Balloon Fetish?

What Is a Balloon Fetish?

It's simpler than it sounds. And a lot more complicated. Having a balloon fetish simply means that a person get sexually excited, in some way, by toy balloons.

To be more accurate, a sexual attraction to an inanimate object is called a paraphilia. If you have a paraphilia for balloons, then balloons are your fetish, that is, the object of your paraphilia. That is why I prefer to use the term globophilia to describe my love for balloons (thanks to the blogger Triple Outcast for giving me this useful term).

Things get more complicated when you try to pigeonhole anyone on the basis of their sexual attraction to balloons. For one thing, having a balloon fetish says nothing about what kind of person you are. It does not hark back to a troubled childhood, necessarily, or a happy childhood, necessarily. Kind people, mean people, young people, old people, gay people, straight people, Americans, Europeans, Asians, Latinos ... you get the idea, I hope: globophiles are just people.

And their sexual interest in balloons can be as varied as the people themselves. Many who write about balloon fetishists like to try to classify us into groups. Popper, non-popper, semi-popper (whatever that means). But the number of ways balloons can be enjoyed seems infinitely varied, much to my surprise.

Popper? Sure, but how do you like to pop balloons (or see balloons being popped, for some, like me, are more voyeuristic about it than others)? Pins? Cigarettes? Stomping? Sitting? Blowing until they burst? There are people who are turned on by all of these, sometimes to the exclusion of the others.

Non-popper? Sure, but even some non-poppers are turned on by balloons almost getting popped, coming close to that point. While others just don't like even the risk of balloons popping. And some are scared by balloons popping (me, I admit, even though I'm a popper—go figure), and some just hate it without any fear involved.

Are people who get off on balloons weird? Who's to say? It's an unusual fetish, but quite harmless, and I suspect that a lot of people who seem to have some special disgust for balloon fetishists (and I've seen a lot of comments on Twitter of late since Strange Sex became available on Netflix) are either very hung-up themselves, or mistake us for pedophiles, which is nonsense. It's like saying that shoe fetishists are pedophiles because, after all, children wear shoes. Children play with balloons, but so do adults, and some of us just play with them more intimately than others.

Want to know what kind of person gets sexually excited by an inanimate object? Look around you. Balloons fetishists are rare (I don't buy the 250,000-500,000 figure alluded to in Strange Sex) but fetishism overall, not so much so. The chances are very good that someone you know has some kind of fetish that you would consider strange (this is assuming that you don't have a fetish—if you do, welcome to the club).

Balloons have a lovely tactile feel, and the pop (for those who enjoy it) has a nice orgasmic connection, not to mention the adrenaline rush. As fetish objects go, it's a pretty obvious one.

At least, to me, but I'm biased.