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imo, fetishes are a direct result of early psychological imprintation. they are a sexual fixation of objects and scenarios that aren't typically erotic, and to me the role of dominant and submissive definitely relates to being a kid. being a kid involves submitting to the will of your parents, caretakers, teachers, doctors etc, and the need to relive and/or transcend that dynamic in order to achieve that initial moment of sexual awareness makes perfect sense to me. the submissive role is the foundation for all fetishes, and i can easily see how admonishment, spanking, diapering and medical fetishes can all be products of exposure at an early age. feet, bondage and rougher types of play are a little more of an abstract reference to that, but i still feel that since they draw upon the dom/sub dynamic, childhood still comes into play. that doesn't necessarily imply abuse as often the fetishist doesn't understand what's happening to them at the time and rarely the person on the other end is trying to satisfy their own fantasies. even if there is active participation on the part of the other actor, there's still arousal, hence the sometimes insurmountable level of guilt involved with sexual abuse on the part of the victim.
a person's sexuality is one the most deeply ingrained aspects of their psyche; it's a fulcrum from which all of their other behavior stems. to dismiss the formative years, when all of those hormones are brewing at full steam and you're like a sponge to the world, is missing the mark. indeed, other factors can definitely influence a person's sexual identity such as personality type and cultural upbringing, but ultimately childhood is the key to understanding fetishes and sexuality in general. in any case what turns you on is what turns you on, and as long as it takes place between two (or more) consenting adults, i think it's perfectly fine. i wish more people would embrace what makes them tick. to roughly quote alan moore, there's nothing more honest than fucking. it's a recognition of your own humanity.
i think we live in a very sexually repressed society. and to me, the fact that s&m and bondage are such a fashion statement today speaks to the state of affairs. as i mentioned above i don't think there's anything wrong with what anyone does behind closed doors with a consenting partner of legal age, but from a broader perspective the way western culture glorifies and now sexualizes violent behavior is something that does give me pause. it's open season on furries but if a chick wants to be choked out and hogtied she's "fun" in a lot of people's eyes (i don't connect with either type of play ftr). kind of odd, isn't it?
-------------------- It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.- Philip K. Dick