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This post is inspired by several things. There have been a few posts out there in the internet about sex and fetishism. Specifically - what does it take to be considered a good sex partner, and the fulfillment of a partner's specific fetishes/fantasies when you aren't really interested in it. Combine this with Dan Savage's definition of being a "GGG" partner - Good, Giving, and Game. This loosely means that when it comes to a partner's interests, you are a good partner if you participate in their interests.

Some people I think confuse the two - sex and fetish. Or, perhaps more specifically, they treat them the same, whereas I think they require different approaches when trying to be a good partner.

Let's tackle them individually. (Examples given below refer to a partnership of two, but are all applicable to larger dining parties. These are all the opinions of me and me only. Your mileage may vary. Offer void in many states.)

Sex.

Should you have sex with your partner when you are not into it/feeling inspired? The on-paper answer is no. In my world, sex is good when both partners want it. I am only happy in my sex when the other person is perceivable into it - either visually, audibly, or participatory. Now, dry spells happen. Is it nice to give the other a quick "wank," to use a horrible turn of phrase, once in a while during these dry spells? Yes, I suppose it might. But not necessarily required. The trick here is to recognize that the lack of sex can sometimes breed confusion and doubt. Communication is the key here.

Fetishes. Also read as: Really specific interests/fantasies.

Here is a tough one. Let's refer to the GGG principle again. According to that philosophy, you are good partner if you show an acceptance on a participatory level in the specific sexual interests of your partner. OK, great. Now, does that mean you have to be actually into it? I'd say no. Example:

I have a foot fetish. I enjoy incorporating that into my sex life, nay, I'd say I have to have it incorporated in my sex life on some level. If I go without it, I am very sad. Now, am I to expect my partner(s) to be into it as much as I am? Absolutely not! Just because I am into feet does not mean my partner should/will be/has to be turned on by my ministrations on their feet. I do not need that to get off. What I need is acceptance, and the willingness to allow me my fun once in a while. I need to feel normal and valid despite having these wants, and I'd like to get them fulfilled once in a while. Not daily, not even weekly. But every now and then, yeah.

If I find you are into my particular brand of perversion, fabulous. We'll indulge ourselves until we drop. But, I don't necessarily need that.

Why?

Because as a fetishist, I have a rational understanding that not everyone is going to share my tastes. In fact, I know that some of my tastes might be shared by only one in a million, or even never. So, with a clear conscious, I cannot expect my partner to be into it. That's just not logical.

So when indulging, you do not need to be turned on. You could be doing it out of friendliness, or maybe curiosity/fascination. Just keep it positive, and we're all good. And again, just once in a while.

And I'll do the same for you. Because I also want to be a GGG partner.

There are some tastes that are so out there, they might never happen. I'm OK with that. Maybe one day I'll find someone to partake with. Maybe not. That's OK too. I am OK with that because I understand how out there some of my tastes are. Communication - always great.

In the kinky universe, there is a lot of stress about this. What are otherwise wonderful relationships can become stressed to the point of breakage just because of fetishes/fantasies. I think there is a way for people to meet the middle, and have everyone walk away content. Some people place expectations on either themselves or others that because they are into something, the other partner should be as well. Absolutely not. And we would do well to understand that, allow ourselves to accept that, and then find a middle ground for mutual fulfillment.

Disclaimer - these opinions assume partners are on an equal level in terms of day-to-day power exchange. When it comes to continual power exchange relationships, all of the above could be thrown out the window. I am merely writing what is true in my life, which is all I really can write about.

I should add that when in a D/s context, all of the above still applies in my life. But I know, not others.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
purplepathos
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
I've found that in a long-term relationship, there's a constant ebb and flow of desire and also of particular interests. Recently we went almost a month withohut sex (with each other wayway) due to being busy and Lin being sick and so on, and it was OK. We have lots of other intimacy, and I'm good with my hands. :) I'm not going to have sex with Lin if I'm in a bad place or if I'm so busy/distracted/whatever that I'll see it as a nuisance or an obligation, nor do I expect that of him--but on an average day when I'm not really in the mood but it won't hurt me either, I'm not averse to lending a hand (or other body part/s) to see Lin have a nice time. That might be enough to get me in the mood, but even if it's not, it makes me feel good to make him happy. On the flip side, Lin's almost always willing to at least hold me while I do what I have to do, even if he's not really in the mood to fuck. As for indulging fetishes--yeah. What's the harm in doing something for a partner even if it's not my thing? I love Lin and making him happy makes me happy.

Same applies to poly partners, etc.
nineinchlovely
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
re: the feets
A brief confession to make: I'm conceptually interested in foot fetish stuff as both giver and a receiver, but I am very much afraid that I'll be too ticklish to receive and I'll kick someone squarely into unconsciousness. :/

Great post! It's got me thinking.
paksen
Sep. 25th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC)
Re: the feets
My feet are highly sensitive and ticklish. However I've found that if someone takes a firm hand and is generally a bit more aggressive... well they don't get hurt :-)
nineinchlovely
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
Re: the feets
Ahhhh genius...btw, an utterly distracting icon. ;)
paksen
Sep. 25th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
So, I know this foot thing you've got usually involves you and someone else's feet. But, are you a foot fetishist switch? Mr. Innocent
boymeat
Sep. 25th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
I actually really enjoy getting my feet done.
redhead_sue
Sep. 25th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Great post.

I find that when your fetish is an object or a specific piece of the anatomy (like feet), it may be easier to divorce it from your sex life than say, an internal turn on or a power structure. For me, I would say that my fetish (D/s) and sex are almost too intertwined to be separated. Do I have a D/s relationship with everyone I have a sexual relationship with? No. But I'm extremely unlikely to be attracted to or turned on by a person who doesn't have some level of dominance in him (or her, but let's stick with male pronouns for now). I don't mean that he has to actually dominate me - but I react to a personality trait, even if it's just confidence in himself. And that trait (and my own innate tendency to be submissive in the bedroom) will naturally translate into sex.

As for: "Should you have sex with your partner when you are not into it/feeling inspired? The on-paper answer is no." As you say, that's only the on-paper answer. And your disclaimer does say that you're not talking about power dynamics. But I wanted to add that for me, that statement is pretty far from my day to day life. Should I have sex when I'm not in the mood? Maybe not. But my dynamic says that if he's in the mood, he has the right to have sex with me. That's our rule. And the irony of it is that it's hot for me - that he can have sex with me without me wanting to - so that my non-desire often turns into desire. Yet another way that I can't separate sex from my D/s fetish, or to put it another way, my need to bring my submissive nature into my sexual relationships.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )