The last time I was talking to Teddy Bear, we were discussing the different fetishes that he has and what is so amazingly hot about them. This time we're dealing with the tender stuff. The fragile nature of sharing those fetishes with your partner and if he can even have a partner that can't accept them.
Is your fetish lifestyle something that you are open about or do you only share it with a select few?
I am open about it with my closest friends and lovers. I think society teaches us to be ashamed of sex when its something that should be regarded as beautiful and spiritual. That said, I think sex/fetishes are something that should be personal in some ways. For example, I don't think one should embrace their fetishes/sexuality to the point of becoming dangerously promiscuous (in terms of STD's, not respecting one's own emotional worth or needs, etc.). Fetishes are things that are personal and should be shared intimately. And just to clarify to your readers, I consider what you do with your blog to be extremely intimate. Intimacy doesn't mean sharing only with one or few people. Intimacy is sharing with people who want to understand you and who want to experience a part of your deepest self in a genuine sense. When we can share our fetishes with others (sometimes even strangers), it can be deeply intimate if they truly appreciate what you're revealing to them and if they return that intimacy by sharing something of themselves. So, I guess even my perception of intimacy is about vulnerability in the masculine and feminine....
Speaking of what I do here, something that I have heard since I've been talking about things like this, is that I am brave. Do you ever feel, after sharing your fetishes, that you are vulnerable? Open for criticism?
I feel like I am vulnerable, yes, because I'm letting people know some of the most intimate parts of me. But I don't feel like I'm open for criticism. My sexual nature is my own and as long as I'm not hurting myself or others, nobody has a right to "criticize" my fetishes. I know my opinion on that is strongly influenced by having to deal with the repercussions of coming out, especially in a repressive, rural culture. Now if a partner wants to criticize my technique, that's totally fine (and I expect them to!). But criticizing my fetishes isn't something I'm interested in entertaining for others. I just think that's a dangerous path to secretly let the rampant sexual repression of our culture come into the conversation.
When do you try confide in/try it out with a new partner?
Honestly, from the beginning. I've made the mistake of not discussing it upfront with some partners (trust me....don't do that!). You have to know if your partner can accept your fetishes and if they can help you fulfill them (directly or indirectly). My current partner is a psych major and he has tried to psychoanalyze my fetishes when we've tried to engage in them. That kills the mood for me every time. However, I appreciate the fact that he's tried to engage in my fetishes to know who I am on a deeper level. Because we feel we're perfect for each other on almost every other level, we compromised to expand our relationship to polyamory for the right additional partners. Your partner should ALWAYS be willing to help meet your needs (and vice-versa); this was our way of doing that.
Would you say that you’re only attracted to people who can share in that with you? I know I am turned off by people who don't want to explore or even participate in the most tame fetishes. I have to be able to explore this side of me and I want a partner who has a similar side.
Definitely. Having spent so much of my teen years repressing who I was from those I cared about, I have no interest in doing that now. And we shouldn't have to repress ourselves...we should express ourselves! (Cue Madonna in my head.... Oi, I'm such a queer sometimes....) :-) That said, they don't have to fully engage in my fetishes, but they have to attempt to understand, accept, and embrace them in their own way.
Do you still enjoy “vanilla” sex or is the fetish a must now?
I do still enjoy vanilla sex because of the intimacy it creates between my partner and I. However, I'm attracted to vanilla sex because of him and my connection to him, not because I enjoy vanilla sex itself. So in some ways, fetish is a must now. I view sex as another way to bond with people, though, so this helps me transcend my need for fetish.
How do you feel about this saying: “A kink is a thrill, and a fetish is a must”?
I suppose it depends on how we define these things. There are certainly things that are musts and things that are just thrills (i.e., optional). In that sense, I totally agree with the statement, and it helps give a definition to what kinks and fetishes are (something that is hard to do in the kink/fetish community, I think).