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Do you think our fetishes are representative of deep desires?

DarrylWolf

Banned
Banned
Well, yes, unequivocally. I know that I should not have wanted the music and literature I find myself attracted to. They were made by and for other people and I knew they belonged to "someone else" and not me. HOWEVER, thanks to the fandom I can become the "someone else" and have access to those things. Outside of the fandom, very sensitive people who have nothing better to do than to be offended by virtually everything are not surprisingly offended by this. But their jurisdiction is limited outside the fandom.

I am certain that other people go into the fandom with other fetishes and they are representative of deep desires they may hold but society says they can't express them anywhere else. My condition is bizarre but this fandom is where the strange people go. That's why they express forbidden thoughts here.
 
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sniperfreak223

More Metal Than You !!!
for me,no...I'm a pretty tame dude IRL, not so much on the interwebs.
 

1000bluntz

mark ass trick
I don't think so, not for me anyway. I'm just really into feet, submission and humiliation- none of those surface when I think about my real desires. They're just sexual desires that help me get my rocks off, nothing more.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
"Do you think our fetishes are representative of deep desires? " = "Do you think our fetishes are metaphors for our deep desires?"

As opposed to, what, superficial desires?

this discussion is pointless imho unless someone wants to tell me what good comes from trading vague statements

I think by deep desire 'psychological need' is implied.

For example a person might be expected to have a bondage fetish because they actually have a psychological need to be taken care of- which manifests in an abstract representation of trust 'tie me up'.

This would compare with the stochastic model, 'I dig red hair, because my babysitter was redhaired and I once saw her underwear,'.

The two are not mutually exclusive, but they are at two ends of a spectrum.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
I tend to think that fetishes can be symbolic representations of our deeper desires or yearnings, which can even include things we're just intensely curious about.

My hypothesis is that fetishes are often the result of our brains linking an emotionally powerful and/or satisfying event with some stimulus. Upon appraising the feeling we felt as positive, we then seek out that same stimulus in the hopes of rekindling that same experience.
 

Belluavir

Fag Enabler, Breeder Disabler
I have a few fetishes ans none of them seem like they would be a metaphor for something. But if they were it would probably for something pretty mundane and dissapointing.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
I tend to think that fetishes can be symbolic representations of our deeper desires or yearnings, which can even include things we're just intensely curious about.

My hypothesis is that fetishes are often the result of our brains linking an emotionally powerful and/or satisfying event with some stimulus. Upon appraising the feeling we felt as positive, we then seek out that same stimulus in the hopes of rekindling that same experience.

I think this is closer to a stochastic model, actually. It's highly chaotic/open to coincidence rather than the fetish emerging because of a pre-existing esoteric psychological requirement.
 

Ozriel

Inglorious Bastard
I tend to think that fetishes can be symbolic representations of our deeper desires or yearnings, which can even include things we're just intensely curious about.

My hypothesis is that fetishes are often the result of our brains linking an emotionally powerful and/or satisfying event with some stimulus. Upon appraising the feeling we felt as positive, we then seek out that same stimulus in the hopes of rekindling that same experience.

Then there's the other side of the spectrum that believes fetishes just pop up out of the blue, or irrational.
Psychologists are still going "wha" with paraphilias and how they develop, but there is an understanding that some can develop from life experiences.
 

Student

Anthrosexual
I think this is closer to a stochastic model, actually. It's highly chaotic/open to coincidence rather than the fetish emerging because of a pre-existing esoteric psychological requirement.

So they just happen without cause?
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
What isn't clear or known is why what becomes a salient memory or watershed moment for one person is totally forgettable or unremarkable experience for another.

When I've talked to people with strongly defined fetishes, they typically have That One Memory of the Experience That Started It All, and these are often experiences many of us also have, but without developing fetishes or obsessions around them.

So, there may be some facet of fetishes that are rooted in our core personality--who knows?
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
What isn't clear or known is why what becomes a salient memory or watershed moment for one person is totally forgettable or unremarkable experience for another.

When I've talked to people with strongly defined fetishes, they typically have That One Memory of the Experience That Started It All, and these are often experiences many of us also have, but without developing fetishes or obsessions around them.

