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Paraphilia of the Day: Fetishism

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[Editor’s note: If you missed our first installment in this series, it is recommended reading: The Fight for Paraphilia ‘Rights’: Let the Debate Begin.]

As previously noted, this investigation into the many paraphilias is a remedial education effort to put the discussion of so-called “gay rights” in its proper perspective. Experiencing and acting upon same-sex attraction is not comparable to race, but rather is comparable to the myriad and many ways people experience sexual arousal outside of natural sex between men and women. Whether homoeroticism deserves a higher status than the rest just because it is supported by a louder and better funded lobbying effort is something that should be debated, not assumed.

An earlier version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders labeled and defined today’s paraphilia this way:

Fetishism or Sexual Fetishism: “intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the use of nonliving objects (e.g., female undergarments).” (Page 570, “Paraphilias,” Fourth Edition, Text Revision (Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.)

Since the study and classification of paraphilias is an ongoing enterprise (and we like to be up to date), let’s use the latest terminology found at Wikipedia:

Sexual fetishism or erotic fetishism is the sexual arousal a person receives from a physical object, or from a specific situation. The object or situation of interest is called the fetish; the person who has a fetish for that object/situation is a fetishist.[1] A sexual fetish may be regarded as an enhancing element to a romantic/sexual relationship “achieved in ordinary ways (e.g. having the partner wear a particular garment)” or as a mental disorder/disorder of sexual preference if it causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life.[2] Sexual arousal from a particular body part is classified as partialism.[3]

To our basic and important questions:

  • How will society respond when fetishists start clamoring for their “rights”?
  • How will society respond to After the Ball-type efforts to normalize fetishism and demonize those who disapprove of it?
  • While the issue of marriage wouldn’t appear to be relevant, in other parts of the world people are marrying inanimate objects, so how will society respond to a future well-funded marriage “equality” effort for fetishists who, for example, want to marry inflatable dolls.
  • If someone were to donate to an organization that prohibits hiring of fetishists, will this donor be fired?
  • Will the expression of disapproval of fetishism be deemed bullying or hate speech?
  • How will schools respond to requests to start pro-fetish clubs to support students who experience unwanted fetishistic feelings and who seek to come out of the fetish closet? Will the Day of Silence expand to include fetishists?
  • Will therapies to help minors change their unwanted fetishes be banned?
  • Will “fetish orientation” be added to enumerated anti-discrimination policies and laws?
  • Will the letters EF/SF be added to the LGBTQIA (etc.) abbreviation?
  • Will we see prime time television programs and movies with lovable fetish-oriented characters?
  • Will wannabe fetish-loving journalists form professional journalism associations (such as this one) to monitor and exploit the Fourth Estate in the service of breaking down barriers and normalizing fetishism?
  • Will fetishists join “pride parades”?
  • Will loud and proud fetishists “out” those who prefer to remain in the fetish closet?

Up next we’ll take a look at another example of the ways people experience “intense sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, or individuals.” If America is to be truly free, shouldn’t all sexcentric-identified individuals be treated equally under the law?

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