I post and follow on Twitter, but not very often. It started as a way to promote my book, and that score it has been spectacularly unsuccessful. But I haven't deleted my Twitter account because it does add some dimension to the research for my new book.
I keep a search going for the words "balloon fetish." Not so much to find other fetishists (Facebook, it turns out, is much more fruitful for that), but to see what people are saying about balloon fetishes. Mostly, I see very little posting by actual fetishists; what I mostly see is promotional posts by balloon fetish sites, and posts by people who have recently watched either Strange Sex or National Geographic's Taboo.
And the reactions are usually not positive. Now, as an indicator of how the general public feels watching a segment about balloon fetishism (albeit a narrow and misleading one, in both cases), tweets are probably not very helpful. When you consider who tweets, and what they normally tweet about, you might expect to get more "I just saw something really weird" posts than "I just saw this and found it very interesting" or "I was watching this and I really didn't have much of a reaction to it" posts.
Still, it's disturbing to see so many posters responding to these documentaries with LOLs and WTFs. And for a while I tried to set them straight, sending a link to my short, but more reasoned page on the subject on my book's site. But I realized that it was just a knee-jerk reaction on my part. No one who does posts like that is going to change his or her mind because a real fetishist tweets something to them. Maybe if one of their own friends came out to them as a fetishist. Or maybe not.
It makes people feel secure and more powerful socially to reject something that hints at "otherness." Especially young adults, from whom most of these posts seem to come. We just have to accept the fact that our sexual oddities cause discomfort to most of those who don't share them.
Of course, I'm sure that any of my gay and lesbian friends could have told me that.