this is the first i've heard of "National Fetish Day" - although the "National" part seems to be specifically British. i have quite a few friends, both online and in "real life", who participate to one degree or another in the world of kink or fetish, also known as BDSM (encompassing Bondage/Discipline, Domination/Submission, and Sadism/Masochism - you can take the acronym in a number of ways). i myself do not, although i keep trying to understand it. but, despite my non-involvement in the fetish scene, i was, of course, dressed entirely in purple on 21 January, as i am every day...
I don't participate in any sexual activity at all and as such I am regarded as "sexually deviant" (as defined by the good doctor of whom I may have spoken a few times.
It was the word "fetish" that landed me in hot-water in 1994 (it was even on the news). I regard it as a mild word but it seems it has more "sinister" connotations for others hence I can understand the MP's confusion.
BDSM has been around since the dawn of civilisation and again it seems to mean different things to different people. As I find conventional pornography to be as boring, anything that adds a bit of "spice" is something I can understand far more easily than "plain vanilla sex" which doesn't interest me at all (despite a belief by the medical fraternity that it would be beneficial to get me interested in sex - although it was noted "... but this would be very very difficult").
This is an article published today about research on sex amongst Cambridge University students. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23119724-1702,00.html
Med students get more sex by staff writers
January 28, 2008 11:44am
I was interested in reading "About 25 per cent of respondents said they had tried sado-masochism and 40 per cent said they had had a one-night stand, but more than 60 per cent said they had never been checked for sexually transmitted diseases."
A lot of BDSM porn is badly produced and as boring as the plain vanilla (John Howard approved) pornography. There's a lot of it available in the "Penriff" region and indeed throughout Sydney. On the other hand those who post amateur material to the Internet seem to enjoy the activity which it seems can be fun..
As for the "Fetish Day" falling on some date held as "sacred" in the United States I don't believe this would have much relevance in the United Kingdom. BTW I'm rooting for Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
I don't have a single thing that's purple !
Back to NEIS tomorrow. 9 more assignments to do. This is an "immersion course" - head on and direct and as such it's placing strain on a number of students.
i have to agree with the doctor for two reasons. first, because, statistically, someone who doesn't have any kind of sex at all is a "deviant" from ordinary patterns of human behavior. second, because i believe that it's unhealthy not to have some kind of sex, even if it's only with yourself.
the actual percentage of people who engage in some level of BDSM may not have changed, but society in general is becoming more open and accepting - look at how much goth and other trendy fashion includes things like tight corsets, leather collars and wristbands, piercings, and extremely high heels. bisexuality and polyamory are also becoming more acceptable. i think that, in general, people are becoming more willing to experiment and "spice up" their sex lives, in order to avoid boredom. (and even i'm not quite as vanilla as some people might think...)
the biggest objection i have to pornography is that it makes sex, no matter how bizarre, seem boring. it's supposed to be fun! (and if it isn't fun, why bother?)
you could always buy an inexpensive purple tie...
Yes. I agree with the first statement that should perhaps read "someone who doesn't have any desire for sex" is deviant and as explained "the term deviant" is derived from statistics and has no inference of good or bad or moral or immoral"
I have studied statistics and indeed "the norm" (or that which is considered normal) forms the peak of a bell shaped curved. In statistics there is "the norm" and "the deviance" which is the degree from which set of numbers deviates from "the norm". The "norm" is a desire to marry and have children. Anyone or anything that deviates from "the norm" can be considered "deviant".
I disagree with the second assumption on the basis that attempting to change my sexuality from assexual to something else is as foolhardy as attempting to change someone with homosexual leanings to heterosexual leanings - as happened with Alan Turing, and indeed to other people.
What is unhealthy is society frowning on a particular deviance and creating a sense of guilt. I have absolutely no guilt about who or what I am.
There isn't an abundance of purple ties (expensive or inexpensive) for sale in Penrith and even if there were I doubt if I'd buy one.
I prefer green. This afternoon at NEIS we concentrated on personal selling and we had to attempt to sell our business ideas to our neighbour and vice versa. There are seemingly four types of response - "director style" (domineering), "supportive style" (sympathetic), "reflective style" (introspective) and "emotive style" (extovert and outgoing) and a good sales person detects the style of the purchaser and adapts the selling technique to that of the purchaser.
