MEMBER OPINION: Body Image and the Fetish Community – Challenging Expectations
19 January 2016
One of the more worrying trends in terms of men's health over recent years has been a damaging obsession with body image which is leading some men to take risks with their health in order to meet a set of unrealistic expectations. There are many in our community whose mental health is seriously affected by their negative body image and the struggle they face to meet the perceived demands of the community.
Are we obsessing too much about our bodies (and those of the people we seek to play with) and missing out on opportunities for mutually satisfying encounters?
There is no doubting that certain fetishes are based on very specific looks. If you get off on boots, you aren't going to be happy with a partner who will only wear tatty trainers. If you are turned on by 19th Century Russian Military Uniforms, getting a request to play with someone who dresses in modern camo combat fatigues isn't going to float your boat.
However if a uniform or fabric choice is not central to your sex life, are you missing out on great meets with good guys if you set very specific 'preferences' in terms of what you are looking for?
I guess the question is about whether you are looking for sex with someone who fits a certain physical type or looking for sex with someone with whom you can have a more intimate connection?
Yes, there are things we each find particularly attractive. And there is nothing wrong with that. But if you limit yourself to a very specific type, are you not risking missing out on meeting someone with whom you might have really amazing chemistry?
Would it not be more interesting to explore a fuller range of body types and see where that leads you? If you are a foot fetishist, does it matter what the rest of the body looks like if you are only going to worship their feet? If you like restraining someone with rope, does it really matter if that person has a curvy 36in waist rather than a slender 28in one? Only normally go for big, burly men with beards? Why not try a slighter guy with just a hint of stubble?
For me, sex is about making a mental connection that allows me to let go and submit fully. I love drinking piss – does it matter what the guy looks like who is using my piss gag? Not in the slightest. If the scene is right and chemistry is there, I go for it.
And surely we all want to make a great connection with whoever we are having sex with – whatever our fetish interests. Part of that connection may well come because of aesthetic considerations but the vast majority of it will come from a meeting of minds, of shared passions and interests and an openness to explore one another in a mutually satisfying way. If we started to put aside just some of the expectations about how people 'should' look, we might find more opportunities for play.
We should all aim to maintain a healthy body but we should also be maintaining a healthy mind. A satisfying sex life can boost your self-esteem and improve your mental health, so why not be more open as to the sort of man you might want to play with? Look beyond image into what makes him tick – you might be surprised at what you find.
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