Hey all! I was thinking a lot recently about another community like ours and noticed that we have a LOT in common.
I'm sure you've figured out that the human mind and individual sexual desires are strange and complicated. Some people aren't wired at all for sexual release and some feel they're wired for too much. Most but not all people desire a partner of the opposite sex. Some people enjoy pain, some people enjoy wearing the other gender's clothes, some people enjoy danger, some people enjoy animal personalities, some people enjoy diapers, and this list goes on forever. And we don't seem to get to pick what we enjoy. We only get to choose if/how we participate and how much we allow our individual strangeness to affect our public personalities.
I was reading a novel that mentioned abasiophilia, or "impaired mobility fetish", in this case people who sexually enjoy pictures/thoughts about those who require leg braces. I am probably like most other ADISCers in looking at that and thinking "okay, whatever floats your boat" and having no sudden and special desire to participate in doing that. But oh boy, do I understand how important it must feel to those who claim that fetish! So I continued to read a little more about it.
At this page https://sites.google.com/site/abasioinfo/Home I found several parallels to the way we handle our own desires and fetishes. If you read through that page (and I also particularly recommend the link "Telling 'significant others' our secret"), just mentally replace any mention of their specific desires with your own. Their concerns are amazingly familiar:
- I probably saw/experienced something when I was little that triggered something in my head at just the right time
- My friend/parent may have reacted negatively when that happened, when meanwhile, I was secretly fascinated and wished I could be doing that too or that it would have been me
- Now that I am able, I (currently / want to / would if I could) "do that too", and those who know me (just think I honestly need to / understand that I simply like it / have absolutely no clue about it / would probably break all ties with me if they found out)
- I get a peculiar and strong kick / "fix" out of seeing my fetish objects being used in public and/or looking at pictures of people who have/need/use them
- I (would like to buy / have bought / have made) some things myself and use them (privately / in public covertly / as part of my public personality) for my own enjoyment
- I have agonized about telling important people in my life that I enjoy this, and results have ranged from outright disgust to acceptance to full cooperation/enjoyment
- Because I was pressured into it, I went and talked to a therapist about my interests and most likely learned that if I feel it doesn't dominate my life then he/she considers it harmless (to paraphrase the "Telling others" page, ”So, just (participate in the fetish) then. Who will it hurt?”)
- I have been upset by my feelings and have tried to get rid of them, and my personal inventory of items that relate to my feelings, but eventually my feelings come back and I am mad that I purged my collection again
- My private community understands that we desire the same objects/routines that some people honestly need and use daily to cope with body issues, and while they think that's strange and maybe even strongly disrespectful, we'll apologize for that and continue nevertheless
- A great amount of stories, pictures, and conversations exist inside the subculture of people from all walks of life who enjoy this and come together (on the Internet / at conventions / in small groups) to feel comfortable and/or show off among like-minded individuals
Again, there is a great wide world out there full of people who don't seek what's considered normal. I encourage any of you to go check out other places where people gather when they are looking for support/camaraderie regarding harmless but socially awkward desires. If you've ever heard of the humorous Rule 34 of the Internet, "If it exists, then there's pornography of it somewhere," then you can bet that there are also support forums and chat rooms for like-minded people that want to socialize about it.
I hope this helps some of you who stress over your feelings and have issues accepting them. If you ever feel compelled to hurt yourself or anyone else, or if you need to find ways to reduce the impact of your desires on your personal life, I would encourage you to go talk to a professional mental health expert. Otherwise, relax. You are a unique and valuable individual, and you are free to set your own boundaries.