So, there may be some facet of fetishes that are rooted in our core personality--who knows?

Perhaps they have erroneously synthesised or attributed false significance to a memory in order to explain the fetish, rather than the reverse.
In test conditions it's relatively easy to trick people into thinking they remember seeing bugs bunny at disneyland, which is of course impossible because bugs bunny is a warnerbros character.

So they just happen without cause?

Maybe. I voiced my personal view earlier that they are comparable to bugs in a program. The program must be sophisticated- because its job is to make sure that humans exhibit attraction to the body of the opposite sex and specific [body]language which might be arbitrary. It therefore has a significant risk of erroneously attributing sexual significance to non-sexual items or actions.

Most of the time this does not prevent individuals from reproducing, and the 'sexual environment' the program must decode changes too rapidly for it to ever be perfected- if indeed a perfect program is possible.

I would speculate further- this program must have a genetic component, but I would be making the hypothesis unnecessarily complicated and might risk some unfalsifiable claims or teleologies.
 
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Alexxx-Returns

The Sergal that Didn't Vore
I'm not really sure if I could answer that one, because I don't believe I have any fetishes which have a truly complex meaning behind them. I have two "real" fetishes which are both extremely sexual in themselves, so it doesn't seem like much of a mystery as to what they are implying.

But it depends on how far the fetish goes, I guess. Is it something that you drool over and is like a big red button for arousal, or is it just something that you dig or enjoy? I enjoy S&M, and I'm really attracted to fat guys, but I don't consider either a fetish, even though they are quite standard ones for other people, because they aren't that big red button for me. But with those two, they probably do have some meaning behind them and probably are a way of expressing some desire.

That's kind of... saying that I believe (in my case anyway) the exact opposite of what I think the OP was trying to say. That, like... if you have a true fetish that is just an instant "on" button, it's kind of... simple to explain. But I'm aware that this won't be the case for most people. Just throwing in my thoughts.
 

Student

Anthrosexual
Maybe. I voiced my personal view earlier that they are comparable to bugs in a program. The program must be sophisticated- because its job is to make sure that humans exhibit attraction to the body of the opposite sex and specific [body]language which might be arbitrary. It therefore has a significant risk of erroneously attributing sexual significance to non-sexual items or actions.

Most of the time this does not prevent individuals from reproducing, and the 'sexual environment' the program must decode changes too rapidly for it to ever be perfected- if indeed a perfect program is possible.

I would speculate further- this program must have a genetic component, but I would be making the hypothesis unnecessarily complicated and might risk some unfalsifiable claims or teleologies.

I'm just joining this tread now, so forgive me if anything I say was addressed previously.

Even though I'm not a behaviourist at heart, I still think their models are satisfactorily applicable to many phenomena, and that paraphilia is one of them. Paraphilia occurs when sexual satisfaction is conditioned to be linked with some context or stimulus, either through classical or operant conditioning. As sexual satisfaction is an extremely strong, evolutionarily prepared Unconditioned Stimulus (or reinforcer), it can take as little as one pairing to condition a strong connection. The thing that keeps these connections from extinguishing is that sexual gratification is often sought in parallel to obtaining the paraphilic stimulus, thus strengthening the connection.

I think what can account for people not understanding or remembering the origin of their fetishes is that this conditioning often happens at a very young age, before the threshold of forming recallable long-term memories. Furthermore, conditioning need not occur at a conscious level, and arguably works best when people are not aware that they are being conditioned.

This model is not stochastic at all - it is entirely rule governed and predictable. If given the correct circumstances, if the correct stimuli are presented at the correct intensities and times, you could turn anyone into a furry according to a behaviourist :p. But whether a model is a perfect description of reality or not is a discussion for another thread entirely - it is my suspicion that, although the behaviourist account is attractive because it best describes the production of fetishes, it probably does not take every single possible mediator, moderator, or cause into account because I believe no model can.

An implication of the model I am putting forth here is that any significance or deep meaning that one applies to their fetishes is constructed entirely after the fact to help them explain and make sense of their experience, and if I understand your reply to Troj correctly, I believe we agree on this point.
 

