Fetishes come in various forms. There is the lawyer who has a fetish for success and infinite possibilities achieved. There is the mom who has a fetish for discipline because of her desire to rear responsible and well-mannered children. There is the fashionista who has a fetish for healthy living through exercise and diet. There is the graduate student who has a fetish for finding romance at the turn of every corner. Each of these represents a longing within them that demands complete devotion to their fixation and each fixation has a spell of sorts on their desires. The lawyer may be driven by a fear of failure. The mom may be driven by the fear of her own mistakes. The fashionista may be driven by the fear of obesity. The student may be driven by the fear of loneliness. Behind each of these fetishes lies a fear through which our obsessions are manifested. I admire these four souls who have found drive to diminish the power of their fear and release its hold on them.
Twenty minutes into trying to figure out my own fetish, I decided to reverse the theory and look at my fears. The process worked. I fear not having a voice, being silenced, losing the ability to articulate my thoughts. My fetish is writing. I am continuously in composition from journal entries that reveal my deepest secrets to manuals for standard operations of procedures. It matters to me not what I have authored but that I simply have. It is through transcription that I reveal who I am and acknowledge that I am present and relative. You have encouraged this voice merely by reading this blog.
Typically, when we think of fetishes we picture sexual fetishism where sexual connotation is given to asexual entities. The most commonly recognized of these is the foot fetish. In walks Peter. Literally. I was sitting at my desk with my feet propped on the foot rest when he walked in without a word and removed my shoe before I could say “hold on” to whoever had me engaged in conversation. I ran him off and forbid him to return after a few coarse words. On another occasion, Peter returned to the scene of his initial violation; however this time he satisfied his pleasures via web images in the computer lab. And again, Peter returned, but to his enjoyment he was able to con the freshman coed to remove her shoe and achieve ultimate gratification.
Horror flashed across her face and then embarrassment as we laughed at her naivety in helping Peter show her where his ankle hurt. When I explained his fetish and that showing him her foot was equal to showing a typical teenage male her boobs, she was in disbelief. I imagine that she spent all evening on google trying to learn more about the concept that had not held space in her budding mind prior to this moment. I wondered when I first learned about such crazes and other more sinister perversions. Surely my inexperience decreased as my fears increased, until my own fetish captured my interests and seduced my hands with pen and paper.
I wonder what fear guided Peter to his fetish, or if an experience shaped his amusement. I will probably never know but in preparation, I am adopting a shoe fetish.