When I attempted to make a sale it was pointed out by the marketing guru that although I had made my sales pitch I hadn't identified the style of the person I was attempting to sell to ("film" and "almost anything that moves"). I was identified as a "reflective style" person but when the tabls were turned my contact sold me $30 of Internet goodies noting that he could make $500 on the side and when asked described my purchasing style as being "director style".
He has currently negotiated a contract with the company making a new "Hollywood" film about super heros in Sydney (for extras).
I'll ask if he has purple ties tomorrow :-)
the norm is not "get married and have children"; the norm is "have mostly heterosexual sex reasonably frequently". there's actually more than one axis involved here; people who have sex either much more or much less often than the "norm", and people who are either extremely heterosexual (never having any curiosity at all about their own sex) or extremely homosexual. you could consider "kink" yet another axis.
i wasn't intending to create a sense of guilt - my personal philosophy is "as long as they don't do it in the road and frighten the horses" (a quote from Mark Twain). i just can't comprehend how a person can function without having some way of expressing, or at least sublimating, basic sexual energy. to do without it entirely seems to me as biologically impossible as doing without eating or breathing.
i don't think anyone tried to force Alan Turing to become heterosexual, although such things did (and still do) happen. the atmosphere of shame that surrounded homosexuality, and the threat of blackmail, were more than enough to drive him to suicide, which was a tremendous loss to the human race. today there are some extreme Christian groups who claim to be able to "cure" homosexuality, but what they really do is brainwash people (generally teenagers or college-age people) into suppressing their desire for their own gender... and suppressing a basic drive only leads to worse problems. so the poor folks who have been "cured" of their homosexuality are no longer "committing a sin", but they're seriously screwed up - and likely to "backslide" anyway, although with violent feelings of guilt.
as an aside... my son is a clinical psychologist. back when he was in high school, however, he knew a younger boy who wound up making local headlines. this boy was being raised in a strict Catholic family. as he reached puberty, he realized that his desires were for his own sex, not for girls. as many of today's young people do, he sought answers on the internet. he apparently made friends with an adult man in an online chat situation, and they began a relationship. although the man was later labeled a "sexual predator" and a "child abuser", it seems that he actually did care for the young boy. they managed to meet each other several times, and spend a few weekends together in motels. eventually the parents figured this out, and they forbade the boy to have anything more to do with the man. they also got the kid into church-based "counseling", and coerced him to let the police tap his internet traffic, so they could track down and arrest the man. but the boy regretted the choice, and ripped out the equipment, not wanting to rat on his lover. this precipitated a family fight, in which the parents tried to get the boy committed to a children's mental hospital. it was too late at night to get the required paperwork authorized by a judge, though, so they simply went home.
the next day the parents left on vacation, leaving this very troubled 14-year-old boy alone in the house for a week. during this time, an even younger boy (age 11) knocked on the door, selling candy as a fund-raising project for his Boy Scout troop. the 14-year-old seems to have either coerced or raped the younger boy, and then, in a fit of guilt, killed him and hid the body in the woods. when the crime was discovered, the press blamed the internet, because that was how the 40-something-year-old "pedophile" was able to "seduce" the young boy into an unacceptable form of sexual behavior. both of them, of course, are now serving long prison terms.
the norm is not "get married and have children"; the norm is "have mostly heterosexual sex reasonably frequently".
the doctor (who knows about these things) said "the norm is to get married and have children" He also made the classic remark that "A Fetish is like starting out on a trip to Melbourne and getting stuck in Aahfield"
Ashfield is an innner suburb of Sydney - far removed from Melbourne !
i just can't comprehend how a person can function without having some way of expressing, or at least sublimating, basic sexual energy. to do without it entirely seems to me as biologically impossible as doing without eating or breathing.
