I’ve been studying sexual fetishism for the past few months, learning the kinky psychology behind all major forms of fetishization, preparing material for my next book, Fetish. This research has given me fresh insight into the all-to-uncomfortable-for-some world of sexual fetishization.
There’s this need we all have to look for meaning in the deviant. This is the reason we idolize love triangle murders on daytime TV because we need to find common ground. The reason we spend hours and hours of time learning everything we can about Charley Manson (may he rest in peace) is so we can find a way to empathize with the people we want to hate. We run the risk of falling in love with these real-life characters when we find out they’re a lot like us. The people we can’t or refuse to understand become our enemies. The world of sexual fetishization is rife with subjects polite society wants to keep at arm's length. The story everyone wants to hear is the one they can see themselves in, whether they like it or not.
We all have a need to control and be controlled. This predilection for order is the need to master our surroundings to better mediate any unforeseen symptoms of living in a world with other animals just like us. My goal is to find the animals worth magnifying, looking for the truth in whips and chains.
What I've been looking for (what I’m always looking for) is the underlying narrative; what’s happening with the objects, ideologies, and compulsions of my victims and characters. The question I have to answer for myself when I sit down to explain what’s in the dark is simple; How do I turn the thing you want to kill into the thing you want to protect? How do I turn your pitchfork into a loving, outstretched hand? How do I convince you that you’re the bearded lady I’ve been looking for?
In all my work I want to explain why you could be just one missed childhood hug away from wanting to be encased in latex and berated in a cage by a six-foot-four woman in a nun’s habit. What type of people aren’t worthy of day-time television slots? What type of people are we willing to throw away? What type of people are we willing to fight for? What’s so great about being so boring in bed? So many questions; the main reason anyone sits down to write anything.
Sexual fetishism represents a counterculture going through initiation. What makes this culture specifically interesting is the fact that so much of the mystique behind it is based out of a want to be misunderstood. The goal isn’t to be accepted; the goal is to get off. The more we put sexual fetishism in the mainstream the less these people have something to hide. The less they have something to hide, the less sexy it is to be electrocuted in a lower Manhattan dungeon made for punishing those willing to pay $375 an hour for it. Yes, people are spending more money than you make in three days at your shitty job to have some barrel-chested broad hurl insults at them while she stilettos her way as deep as she can into the side of their head.
The word fetish derives from the French fétiche, which comes from the Portuguese feitiço ("spell"), which in turn derives from the Latin facticius (“artificial”) and facere ("to make"). A fetish is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object. The elevating of material. The idolization of leather boots. Where does it end? Why can’t you sexually fetishize the demise of your boss? Are you a pariah if you have to hold onto something every time the Jets are on fourth and goal? Why can’t you worship the perfectly curated collection of color corrected photos you show-and-tell to the world on a daily basis? Where is the line between you and the freak you don’t want breathing down your neck?
I’m not looking into the world of sexual fetishism for the shock value of electro torture or bondage; I’m looking for what makes the unnatural come naturally to some. One man’s paraphilia is another man’s late-night programming. I’m looking for a story more interesting than a coming of age tale about a precocious young farm girl. I’m looking for raw meat, risky and bloody. Where’s the circus? Where’s the bearded lady?
The narrative I’m putting together for my upcoming book is all of that. All the things I love to read and be surprised by. Shock value be damned; my goal is to paint a picture of obsession, consumptive sexual impulse, people wholly infected by their need to be subjugated. I want to show you what I worship, what you worship. I want to write a book your embarrassed to buy.