Saturday, February 4, 2012

And They Call Me Strange

When I go out on the Internet, looking for conversations about balloon fetishism, I see a lot of porn sites trying to cash in on us, a few reasonable articles, and more than a few comments like, "That's really messed up," or "you people are sick."

I don't expect anyone who does not have the fetish, or even a fetish (or at least one they will recognize as such) to understand, but it seems that an awful lot of venom is reserved for people like me who get turned on by balloons, as opposed to "mainstream" fetishes like BDSM and spanking and latex and even furry fetishism. (Does that one have its own term, equivalent to globophilia? It seems like it's every bit as common.)

I've even seen some of these fetishes used as subject matter on prime time network television, particularly in episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. A dominatrix even appeared in multiple episodes as a very human and sympathetic character. In the same series (which does, after all, take place in Las Vegas), I have seen furries and infantilism and even fetishes for obese girls. I remember an episode of Picket Fences where the priest turned out to have a shoe fetish.

But the only references I have seen to balloon fetishes are in factual (if incompletely so) television, as with the series Strange Sex.

And yet our is such a harmless fetish! Maybe it's because people associate balloons with children, and so associate us with pedophiles. We are not pedophiles. The only connection between globophilia and childhood is that the roots of it, for most of us, go back way before puberty. But the sexual interest is very much an adult interest. And in case you hadn't noticed, adults play with balloons, too.

Maybe it's because we can get turned on by something that other people do without there being any sexual intent. Maybe the idea that, if you happen to be playing a balloon popping game at a party or on a game show or on a cruise that someone watching you might be getting hot because of it.

But we do things all the time that might be turning someone on. The clothes we wear—good grief, the shoes—any idea how common foot and shoe fetishes are? Men get turned on looking at attractive women all the time, and vice versa. What of it? It's not what we think about, or what makes us feel horny that counts. It's what we do about it. It's how we act.

And that is a matter of personal character. Not a matter of what one's particular turn-on is.