Are you a guy who secretly longs to don a nurse’s dress and raise your lover’s blood pressure? Are you a woman who masturbates to thoughts of being a baby in diapers? Ever found yourself paying inordinate attention to someone’s stocking seams? Are you startled at how your heart thumps every time your partners wiggle their naked toes? Sounds like you’ve got yourself a fetish. But then, don’t we all?
Violet Blue is a renowned writer on all things sexual and this is her lucky 13th book on the subject. Her columns, blogs and podcasts are a popular source for all those looking for fresh ideas and sex-positive educational information. This book is directed towards couples who are new to the world of fetish-based love-making, but who are curious to experiment.
Blue entitles her Introduction: Confessions of a Fetishist and then reveals the development of her own fetish for corsets. But how does she define this phenomenon? “Simply put,” Blue explains, “a fetish is placing greater meaning on something that it might have to someone else.”
The context is sexual, the focus is often specific and the excitement is higher than for any other activity. As a result, she writes, “The intimacy and sexual closeness found in fetish play is very arousing for many people; this intimacy can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.”
Her chapters take couples from the revelation of their secrets to each other, through the shared exploration, past role-playing (teacher/student; nurse/patient; guard/prisoner) and onto gender play. So many fetishes cause people excruciating embarrassment, so Blue tries to help them to make the distinction between fantasy and reality. The whole point of fetish play is that it is play, it is fantasy. So even the most taboo ideas – from pretending to be of another gender, another age or another body – are legitimate material for arousal.
There are undeniable social problems. “Unfortunately,” Blue writes, “until now, fetish for the most part has been stigmatized; sexually it’s the last frontier.” Between a loving couple, however, honesty and consent should provide some relief from this discomfort of finding appeal in something – like excretionary fluids – that other’s might find a real turn-off.
To concretize her explanations and exercises, Violet Blue invited the erotica writer Thomas Roche to add illustrative short stories at the end of each chapter. It is a nice mix of fiction with her non-fiction and augments her down-to-earth, sensible and informed approach with some sexy scenes. The final chapter, “Resources,” provides a helpful list of books and websites for those who want to pursue their kinky education.
My last word goes to Daedalus Publishing Company which was bought in 2001 by Stockroom.com (one of the premiere sex toy online stores) and is dedicated to bringing out books on alternative sexual practices. In a difficult time in publishing, where consolidation of houses has brought damaging conservatism, Daedalus are to be congratulated for giving us what we need.