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Are fetishes genetic?


AKcoyote
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There was a topic on a non-fur fetish board recently asking the question about that fetish: is it genetic? (Or more general - is any fetish genetic?).

 

My initial response was:

I think our genetic AND environmental programming gives us a tendency toward fetishism. The exact circumstances of our individual experiences determines if that tendency develops into a sexual or non-sexual fetish and which fetish or fetishes.
There is evidence that children without prior exposure to fur (or anti-fur retoric) naturally like the texture of fur. Does that indicate we are pre-programmed toward fur becoming a sexual or non-sexual fetish?

 

Any opinions on this among the members here

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"Nature" vs. "nurture. Right?

 

I think both. Nature give us the propensity for certain things. Nurture lets it grow.

 

How many of us didn't know we had an attraction to fur until some event woke it up for us?

 

I absolutely agree that most kids enjoy the sensation of touching fur and, without any interference from adults, are naturally attracted to it. This does not necessarily mean that the attraction is sexual. Kids don't know (and shouldn't know) about sex until they grow up. All they know is that they like it. When they become mature enough to make their own decisions about sex and sensuality, they can consider whether fur will be a part of their intimate lives.

 

In my obviously biased opinion, most people ( > 90% ) would enjoy sharing fur with the partner of their choice if given the chance. It is only when fur (and other things) are made taboo by narrow minded people that it becomes "weird" or "kinky." It is that taboo or sense of wrongdoing that turns a natural desire for pleasure into a fetish. If fur was a natural part of intimacy that anybody could enjoy without judgment from others, would it be a fetish? I think not.

 

Wouldn't it be great if everybody could have sex with fur any time they wanted and not be considered a fetishist?

 

In summary, I don't think that humans are naturally fetishist or non-fetishist. I think it is societal pressure that makes people tend toward fetishism.

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In summary, I don't think that humans are naturally fetishist or non-fetishist. I think it is societal pressure that makes people tend toward fetishism.
An interesting thought in regards to fur as a fetish. However, I cannot see "societal pressure" as making people have a tendency toward some of the more unusual or odd fetishes. I can although see "environmental conditioning" (exposure to the item during the formative years) as a possible triggering factor on some fetishes.

 

Most people hear the terms "fetish", "fetishist", or "fetishism" and automatically think of it as a sexual kink. Please keep in mind that there are other definitions to the term fetish that are NOT related to sex. Many people are obsessed by something (fur, shoes, etc, etc) and are driven to amass and use a large collection of the item, but never or very seldom use them in a sexual context.

 

As Worker pointed out many if not most people, absent of any negative programming, naturally like the texture that is fur. Thus the fur fetish may not be the best example when considering the original question regarding genetics as a factor in fetishism.

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What I am saying is that people are naturally curious and social, regardless of the situation.

 

A guy who likes to fix cars might stop and look at a cherry red Corvette parked in a stranger's driveway. When the owner walks out and the curious auto enthusiast says, "Hey! Nice car!" the owner isn't likely to kick the guy out. He's likely to strike up a conversation about cars.

 

If I saw a woman walking down the street who was wearing a fur coat and I stopped and said, "Hey! Nice fur!" her reply would likely be, "Piss off!"

 

Where's the difference? For one, being a "car guy" is socially acceptable. You don't get ostracized for it. You can walk into any hardware store or auto parts shop and freely say that you want to buy parts for your 1967 Stingray. I can't walk into a furrier or a clothing store and ask for a full length crystal fox in a size 46 without the risk of people calling me "fag."

 

Since I am not "normal" because of my personal preference, I experience anxiety and frustration. I am ostracized. I say, right there, is where all of the negative stereotypes about fetishists are born. People who are fetishists are not drooling, mouth-breathing perverts but, if society treats a person as a pervert, he might actually start to act like one.

 

I am forced to either sublimate my urges or else risk being marginalized.

 

Strange coincidence, today... I was just Googling around on a totally unrelated topic. I was looking up the name "Kinsey." Not "Alfred Kinsey," the famous sexuality researcher. Somebody else with that last name. Anyhow, I stumbled on the Kinsey Institute website and, two clicks later, this is what I found:

 

http://kinseyconfidential.org/sexual-fetish-blog-post/

 

Two things stuck out at me when I read it:

1) The mere sexual interest in some unusual object is NOT a fetish. It is actually called "paraphilia."

2) Paraphilia is NOT a diagnosable disorder UNLESS it causes distress to the individual or harm to others.

 

Bottom line: What we have all been saying here, at the Fur Den, for over six or seven years is that unless the desire for fur causes you to hurt yourself or others, there is no harm in it. Now, we actually have it IN WRITING.

 

The most recent edition, the DSM-IV, only describes paraphilia as a psychiatric disorder if it causes distress to the individual or harm to others.

 

http://kinseyconfidential.org/sexual-fetish-blog-post/

 

Another good read I found, too: "Fetishes Do Not Exist" located at Psychology Today.com

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/billion-wicked-thoughts/201205/fetishes-do-not-exist

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A couple of comments regarding Worker's last post:

a)

If I saw a woman walking down the street who was wearing a fur coat and I stopped and said, "Hey! Nice fur!" her reply would likely be, "Piss off!"
Not necessarily - it would depend on the circumstances. I have commented on the fur a woman was wearing without any negative response - however, I was usually also wearing fur at the time.

 

and

b) Worker's research shows that psychologists are starting to realize what many of us have known and discussed here before - our love of fur is not a bad thing "UNLESS it causes distress to the individual or harm to others". And thus our love of fur should not be automatically considered a disorder or unacceptable behavior.

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Not necessarily - it would depend on the circumstances. I have commented on the fur a woman was wearing without any negative response - however, I was usually also wearing fur at the time.

 

Sorry... That was hyperbole. I should have said, "You might be told to piss off."

The person's response would certainly be situational. Then, again, so would the car guy's response.

What if the guy with the Vette thought I was trying to steal his car? "Piss off!" would be a relatively nice reply.

 

love of fur is not a bad thing "UNLESS it causes distress to the individual or harm to others".

 

If I'm not hurting anybody, I can wear fur any time I want and everybody else can piss off!

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I have to say that I have been, on the whole, very lucky when I've commented about a stranger's fur. My favourite was telling a woman that I loved her gorgeous ankle length mink. She told me that, two minutes before, two teenage girls had made a snotty remark about her coat. We struck up a conversation, went for coffee which led to us spending the night together! (She was a widow whose husband had died a year before).

 

Happy days!

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