“Can you explain fetishes to me?” Georgie, our Sunday hostess asks me. This isn’t a question I field everyday.

“Why are you asking?” I reply.

“You majored in psych didn’t you?”

“I did.”

“I’m taking abnormal psych now, Georgie explains. “And we’ve just gotten to the chapter on sexual deviancy.”

“As I recall that was my favorite part of the class,” I say, wistfully recalling my college years.

“I’ll bet it was,” Georgie says, smiling.

“One man’s deviance is another man’s pleasure.”

“My professor says everyone has some sort of fetish, ” Georgie says. “Is that true?”

“Thats kind of true,” I reply. “But I think your professor’s over generalizing to keep his students paying attention.


“Sexual fetishism’s a mental disorder that interferes with sexual functioning,” I explain. “Your professors probably talking about the little erotic associations people make with certain objects or situations. Everyone’s got something that turns them on. To a degree thats normal.”

“When is it abnormal?” Georgie asks.

As I try and think of a cogent example, part of me wonders if I should be having this kind of conversation with a twenty year old girl. Aw hell, she grew up with the internet.

“Listen,” I say. “Some girls think a man wearing a tool belts hot, right?”


“And occasionally,” I continue, “Sometimes a girl might ask her boyfriend to wear the tool belt in bed.”

Georgie starts laughing.

“Now thats pretty normal stuff,” I say. “People try and spice up their love life, have a little fun.”

“OK,” Georgie says, blushing slightly, “I follow you.”

“But when people can’t be sexual without these things,” I say, “That’s when the problems start.

“I’m losing you.”

“Let’s stick with the tool belt example,” I say. “Say this girl we’re talking about makes her boyfriend wear it all time. She can’t have sex without it.”


“Now take that to the umpteenth degree,” I say. “And remove the boyfriend from the equation entirely.”

“You mean the girls in love with a tool belt?” Georgie stammers.

“She’s no longer attracted to flesh and blood people,” I say. “But to an inanimate object.”

“That is a problem,” Georgie mutters.

“You see the difference?” I ask. “On one end of the scales a harmless little bit of kink. On the other end of the scale? Perverted loony tunes.”

“I think I get it,” Georgie says.

“It’s all a matter of degree, I say. “And when you’re in back in class you should argue that drugs and alcohol are a type of fetish.”

“Why’s that?”

“How many people do you know who can’t enjoy sex without chemicals?”

“That’s interesting, Georgie says. “I’lll bring it up.”

“Hope it gets you an A.”

“Me too.”

“And if you want extra credit,” I suggest, “Write a paper about the Furries.

“What are Furries?” Georgie asks.

“They’re the perverted Looney Tunes – literally.”

“I’ve never heard of them.”

“Google it my dear,” I reply. “Because I’ll probably burn in Hell if I tell you.”

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