs I work in as well as perhaps the bedroom. I wanted to find something interesting and sexually stimulating; but instead I came across the same stuff that has been around for decades. In reality I was bored by the selection.

The items available only fulfil a very limited set of fantasies, and ones that I feel, although may still arouse many, are actually somewhat irrelevant to a younger generation of queer, fashion-forward gays.

Yes, “Leather Daddies” can be sexy and so can dungeon-esque Latex and Neoprene. But I’m 23 and quite frankly I hardly know what a skinhead is and nor do I care. I’m not interested in poorly fitting, badly smelling military wear and just because I’m young doesn’t mean I want to be branded as a “Pup” and wear a butt-plug that doubles as a tail while someone walks me around on a leash.

There is also a huge emphasis placed on fulfilling the age old BDSM roles of “Dom Tops” and “Bottom Subs” with no room in between. Which again is fine if that’s what you’re into, but from observation and discussion with other young gays and queers, I’m pretty sure that there’s a huge number of people who feel suffocated by these roles – and not in an enjoyable “asphyxi-wanking” kind of way. There is a desire for more fluidity and for us to break out of these boxes so we can feel more comfortable in our sexual exploration.

Even the colour palette is limited. We don’t use the “Bandana Code” anymore… if we have to look it up on “Google” to see which colour stands for what, then it clearly is not holding much relevance at present.

Black, Red, Blue, Yellow and Green are not the only colours that arouse sexy thoughts!

Furthermore, this over emphasis on hyper-masculinity or things that “damage us”, can actually be a huge turn-off. Hyper-masculinity has it’s place, but when you start excluding those who aren’t or you try to conform to something you’re just not then you end up with a bunch of insecure individuals riddled with fear and shame trying to conform to a singular stereotype of what is sexy! It is not cool or reasonable to only brand cold hearted, hairy, hard, muscled men as “true” or “real” men. And not everyone gets a boner from being beaten by an angry Granddad in a leatherette cock-sock. (Again if that’s your thing then go for it.)

If we are to move away from Gay-Shame, then maybe we should look at some fetishes that don’t involve the destruction of ourselves as human beings. Some of the typical fetishes such as: mutilation, torture, needle swapping and stretching our asses so wide we need surgery to fix them just seem like we are trying to kill ourselves. There are of course levels of balance to everything and I’m not condemning these activities but there comes a point where fetish and suicide gets lost in communication.

Personally what I find more sexy is someone who is comfortable in their own skin yet willing to explore with an open mind. Not someone who is desperately clutching to an out of date stereotype with no relevance in order to “fit in”. With these people I can truly and honestly explore what I find sexually obsessive and arousing.

Of course we still have our fantasies and for many fetish is a kind of therapy. It can be a huge turn-on to live something you were starved of as a child or to have someone give you the discipline you may have been lacking. Even to re-live forms of abuse. But this does not only have to be administered by a black leather wearing brute in a dungeon while you completely submit yourself to their every desire. (Although that does sound kinda hot…).

There are existing club nights for a much wider range of fetishes such as City Slickers, Teachers, Scallies, and even men in heels, (showing us there is an opening towards some of us finding aspects of endorsed femininity sexy).

These fetishes are not so farfetched or revolutionary that they only have a very tiny niche market and in fact are becoming even more popular. Yet we have not caught up in the shops.

On top of all of this we keep everything in a dark basement, behind closed doors or hidden in a sock draw with no opportunity for an airing.

If you keep anything in these conditions they are bound to grow stale and die. The only things that naturally thrive in these places are mould and parasites. There are of course some open air marches and festivals such as, “Folsom Street Fair” and “Bear Week”, which allow fetish to see the light of day; but these are still very particular and only fulfil a limited demographic of the gay scene.

As I was leaving the fetish store, someone made a comment about spiking my drink so It would be stronger. When I expressed that it wouldn’t be sensible as I don’t drink, I got a rather uncomfortable reaction. This has happened to me on a few occasions. I have often been told that I’m boring or that I must be lying and generally it has just made people feel uncomfortable in my presence in sexual contexts.

Now to wish for me to promote a scene in which the expectation is that you must be “out of it”, or significantly inebriated in order to have fetish based sex, is not something I am prepared to do.

I enjoy fetish’s of many kinds sober. If you choose to drink or take something to enhance your experience then that is your choice, it is of no ones business to pass judgement.

However, it appears that in many cases, people are using drink and drugs so that they are not present whatsoever. They are hiding from what they really want to do in an attempt to fit in; and partying and fucking until your pulled out of a sauna in a body bag seems like a somewhat warped view of fun and desire. I have my own personal experiences of masking my feelings with drugs in an attempt to fit in and it is not something I wish to indulge in any longer as it has caused so much damage and pain in the past.

In order to fully enjoy something, regardless of it’s perceived extremity, I find it necessary to be able to be present and healthy headed. Spiritual security, knowing myself and having considered boundaries have proved themselves as reasonable and loving grounds for sexual exploration in my life.

Now please don’t be misled; I am far from virginal, I am most certainly not vanilla and I am definitely not encouraging conservatism.

But I do feel that many of us are missing something. It does not surprise me that so many people young or old have no desire to venture into the Fetish world and the basements in which the stores reside. This is if we even know where they are or exist.

If we are to truly have a thriving and relevant fetish scene then it seems necessary to open some doors, let in a bit of light and go exploring. Surely this is what Fetish is about? Exploration of our sexual desires?

There are some great modern options out there such as “Slick it Up NYC” and “Sports Militia London”. People are working towards a broader market, but my fear is that they will get lost or fall apart in this economic climate if the rest of the scene does not acknowledge that it is in so many ways dated and stuck.

Ultimately I do think the existing London shops such as “Expectations”, “Regulation” and “50 Dean Street”, serve an important purpose in keeping “A” scene alive. But let us wake up a bit. There is a desire for something more and if we wish to keep the fetish scene alive then it is in dyer need of some updating.

Give us fashionable sportswear! Give us gender-bending and open our minds to a Queer demand that is not limited to excluding masc-only stereotypes. Perhaps we’ll discover something we never thought we’d enjoy or knew existed.

And please lord give us a more enticing colour range!

written by Ted Rogers “Artpornblog”

xXx

One thought on “THOUGHT PORN: [BORING OLD FETISH?]

  1. I think this is where the SBN /boots only scene really comes into focus as a viable alternative no need for all that as you say dated daddy/dungeon/macho clutter.On a good day it can even be liberating and a great leveller

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