I guess if you lack sexual energy there's not much to sublimate :-) If you fail to breathe or eat you die. If a species fails to reproduce the species dies - but not an individual of that species
i don't think anyone tried to force Alan Turing to become heterosexual,
He was forced into hormone therapy and started to grow breasts which upset him. It was the new revised method of curing homosexuality at the time
today there are some extreme Christian groups who claim to be able to "cure" homosexuality
The doc told me that homosexuals only believe they are happy and he believes they are misguided and should "get married and have children". He also mistrusts - a) Christian psychologists, b) the French (whom he tells me haven't produced anything worthwhile other than a few cars and oodles of useless perfume) c) the Australian Labor Party and d) the stupid antics that the Howard government forced upon welfare recipients
the press blamed the internet, because that was how the 40-something-year-old "pedophile" was able to "seduce" the young boy into an unacceptable form of sexual behavior.
the press tend to get excited about the Internet and if I read things correctly the centre of perversion at the moment is Milton Keynes (a model town in the United Kingdom where all sorts of depravity is taking place). Fortunately nothing much happens in Ashfield - despite being the place where those with fetishes alight on the way to Melbourne :-)
the doctor you quote is an asshole, and his psychological opinions are fifty years out of date. today's psychologists don't even talk about "the norm" - they are far more concerned with the individual's quality of life, i.e., whether their psychological state causes them, or others, distress. homosexuality per se is no longer considered a mental illness; the question is whether the individual is unhappy about being gay.
a "fetish", by the way, is not at all the same as "kink" or BDSM. a fetish is generally a sexual attraction to something that is not usually considered directly related to sex - high-heeled shoes, for example, or excretory functions. and, no matter how weird a given fetish might seem, it's not considered a mental illness unless it harms someone, causes the individual distress, or completely replaces actual sexual activity (which, i suppose, might be seen as "getting sidetracked on the way to Melbourne"). if the fetish behavior serves as a form of foreplay, a way of enhancing sexual arousal, it's not worth getting bothered about.
i understand intellectually about not having any sexual energy to sublimate... but i can't understand it on a gut level. of course, i don't really understand BDSM on a gut level either.
i didn't know that about Turing; i only knew that he was hounded into guilt and shame over his sexuality. the misguided hormone treatments just make his life and death more tragic.
again, the doc is utterly full of shit. the only reason for a homosexual to be unhappy is because the people around him keep telling him that he's going to burn in hell for being a "pervert". i do agree that strong religious opinions have no place in psychology, but the French have no monopoly on uselessness (and they have produced many worthwhile things).
oh, and one of the articles has a headline about "violence" when they are talking about BDSM. BDSM is emphatically not "violence" in any usual sense; all acts are entirely consensual, which means that the person being tied up (or whatever) wants it to happen. and actual injury is very rare, usually accidental, and always frowned upon.
the doctor you quote is an asshole, and his psychological opinions are fifty years out of date.he isn't a psychologist (as you may be aware). from what I gather over the years he deals a lot with drug related legal issues - and is very hardworking - getting up at 4 am in the morning to deal with legal cases - mostly drug related from what I can tella "fetish", by the way, is not at all the same as "kink" or BDSM. a fetish is generally a sexual attraction to something that is not usually considered directly related to sex - high-heeled shoes, for example, or excretory functions. and, no matter how weird a given fetish might seem, it's not considered a mental illness unless it harms someone, causes the individual distress, or completely replaces actual sexual activity I am aware of the basic meaning of the word....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FetishismA fetish (from French fétiche; from Portuguese feitiço; from Latin facticius, "artificial" and facere, "to make") is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is attributing some kind of inherent value or powers to an object. in a more general sense it is a sometimes pathological attraction to some object or class of objects... Ivan whom you may find in some YouTube videos I posted and whom I knew for a long period of time here in Sydney had a long standing fetish for bottles of shampoo. I can recall him losing some job and taking me down to the King's Cross branch of a Woolworth's supermarket where he bought about fifty bottles of shampoo of various makes and brands. I asked him about this and from what I can gather it made him feel better. One consequence of this fetish was that he knew almost everything there is to know about shampoo and as fate had it he later had a chance interview for a job as a salesman for a shampoo company and when the guy in charge asked him what he knew about shampoo Ivan could rattle off every single fact there is to know about shampoo - including the cost and the ingredients and benefits of almost every brand on the market. the interviewer was so impressed he hired him on the spot. He spent several years as a leading shampoo salesman !
Mind you. King's Cross is generally known for fetishes of another kind - definitely NOT shampoo. In those days we both lived on the fringes of Kings Cross - me in Pott's Point (supposedly "posh") and he in Elizabeth Bay in the same street that former Prime Minister Paul Keating purchased a terrace house in..