Alexxx-Returns

The Sergal that Didn't Vore
If given the correct circumstances, if the correct stimuli are presented at the correct intensities and times, you could turn anyone into a furry according to a behaviourist :p.

Oh dear god, imagine that =P
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
I'm just joining this tread now, so forgive me if anything I say was addressed previously.

Even though I'm not a behaviourist at heart, I still think their models are satisfactorily applicable to many phenomena, and that paraphilia is one of them. Paraphilia occurs when sexual satisfaction is conditioned to be linked with some context or stimulus, either through classical or operant conditioning. As sexual satisfaction is an extremely strong, evolutionarily prepared Unconditioned Stimulus (or reinforcer), it can take as little as one pairing to condition a strong connection. The thing that keeps these connections from extinguishing is that sexual gratification is often sought in parallel to obtaining the paraphilic stimulus, thus strengthening the connection.

I think what can account for people not understanding or remembering the origin of their fetishes is that this conditioning often happens at a very young age, before the threshold of forming recallable long-term memories. Furthermore, conditioning need not occur at a conscious level, and arguably works best when people are not aware that they are being conditioned.

This model is not stochastic at all - it is entirely rule governed and predictable. If given the correct circumstances, if the correct stimuli are presented at the correct intensities and times, you could turn anyone into a furry according to a behaviourist :p. But whether a model is a perfect description of reality or not is a discussion for another thread entirely - it is my suspicion that, although the behaviourist account is attractive because it best describes the production of fetishes, it probably does not take every single possible mediator, moderator, or cause into account because I believe no model can.

An implication of the model I am putting forth here is that any significance or deep meaning that one applies to their fetishes is constructed entirely after the fact to help them explain and make sense of their experience, and if I understand your reply to Troj correctly, I believe we agree on this point.

This is consistent with a 'bug' hypothesis, and stipulates a stochastic origin, so I don't see much wrong with it.

Stochastic means 'having a strong component of chance', and whether a person experiences a trigger which couples sexual pleasure with a non sexual stimulus is a game of chance.

I think that the psychology of sex is too chaotic to be reproducible and predictable on a reliable basis, however. I think if you set out to turn a group of people into bondage fetishists, compared with a control group, that the range of fetishes resulting would be diffuse and that there may not even be a difference in the total frequency of fetishes resulting.

I agree that 'deep meanings' are completely erroneous.
 

Student

Anthrosexual
Stochastic means 'having a strong component of chance', and whether a person experiences a trigger which couples sexual pleasure with a non sexual stimulus is a game of chance.

I think that the psychology of sex is too chaotic to be reproducible and predictable on a reliable basis, however. I think if you set out to turn a group of people into bondage fetishists, compared with a control group, that the range of fetishes resulting would be diffuse and that there may not even be a difference in the total frequency of fetishes resulting.

Right. This is because our individual experiences are all different, and hence modulate the conditioning process. The behaviourist model, like all models, is incomplete.

However, completely as a thought exercise, if I were able to raise a group of 30 children under strict laboratory conditions, I'm sure I could make a furry out of every single one of them.

Just so we are clear, I'm not advocating doing this and I have no desire to :p

I agree that 'deep meanings' are completely erroneous.

Well, constructed. Coming to grips with that constructed meaning can still have profound implications for the person, and should not be discarded as mental fluff.
 
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Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
Perhaps they have erroneously synthesised or attributed false significance to a memory in order to explain the fetish, rather than the reverse.

I've also considered that--but then, you end up back at the question of where the fetish came from!
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
Right. This is because our individual experiences are all different, and hence modulate the conditioning process. The behaviourist model, like all models, is incomplete.

However, completely as a thought exercise, if I were able to raise a group of 30 children under strict laboratory conditions, I'm sure I could make a furry out of every single one of them.

Just so we are clear, I'm not advocating doing this and I have no desire to :p



Well, constructed. Coming to grips with that constructed meaning can still have profound implications for the person, and should not be discarded as mental fluff.
Experience does not just modulate the process, but individual differences in brain anatomy and chemistry too. There may even be significantly different genetic constructions that code for sexual attraction.

