This blog has been many things to me, a place to vent, to amuse myself, to educate... But my greatest achievement has been reaching out to you all, making friends and changing attitudes. I receive beautiful correspondence every day about how I've changed someone's life for the better, made them a little bolder, a bit more comfortable and confident in themselves. If I've made just one person smile a little more then what else can I ask for in a life well lived.
I know this isn't a comic but one of you readers wrote me this and I just thought it was too sweet and too poignant not to share.
I was asked to leave it anonymous.
"I guess as long as I can remember, I have been a closeted fetishist. I do not have an obsession, as it is not destructive. I do not have a problem, as it does not intrude in my life or my relationships. I do not have a complex, because I'm comfortable with who I am and what my erotic side means to me. This was not always the case.
My particular brand of fetishism is mind control. Not like the hypnosis fetishists that like actual, sleep/trance hypnosis, mine is more fantasy based. Swirly eyes, arms out like zombies, blank stares, monotone voices, pretty much everything covered by Saturday morning cartoons. What I feel makes my brand less common, however, is that it's the mind control in itself that's erotic to me. Many sites and resources see it as a means to an end: sexual activity. To me, a woman in a full parka mopping a floor would be just as erotic as one naked or in lingerie performing fellatio or some other erotic act, so long as she had spinning spirals for eyes.
Hypnosis and mind control fetishes are all over the place on the internet, with our communities and boards, but I've never, despite being a relatively active poster on many of them, considered myself part of any group. Aside from the anonymity the internet provides (as evidenced by me not signing my name or handle to this letter) I have been very possessive of my fetish and can count the number of 'real-life' folks that know about it on fewer than the number of fingers and toes I have. It always struck me as unusual, weird, out of place, even at times wrong. I've seen it called a rape fantasy, among other drastic and repulsive monikers. This did not help how I felt about my attraction.
Over time as I made friends, both in person and online, I began to understand the nature of fetishism and eroticism. Because something is sexual, it is not inherently evil or bad. To have a fetish, even one as crazy as I considered mine, did not make me a bad person. I have grown and accepted this part of me, and have maintained successful, happy relationships with many friends, like-minded and not. After discovering Nic's blog, I reached out. First it was asking for a commission, which led to a dialogue. In our conversations, she made me feel comfortable with how I felt, accepted it, didn't make me feel like I was wrong or crazy or weird. Hell, she even let me share some of my own artwork with her, and even said she liked some of it. Further reading of some of Nic's posts and blogs has helped me find the right state of mind to find the right friends; share with the right people. I'm happy to say I consider Nic one of them. My friends, the ones privy to this knowledge, have accepted me, every part of me. Some find my tastes interesting, some find them alluring, some are indifferent, but the fetish does not make the man.
Blogs like Nic's, as well as my correspondence with her, have helped me cement this confidence. Reading her thoughts on sex workers, fetishes, eroticism, and men and women in general have helped me understand and appreciate the role eroticism and sex plays in a healthy emotional life. Like alcohol, junk food, video games, anything that one does for enjoyment or escapism, eroticism is a healthy outlet when done in moderation, under the right conditions and at the right time. It's ok to have a fetish. It's ok to talk about it, to open up about it to the right people when trust is earned. It's ok to appreciate sex and the erotic. I'm not a bad person, I'm not dirty, I'm not sinful, I just like girls with spiral eyes that walk around like zombies. It's the unique spice in the flavor of my life.
When sharing these things with people who are open and understanding, it's not objectifying. It's empowering. My fetish was dark and scary to me. It was something I was ashamed of, something I was terrified people would see, that would lead to their repulsion and my abandonment. To share that with someone, to open that bridge of trust, to share that part of me that so few see, it's a symbol to that person that I respect, care for, and trust them like no one else. Something so simple or silly as posing or acting as if hypnotized, like something out of a cartoon, it's not shameful. It's not objectification, it's reciprocation. It's taking your trust and entering into a safe environment to play out those fantasies with you. Even my wife, whom I love to death with every ounce of me, plays along from time to time.
My own fetish aside, people that shun these feelings, stuff them down somewhere dark, that's where the danger is. I have all the respect and admiration in the world for people like Nic, who take those things that society tells you to be ashamed of, bring it into a safe environment, and let you experience it. It's not raw, sinful pleasure. It's liberation. It's trust. It's expression. And in moderation, in the right place, at the right time, it's healthy. The only great shame is that the line between appreciation and obsession is a fine one, and sexuality is still so taboo and feared in society. Expression and freedom are only a blurred line away from depravity and deviance, but that self-control is much easier to maintain when you have an outlet like the one the people in Nic's line of work provide.
But just by talking to me, by being a friend, by providing her own words and experiences that I might learn from them as well, Nic has introduced me to a whole new level of comfort with my fetish. My sexuality. Myself.