People...I’m into a lot of fucked up shit. Some of it I’m willing to discuss publicly and some of it I save to masturbate to privately. But luckily for me, most of my perversions are either things I’m able to hide from the world at large, or things that I don’t need to. When I say I like having sex with consenting men,women, and sex toys, there’s an entire community of people to give me a high five and shout “welcome to the club”. The whole thing makes me feel pretty damn warm and fuzzy inside.
Sadly though, not everyone is so lucky. There's a large number of people in our society that we deliberately marginalise and even terrorise, purely because we find their sexual proclivities or perversions too distasteful. Even the most liberal minded among us tends to have blind spots when it comes to certain sexual activities. The majority of people think incest is wrong, bestiality is fucked up, and pedophiles just shouldn't be discussed. Some people find furries or foot fetishists freaky, and others think virgins are damaged prudes, or that old people sex is gross and wrong. Most people are revolted by coprophiliacs and necrophiliacs once they realise they're people who like to fuck with shit and dead people respectively.
Regardless of how open minded your social circle is, there will always be some aspect of sexuality that's a punchline. Among BDSM and kinksters, the laughter is often directed at "vanillas", while furries turn up their noses at zoophiles. And often we take it a step further and just use these sexualities as the benchmark by which to set our insults. This is completely unnecessary, since it's completely possible to emotionally cripple someone with a good insult, without calling into question theirs or anyone else's sexual activities.
When “kiddie-fiddler”, “dog-fucker”, “pathetic virgin”, “granny-lover”, etc become shorthand for “I don’t like you”, we’re telling everyone in the world who has even the slightest curiosity about these things that they’re an abomination for even wanting to know more. We’ve done this before by using the word “gay” as a catchall to describe anything that’s not good. And how well did that work out? We have schools filled with LGBTIQA kids who are surrounded by a lexicon that tells them everything that they are is shit, and bad, and fucked up. Using sexual identities, preferences, or fetishes as any kind of insult is not okay. It breeds fear, it breeds animosity and it results in abuse and harassment.
The other thing we have a habit of doing, is vilifying certain behaviours to the point that any rational discussion around them becomes seen as “apologism”. When we do this, we’re undermining the possibility of ever understanding these things better. Pedophilia is a great example, where it's so reviled, so hated, that if you even attempt to discuss it in front of people the entire conversation will be derailed into an assortment of horror film-esque cliches about what people would do to a pedophile if they ever found one.
Any attempts to discuss bestiality are often met with so many protestations of disgust that it becomes impossible to have an actual conversation. People feel the need to register their personal revulsion far more than they feel the need to understand an attraction felt by other people. Curiously this was a similar reaction I got from people when disclosing that I was in a poly triad.
When I mentioned to friends that I was researching these fringe sexualities, the response seemed to be a universal “Be careful”. The people I spoke to were concerned that even attempting to look into pedophilia, incest, bestiality, etc would tar me as a “child abuse sympathiser”, a “brother-lover” or a “sheep-fucker”. The fact that there’s any topic on this earth that we can deem “too risky to research” honestly breaks my heart. Knowledge should never be something that we shy away from. The more controversial the issue, the more it deserves to be explored. We seem to have this idea that unless we’re vehemently and violently denouncing all attempts at a conversation about these topics, then people will suspect that maybe we’re one of them.
The fact remains, with all situations like this, if we can’t discuss these things, if we can’t explore them intellectually, we’re forfeiting any possibility of understanding them. You might be asking why you'd want to have more understanding for a woman who fucks her brother, or a man who is attracted to children, or someone who wants to have sex with animals. The answer is, because they're part of the same world you and I are. Having more understanding of the people you share your world with is a good thing.
We live in a world that has pedophiles. Our current attitude seems to be one of “castrate or kill them if they touch a kid” but wouldn’t a better position be, “Let’s find out what causes it and where it comes from so that no one has to suffer?”
We live in a world that has incest, both benign and predatory. Doesn't it strike you as important to be able to tell the difference? To know who needs help and support, and who is just enjoying a different relationship to the norm? Because to me, that's a fucking important distinction.
We live in a world where people are attracted to animals, to the elderly, to inanimate objects, to people in giant plush costumes, or to the dead. Rather than pointing at them and laughing because they’re the 1% that are different, why don’t we look at why? Why don’t we try and show a little compassion? We’re humans and the thing that has set us apart from every species on earth for all of history is our curiosity, our intellect. Let’s not resort to throwing rocks at whatever we think is different. Let’s be evolved and understand it.
Understanding is the first step towards empathy, and I honestly believe that the one thing we truly need right now is a little empathy to our fellow human beings.
So I hope you’ll join me in this new series as each article we explore the fringe elements of a different aspect of human sexuality. I'm hoping you can suspend whatever prejudices you might have had and learn something new. Bring some empathy to a world that is already too filled with hate.
That is all.
You may go now.