South Africa's LGBTI newspaper since the 1980's

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By Quentin Tolmay

Our bodies are instruments that play different tunes to different people. We rarely explore and experiment with our bodies beyond our comfort zone, scared that we will either hate it or love it, or that our friends won’t approve. Truth is most of us have some sort of fetish, something that triggers our desires and gives us our ultimate sexual experience.
Fetishes can spice up your love life, adding a new excitement factor in your relationship. The most important part is sitting down with your partner(s) and discussing what you both find comfortable and taking it from there. There’s a massive online support system to help you with the “In’s and Out’s” as well as people who have classes teaching you in a safe and clean environment how to make your fantasy a reality. There are many varieties to choose from and it's only limited to what we care to experience. A fetish can take any form, and it isn't only limited to objects; you can fire your fixation in a certain body part to such a level that it is the spark in your sexual arousal. feet4
Safety is a huge part in fetishes and they come from a lot longer back than we think. For instance, a fetish called “tentacle rape” was invented in the early 1600s by Toshio Maeda, who called this artistry ‘Urotsukidojiith’, with an array of artists and poets using it as illustrations and inspiration in their art works, resulting in quite a few accidents and even deaths when women tried to play it out. The most popular adaptation was the art of Katsushika Hokusai, a Japanese artist who created 32 paintings which is now internationally recognized in the festish world.
A more common fetish is “autoerotic asphyxiation” also know as breath play, which causes around 500 to a 1000 deaths per year, and is the strangling of a partner with either your hands or an object . The person who will take part in ‘breath play’ has a huge responsibility to their partner, always making sure to have proper signals to avoid any accidents. This fetish dates back to the 1600s when it was used to cure erectile dysfunction. We all get caught up in the moment, and sometimes our bodies can take over; it's important to remember to have set rules between you and your partner(s).
The most common fetish in modern day, which also dates back as one of the oldest fetishes, is feet. This fetish dates all the way back to the early 1300s when it first surfaced in all its sweat-pruned glory. This can go from only kissing the feet to, well, you can figure out the rest. The fetish for feet isn't as glamorous as you may think. In the late 1300s almost everything gave you some sort of disease, and apparently, feet was a somewhat compromised solution.

The second most common fetish in the modern era is sadomasochism, named after the Marquis de Sade, a French philosopher famous for his liberal views on sexuality. One of his most famous quotes was, ‘It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure’. S&M and bondage have become very mainstream thanks to popular films and books such as Quills and Fifty shades of Gray. Dominators and submissive candidates or ‘masters and pets’ have become so popular that many countries have installed clinical units especially for S&M related injuries or counselling.
Some of us can admit to have ‘dipped our toes’ in the vast pool of fetishes, and sometimes it can be liberating finally testing the waters and finding out what works for you. We have finally come into an age where sex is no longer frowned upon and where we have the freedom to try out new things, so the real question is, why not?

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