( http://www.sydney.com.au/kingsx.htm )
I lived in Elizabeth Bay for a number of years as indeed did his Mexican friend whom he eventually married...
then we have...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_fetishismSexual fetishism is the sexual attraction to material and terrestrial objects while in reality the essence of the object is inanimate and sexless.this is open to discussion and debate but unfortunately I don't have the time (or even the expertise) to delve into at the momentoh, and one of the articles has a headline about "violence" when they are talking about BDSM. BDSM is emphatically not "violence" in any usual sense; all acts are entirely consensual, which means that the person being tied up (or whatever) wants it to happen. and actual injury is very rare, usually accidental, and always frowned upon.this is exactly the point that various Members of Parliament attempted to make as the Act of Parliament which took effect recently in the United Kingdom came into effect. the end result being ill-considered legislation hurried through Parliament with the tabloid press pushing the buttons is a boon for the legal industry and a nightmare for many well intentioned people..but this is the nature of the United Kingdom - the land of my birth
you can read about it here
2008-01-29 08:17 am (UTC)
addendum (and apologies for the spelling)
Asexuality is a sexual orientation describing individuals who do not experience sexual attraction. Asexuality as a human sexual orientation has only been recognized and defined in a few academic studies since the late 1970s, and a community of self-identified asexuals has only coalesced since the start of the 21st century, aided by the widening popularity of online communities. One commonly cited study placed the incidence rate of asexuality at 1%.
Asexuals may experience romantic attraction, or the desire for, fantasy of, or propensity towards romantic love, often directed at people of genders falling within an affectional orientation. Many asexuals also identify as straight, gay, or bi, using the terms in a strictly affectional sense, or alternatively as hetero-, homo-, or bi-romantic. Some asexuals identify as "aromantic." A relationship between an asexual and a sexual person may or may not involve sexual activity.
2008-01-30 01:03 am (UTC)
Re: addendum (and apologies for the spelling)
i mean no offense, but i don't think it's physically or emotionally healthy, and i suspect it's not actually possible. that basic energy has to go somewhere - if not into sexual activity itself, into some other form of human interaction, anything from sports to missionary work.
also, even more basic than the need for sex is the need for touch. babies will "fail to thrive", and simply fade away and die, if they are not cuddled and held. lack of touch will cause depression and other severely dysfunctional conditions later in life. conversely, a hug can actually abort the beginning of an asthma attack. it's been demonstrated that many people initiate sex when what they really crave is just that simple physical contact (and it's a sad commentary on our society that people often don't know how to get a hug any other way).
2008-01-29 10:58 am (UTC)
Addendum to the addendum (movie stuff)
Earlier in this posting I wrote:-He has currently negotiated a contract with the company making a new "Hollywood" film about super heroes in Sydney (for extras).
I checked my notes for the name of the movie. "Justice League
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League#Live-actionOn February 22, 2007, Warner Bros. hired Kieran Mulroney and Michelle Mulroney to write a treatment for a potential Justice League movie. No announcement was made on the characters, actors, or crew involved. They handed in their script by June that year. In September, word broke that Warner Brothers, happy with Mulroney's script, was moving ahead on the project and George Miller was announced as the director. The film features Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter. Warner Bros. has put their Justice League plans at a higher priority than a proposed sequel to Superman Returns.
In October, 2007, Miller announced auditions for the leading roles in the film, indicating that he had no interest in established actors for the parts, as he was "looking for actors who can grow into their super-roles". The film is currently slated for a 2009 release date.
In November, 2007, entertainment websites reported that Australian supermodel Megan Gale had been chosen to play Wonder Woman. In December, 2007 it was reported that Adam Brody had signed to play The Flash and relatively unknown actor Armie Hammer is to play Batman. However as of January 2008, no official casting announcement had yet been made by Warner Bros.
In January, 2008, The Dominion Post in Wellington, New Zealand reported that Weta Workshop has been selected to design costumes for the movie, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Flash.
In January 2008, Warner Bros. placed the film on hold and allowed the cast's options to lapse. Production is likely to commence in the latter half of 2008. Warner Bros. cited problems in obtaining tax relief in time for filming, and also felt that the script required further work.