When you get around to reading my dark fantasy novel, Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire Series Book #1, in addition to discovering it’s pretty awesome, you’ll find that the setting is a fetish club. And since I don’t have any particular fetishes–that I’m going to discuss on this very public blog–I had to do a lot of research to adequately cover this part of the story. A lot of FUN research, I might add.
Yesterday, a fan of my novel asked this on my FB page: “i was wondering what research you did to find out about the intense fetishism”
Well, thanks for asking because I love talking about my book. I also have a twisted fascination with things that are outside-the-box. Controversial. Unusual. Oftentimes, offensive to mainstream folks. To those who believe in clearly-defined rights and wrongs, blacks and whites. I happen to see a very liberal middle-of-the-road and all shades of gray…and it’s so much more fun.
So let’s talk about fetishes. More specifically, where did I get all the fetish information to make my characters seem believable and real, even in a paranormal world?
This is my working fetish definition, taken from dictionary.com: any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.
After clearly defining what I was looking for, I went on a Google hunt for various fetishes and read up on waaaay more than I bargained for. Having heard of a few through the years, I was surprised to see the laundry list of things people are into. And whatever wasn’t on one list was on another. There were lists after lists of things people find erotic. Of things they NEED to actually enjoy a sexual encounter. I discovered one could have a fetish about ANYTHING. Fat, plants, toothpaste… Nothing is too bizarre…not, if you’re the one attracted and fixated on it.
After studying the definitions, classifications, and character traits for the nonexhaustive list of fetishes, I read online forum discussions, community websites, psychology reports, journal case studies, wikipedia pages, you name it.
Then I watched a bunch of fetish movies and porn. Yes, I said porn. Some seemed interesting enough to try (and wouldn’t you want to know what I tried, but I’m not telling 🙂 ). Some things looked out-of-this-world unbelievable. Some things made my eyes bleed, and I wish I could remove the images from my memories.
Some fetishes are mild, some extreme. Some hurt physically, even death can occur (ie. autoasphyxia). Some are not inherently harmful, but may cause psychological pain, especially if a person doesn’t feel normal, tries desperately to conform and can’t (ie. media fetish–rubber, latex, silk, vinyl, leather clothing). Some fetishes are comforting, rewarding (ie. a person who needs role-playing partnered with another who needs role-playing). Some interfere with a person’s relationships or lifestyle (in which case, professional help may be necessary). The one thing that seems consistent, is that most people like to keep their fetish a secret, unless they are around others with a similar fetish.
I do my best not to past judgment on others, so I read and watched with curiosity, and without the mindset of “these people are crazy” or “they must have been abused as children” or whatever morals people who don’t understand or even try to understand impose on people who are into something different. That’s not to say that some of these cliches are not true in some cases, but that’s not for me to decide. I only wanted to learn.
I feel like I’m rambling now…
What I mean to say, dearest fan, is that I studied and immersed myself in fetishes that seemed interesting (or odd) enough to write about. And I assure you there is more to come.