The number of variables and initial conditions are high and the proposed mechanisms are chaotic. I think with your lab conditions that you would need to be careful to avoid a pavlovs dog scenario: there's a difference between an initial stochastic event snow-balling into a fetish and brainwashing people until they think elbows are sexy, for instance.

Making up a just-so story could be beneficial or damaging to an individual [for example it may a allow someone with a fetish they dislike to externalise a sense of guilt about having it- but it could also lead someone to believe they have other underlying problems they need to address- sending them on a wild goose chase when nothing was actually wrong with them (as per the example of a man being told his unbirthing fetish is a manifestation of feeling he's fucked his life up and doesn't deserve to be alive)], but if it is synthetic- rather than real, then its epistemological merit is weak.

I've also considered that--but then, you end up back at the question of where the fetish came from!

Yup, though better to end up back at square one, than be confident in a conclusion which is actually incorrect.
 
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Fiab

Crazy enough
AlexxxLupo said:
Is it something that you drool over and is like a big red button for arousal, or is it just something that you dig or enjoy?
Well for something to be considered an actual "true fetish." It must be present in order to achieve arousal, but that's just the strict psyco-stickler definition. To most people, it's as involved sexually in something as "low" as something that is a turn-on to them.
 

Student

Anthrosexual
Experience does not just modulate the process, but individual differences in brain anatomy and chemistry too. There may even be significantly different genetic constructions that code for sexual attraction.

Of course. I was by no means being exhaustive when I mentioned prior experience. Being a (trainee) psychotherapist of a mindfulness/humanistic bent, though, experience and the meaning constructed around it is what's most important to me :p


Making up a just-so story could be beneficial or damaging to an individual [for example it may a allow someone with a fetish they dislike to externalise a sense of guilt about having it- but it could also lead someone to believe they have other underlying problems they need to address- sending them on a wild goose chase when nothing was actually wrong with them (as per the example of a man being told his unbirthing fetish is a manifestation of feeling he's fucked his life up and doesn't deserve to be alive)], but if it is synthetic- rather than real, then its epistemological merit is weak.

...

Yup, though better to end up back at square one, than be confident in a conclusion which is actually incorrect.

Emphasis added by me.

The meaning ascribed to fetishes is arguably more important than the actual reason they exist.

If I had a client who came to me and said "Dr. Student, I'm so upset because I like sexy pictures of animal people" my first instinct would not be to tell them "well that's okay, it was a simple conditioning process that resulted in that. No need to worry." Rather, I'd explore what it means to them that they're attracted to sexy animal people, why that is unacceptable, and what could be done to either help them accept theirself or change their behaviour in order to move in a valued direction in life.
 

Trpdwarf

Lurking in Castle Moats
I am not so certain that they have anything to do with deep desires. However they definitely can be something that ties into a person mentally and or psychologically. This doesn't always mean that a person's fetish's mean something deeper but...it can. It's one of those things you need to be careful about. Sometimes they don't really indicate anything. Sometimes they are red flags.
 

FluffMouse

*Crawls into traffic*
Yes. I have a deep desire to serve or submit, so naturally most of my fetishes are based around D/s or M/s.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
If I had a client who came to me and said "Dr. Student, I'm so upset because I like sexy pictures of animal people" my first instinct would not be to tell them "well that's okay, it was a simple conditioning process that resulted in that. No need to worry." Rather, I'd explore what it means to them that they're attracted to sexy animal people, why that is unacceptable, and what could be done to either help them accept theirself or change their behaviour in order to move in a valued direction in life.

Same here.

I would certainly NOT go full Freud on someone in that situation, and idly speculate about how they clearly had a bad relationship with their mother and that's why they blah blah blah.

My standard M.O. would be to ask the person for THEIR interpretation of their fetish or interest, and THEIR feelings and thoughts about it, before just barging in with my interpretation. My interpretation should be informed by the data I gather, which includes (but isn't limited to) the individual's own account or appraisal.
 
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