Something which is very prevalent in our society today is the fact that we have to hide our preferences which appear to be socially unacceptable. Anything which is deemed to be “deviant” is then assumed to be not “normal” and therefore should be hidden.
This in itself then creates a behaviour which is secretive and creates a feeling of anticipation which in itself is then felt as exhilarating and something which is breaking the rules especially if that person has a life where they feel they have to conform.
Sometimes the issues are not necessarily with the client and does lead us to question whether it is in fact society which has the problem and not client, particularly if the sexual fetish is not harmful to self, others, a problem financially and is not feeling like a compulsion or addiction. Yet, I still get enquiries and see clients who feel they “should not” have the need or the want to indulge in something they enjoy purely on the basis it is not socially acceptable.
However, when a sexual fetish becomes an issue, is obviously when it does become obsessive, an addiction, harmful to ones self or to another or others. Additionally there is the issue of whether the client can afford it, it is encroaching on their relationships or getting in the way of their lifestyle or future.
As you well know, the variance of sexual fetishes is never ending and may be from apparently mundane attributes which we might never see as sexually arousing through to better known terms of experiencing that one preference which somehow fulfils our needs.
The need for dominance, being subservient, visual or tactile fetishes like tights or pantyhose, physical fetishes like wrestling or female muscle worship, the sexual anticipation of visiting massage parlours or hiring high end escorts and so many others which vary and in a way give us something which we feel give us what we need in no other way anything else can. The point is – there should be no judgement as each of us in some way have a preference in our sexual make-up just same as preferring blondes, brunettes, short, tall, thin etc. It is just that those preferences have been deemed as “acceptable” by not only society but also the press.
When a client decides they need to deal with this sexual fetish, then the first step is to establish whether or not they need to in fact lose it altogether. Is it something which feels out of control?
The problem is that if ultimately you do not want to let it go altogether, then no treatment will work. No doctor, psychologist or any other therapist will be able to help if in fact there is resistance at some level in letting the fetish go. So, the first thing we have to do is to decide if you do in fact want to completely lose it, or in fact you want to keep it under control and be something you might like to indulge in occasionally instead of it taking over your life. That way – if there is agreement at some level, then you are able to conduct therapy effectively.
Some of the issues associated with fetishes are when they have in fact become an addiction. A continual need to have that feeling fulfilled which then takes over so much of your mental space and energy it is difficult to focus on any other area of your life.
Again, this is easy to deal with and with a combination of NLP, TLT and Hypnotherapy, depending on the need of the client, the compulsion and overriding need starts to reduce and then disappear.
One thing so many therapists forget about is that you are now creating a very large empty gulf and if in fact you do not gain agreement from the client as to how in fact to full that gap then the fetish or addiction/compulsion can then come back as it is the only thing which will full the void.
Also – fetishes which are not wanted can also be a product of other parts of the self which have not been developed or are formed by past life experience or learned behaviour in some way. For instance, a client who required severe domination to the extent of being cut and experience blood letting had in fact formed the connection of release and that pain from when he was young and had been involved in a car accident resulting in multiple fractures and severe pain. The pain then turned into a kind of “rush” as he put it and a release in a way and then he began to seek that same feeling from other avenues. The problem had begun when he needed to be cut and experience the pain to that degree which he knew was taking him into a place which was not beneficial for him. That is when he contacted me.
Some clients decide on something which is better for them like a renewed interest in self, doing something more productive for themselves or maybe taking part in another sexual activity which is less harmful or distracting for the client and they do not have the same compulsion towards.
The approach I have with clients is somewhat different from other therapists as we look for the connections and what the client is gaining from the fetish and what it gives them and find another way of giving them the same feeling of pleasure, belonging, elation, anticipation, release that would be missing and possibly create another compulsion if not dealt with.
So many therapists claim to be able to deal with fetishes but without understanding the client or understanding fetish and with the belief that a set treatment will “cure” them of their terrible affliction! I have to say that as yet, no one has yet shocked me nor have they presented anything other than a logical need or want based on their life experience and current requirements in order for them to feel whole.
So, if your preferences/fetishes have become unmanageable in some way then do seek help but first look at the reasons you are about to deal with and ask yourself if it is because you are looking for an apparent social acceptance if it is not hurting anyone else or yourself in any way?
If you would like more information about sexual fetishes and addictions then please go to contact me for an informal discussion and appointment.