Sunday, July 27, 2014
Sexual practices of a different kind
Sex: An act of love or a fetish?
While some of us are content with the idea of sex being an intense expression of love, the truth lies somewhere else. The conventionally approved act yet remains under wraps of shame; but the repression caused as a result of such controlled discretion seems to be manifesting in bizarre forms. Thus, redefining the purpose of sex is a whole new level of mania and fetish being practised by people around the world. Such unique practices that deviate from the accepted form of sexual explorations come under paraphilias- sexual arousal directed towards non-conventional objects of desire.
Agalmatophilia: a fetish for inanimate objects
The reason for such fetish could lie anywhere between battered relationships to poor social skills. Most sexual repressed people express their sexual fantasy over mannequins, dolls and other pseudo-human inanimate figures. The fantasy may extend to exchange of sexual pleasure between the objects or the thought of transforming oneself into the object itself. Pygmalionism, a fetish where the person develops feeling for the statue/object made by them, is also a form of Agalmatophilia.
Salirophilia: vandalism or merely harmless fetish?
This form of paraphilia involves the fetishist distorting the appearance of the object of desire. Dishevelling the objects appearance by tearing their hair and damaging the face and clothing among other things is a sexually exciting experience for the person.
BDSM: a reformed act of slavery?
Among other bizarre practices, this is the most obsessively discussed one, thanks to the popular fictional work by EL James. There are four aspects to BDSM: Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism. When clubbed in pairs, for instance, bondage and discipline or Sado-masochism, they become a sexual practice. Due to its unconventionality on all levels, BDSM is celebrated as a sub-cultural practice among non-normative members such as cross-dressers, animal players, and latex and rubber aficionados among others.
Typically, conventional sexual acts are power neutral. However, BDSM allows for informed consent to enact the master-slave relationship, wherein the dominating partner occupies the tops position while the subservient other falls under the category of the bottoms. Sadists and masochists are characterized by their sexual desire to inflict and receive pain and humiliation during the act.
According to modern psychology, Sado-masochistic practices are harmless provided they cause emotional distress to the person involved. On a subjective note, the practice can be considered as a therapeutic means to de-stress from daily, mundane activities. More importantly, as long as it is consensual, there is no room for worry. Legally, however, such practices may be considered demoralizing to the individuals well being and are therefore banned under certain jurisdictions.
Considering how shady these practices are to most people, it is surprising to find certain activities being commercialised on a large scale. Take Nyotaimori, for instance. This form of paraphilia involves sushi being presented to the consumer on a naked human body. The whole act is polished to make it not look like a sexual practice- pubic hair shaved, body being cleansed and enhanced with fragrant oils among other things. This kind of food play requires the naked body to remain still for hours and withstand the cold temperature emitted by the food. The sexual experience will improve sexual performance as well.
Finally, it is evident from the above instances that it is not the fear of the act that requires attention, but its repressive forms that need to be curbed from harming civilised societies.