LIFTING THE HOOD – COMING OUT AS A FETISHISTby Nadine Summers
1. People will assume that you’re good at sex. I’m a fucking Casanova, what can I say.
2. Couples want to have threesomes with you. Because if you are kinky, you are a slut, and will sleep with literally anyone who offers it to you. (Only read 90% sarcasm here)
3. My friends thought it was cool to tell anyone and everyone. You’ll be at a dinner party and someone brings up horse riding and your mate just can’t help but blurt out “oh Nadine knows a thing or two about riding crops…”.
4. My parents got worried. Most parents just want to protect you – and things they maybe don’t understand are the things they think are most likely to harm you. When I started writing about fetish, I was warned about being “targeted”. They forgot that as a woman you are unsafe no matter your actions, because victims of assault are never the ones at fault. Rapists don’t often choose the people they rape out of some warped vigilante justice to teach sluts a lesson. It can happen to anyone. I believe I am no more likely to be harmed for being kinky (non-consensually) than if I was having completely vanilla sex. I am no less likely either.
5. Vanilla people might find you intimidating. Sleeping with heterosexual vanilla men becomes a minefield of sensitive egos and fragile masculinity. Or worse…
6. Vanilla men ask to “try” things with you. But they won’t actually be interested in the kink/have the oh-so-alluring darkness in their eyes that hints at a rotting carcass in replace of a heart. They’re just curious and you are the vehicle.
7. You might be calmer. Releasing the inner most fucked up stuff inside you can be liberating beyond imagination.
8. But it can fuck with your head. It’s a bit like being a virgin again – and the first person you explore that side of you with intimately can feel like your “first” all over again (minus the eyes screwed shut and premature ejaculation).
9. It can help with your self esteem. The fetish world accepted me for who I was – and didn’t ask me to conform to the same ideas of sexy as the normal world.
10. For the first year, you are selfish as fuck. It’s a life changing experience, and you are trying to navigate a whole new world. You will break some hearts, and get your own broken, but it’s worth it.
11. If you are a sub, exercise becomes way easier. Your pain threshold has gone up, and you’ve learnt to push through pain that is a lot worse than an hour’s interval training could ever be.
12. Your boss might think you’re being abused. A friend turned up to work with a black-eye. Fair warning: attempting to explain consensual non-consent usually just leads to raised eyebrows, judgements or an increasingly hands-y superior.
13. I am cripplingly broke. Latex, fetish clubs and sexy underwear is expensive, y’all.
14. People want to tell me about their sex lives ALL. THE. TIME. Strangers will ask what I write about and immediately assume that I can either a) fix their sexless marriages or b) offer them some kind of sexual liberation. And acquaintances will share intimate details of their genitalia and/or fantasies in the hope you can sympathise or give advice. Which – totally happy to do. Just not in the middle of a perfectly nice lunch with my father.