Pee, earlobes, feet, shoes. You name it, chances are someone has a fetish for it. According to good ol’ Merriam Webster, a fetish is ‘an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression.’
Fetishes are often stigmatised – and since it’s long overdue that we all move out of shame and into a space of openness and empowerment, accepting of our own fetishes, as well as those of our partner, should be instinctual.
But what if you find your partner’s fetish anything but appealing?
‘We’ve been together for a little over 1,5 and are currently living together. At first I was okay with catering to his fetish – I had never been in a relationship with an outspoken and specific fetish, so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Now I can’t really handle it anymore. He’s taking it for granted that his fetish is the main thing, because I’ve started to avoid anything sexual. I feel my sexuality has no room in the relationship. Is it okay to split up over this? I feel a bit shallow.’
Here’s how two people handled the fetishes they didn’t necessarily share with their partner.
1 I had a boyfriend who had a fetish for receiving golden showers
‘And of me talking as if I was banging a bunch of other guys because he didn’t satisfy me. I couldn’t do either of these things, and he was obsessive. He couldn’t get off unless he talked about the second thing, and he constantly tried to make me feel bad for not doing the first thing. I ended up not wanting to have sex with him at all, ever. Which of course he tried to make me feel bad about. If the fetish is something you can’t try for him and if he is making an issue of it, it’s 100% a valid reason to end things.’ [Via]
2 My last guy had a feeder fetish
‘Which was weird to me, but in exchange for me being “GGG” for his baffling fetish, he was also a good sexual partner for my needs, tried out a few of my kinks, and always made sure I was having a good time.’ [Via]
It comes down to you and your pleasure
A glaring difference in the above stories seems to be the boyfriends’ willingness to please their partner. At the end of the day, if incorporating someone’s fetish into your sex life means your own sexual pleasure takes the backseat – or if it’s something you’re just fundamentally uncomfortable with – you have every right to jump ship.
If they’ve raised their fetish with you and you’re keen to give it a try, remember to do the following:
- Ask as many questions as you need to, and do so from a compassionate and curious place. Make sure your partner knows you’re not judging them, but trying to learn as much as you can.
- Be honest with them about how you’re feeling. If, after learning more, you know in your gut it’s not something you’re keen to try, tell them that and explain why. Again, this doesn’t have to spell relationship-doom, so be kind and unjudgemental.
- If you’re on board, take some time (if you need it) to think through any more questions you may have, or any boundaries you’d like to put in place.
- Talk about what incorporating this fetish will mean for your existing sex life, and be frank about what you’d like to change and what you’d like to keep the same.
- Know that whatever your decision is, you are always allowed to change your mind. Agreeing to pee on someone in the shower over coffee is not a binding contract.
- Use this as an opportunity to talk about any fetishes or fantasies you may have.
If you can’t get past it or feel your sex life no longer serves you, you are allowed to leave. We are always allowed to leave. Just try to harness your inner Ellen and be kind while you do so.
After all, your partner (or ex-partner) is certainly not the only person to have their particular fetish. It’s just different strokes, as they say.