"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Loving The Eiffel Tower And Other Sexual Fetishes

Most of us are aware of sexual fetishism – for example, men who get excited by women’s shoes – and most of these unusual attachments have at least some relationship to other human beings.  The shoe’s that provoke such desire are worn by women, and although a pair of Manolo Blahniks on the shelf at Bergdorf’s may titillate, most fetishists require the real thing – a telltale scent of perfume, the exotica of dusted feet, the threads of nylon.  A used LeBron James doublet is worth far more than the new reproductions sold at Verizon Center.

Foot, spit, sweat, and armpit fetishes are common and relatively tame.  They are far more connected to real sex and intimacy than shoes.  The man who sneaks into a woman’s closet to sniff her shoes is farther out on the spectrum than one who likes sweaty sex. Water sports (urination) seem twisted, but they are more common than one would imagine, and mutual ‘showers’ are reported to be fun.  Things get twisted when urination becomes the only way to get sexual release.  Butt plugs are always in the top ten of popular fetishes and begin to stretch the envelope beyond simple body part/fluid ‘natural’ excitement to mechanical boosters.


The range of human sexual experience, and what people do do heighten it is staggering and almost unbelievable. Emergency room doctors, for example, extract everything from oil and vinegar cruets to light bulbs from the anal cavity. The exotic positions of Japanese erotica and illustrations from the Kama Sutra are nothing compared to what modern couples have invented. There is no limit to to sexual ingenuity. 


One of the best is Pony Play.
Ponyplay is a form of bondage that involves a “pony” and a rider. The pony is often outfitted with straps, a leather saddle, blinders, reins, and a bit in the mouth. The rider, sometimes utilizing either a riding crop or a whip, either gets pulled in a cart or rides the pony directly. The principal theme of animal roleplay is usually the voluntary or involuntary reduction (or transformation) of a human being to animal status, and focus on the altered mind-space created. The most common examples are probably canids (pup, dog, wolf), felines (cat, kitten, lion) or equines (pony, horse).
G In Horse Mask.Jpg
Frances Wilson, writing in The New Republic (12.26.13) has added a new and surprising fetish – Objectophilia or the love of objects.  The most recent example is that of a woman who fell in love with and married the Eiffel Tower.
The bride was a 37-year-old American former soldier called Erika and the groom was a French feat of engineering called the Eiffel Tower. The marriage was consummated after the ceremony when the bride lifted her trench coat and straddled one of the groom’s steel girders. Erika was the more sexually experienced of the pair, having previously been in a relationship with San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Her first love affair had been with Lance, her archery bow; she has never been sexually attracted to a human being.
Erika was not the first objectophile on record, nor the first one to die unhappy because of the relationship:
Eija-Riitta Eklöf, a Swedish objectophile who married the Berlin Wall, now considers herself a widow, as does the poor woman who tied the knot with the Twin Towers.
There is a hilarious episode in the Jan Jarmusch film Night on Earth where an Italian taxi driver played by Roberto Benigni, confesses all his sexual fancies to a priest who is his last fare of the night.
Anyway, I lived in the country, where there weren't many women, and though you're still a kid, inside you feel a man's feeling, and there was no way to relieve this feeling. So the idea, not mine but a real intelligent friend of mine's, of relieving ourselves with, to make love with ... how do I say this? With pumpkins. Pumpkins. Warm, soft, damp, with seeds inside, so round -- and we would -- toom ta toom -- help me find the words, Father -- we relieved ourselves with these pumpkins.
But then after a certain age, I quit. I don't know if my friend quit, but that's his business. I quit, because I felt, Father, and I'm sure you'll agree, in growing up to be a sensitive, even religious man that love is something every man needs, but not with a vegetable, but with something alive ... something that moves, that's warm, that looks you in the eyes. Something with a soul --- anyway there was a sheep. A beautiful little sheep. Father, she was nice, kind, sweet, pretty, I called her Lola. Not an ugly old sheep like the others, but a little sheep. So delicate, refined. Soft wool, two big eyes watching me.
The Benigni character is not a classic fetishist.  He is more omni-sexual and most importantly – at least judging from his soliloquy – attracted to live plants and animals. Objectophiles are in a different category altogether.  The New Republic’s Wilson admits she can at least see the sexual attraction of a 1000 ft. tall phallus, but finds trippy the interpretation that Erika was not getting heterosexual pleasure from the Eiffel Tower, but homosexual.  She is actually a lesbian who sees the Tower as female.

Wilson is more circumspect about the Swedish woman’s relationship with the Berlin Wall.  Although she doesn’t speculate, it might really be sado-masochism.  The woman was objectifying all the Soviet gulag torture, humiliation, and intimidation going on behind the Wall and getting sexual thrills from it.

There is no definitive research on why individuals pick particular fetishes, but Wilson admonishes us to remain neutral, tolerant, and accepting.  Fetishism, after all, is not a moral issue:
The cheery chap who does your dry-cleaning might be a plushophile who lusts after stuffed animal toys and spends his weekends looking for sex at “ConFurences” while dressed as a Disney creature. Or he could be a formicophile, who gets his pleasure from the feeling of ants and snails crawling over his erotic zones. But so long as he’s not harming anyone, and does your dry-cleaning on time, why does it matter how he reaches his peak?
An acquaintance once described his sexual obsession with pornography.  His addiction had become so bad that he came home early from the office to watch porn and was in danger of getting caught in the act at work.

He went on to describe an array of sexual enticements far more varied and twisted than any of those of the Benigni character.  Not only midgets, but deaf and blind midgets. Morbidly obese women, neurasthenic men, and bestiality. Every race, color, body type, sexual preference, ethnic origin, size, and shape was represented in his world of erotic fantasy.

I realized then that my sexual imagination was simple, traditional, and tame.  I thought of the lines from the live-and-let-live Osgood Fielding III in Some Like it Hot  who said when told he had mistakenly proposed to a man, “Well, nobody’s perfect” .

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.