The Irony of Social Fetish Production

Humanity’s strange sexual fetishes are ironically produced by the very societies that reject them.   By framing them as taboo, depraved and forbidden, social structures give them their erotic power.  It is a fascinating case of things producing their apparent opposites.

To illustrate the point, let us take an extreme case: that of the fetish for human feces.  Originally, feces is sexually neutral.  But to the individual with a “scat fetish,” it becomes imbued with tremendous sexual power.  The fact that it is rejected by society as “dirty” and “filthy” gives it power for such an individual; by taking sexual pleasure in its manipulation, such a person draws on society’s rejection of it and framing of it as taboo as a means to sexual excitement.  Society in effect constitutes the ‘debauchery’ of the debauchee by defining what debauchery consists of.

Similar arguments can be made for people with “foot fetishes” (the ‘dirty, rejected’ foot sexually embraced), or “watersports fetishes” (centered on the embracing of urine), menstrual fetishes, sado-masochism (pain rejected by society embraced and intentionally inflicted/suffered for personal pleasure), and so on.  Other fetishes in which rejection of something by society makes it sexually exciting for the fetishist include exhibitionism, cross-dressing (though that is changing), fetishes for twins sexuality, etc.  The argument does not hold true for all fetishes, but it works for cases like these.

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