So, a few months ago I was flirting with a dude by talking about how, despite not totally understanding the appeal, I find balloon fetishes to be adorably non-threatening because I am a f*****g catch and love running my mouth, especially after courting my one true love, $9 plastic handles of vodka.
Anyway, mid-conversation, I realized I couldn't think of any other fetishes that I would consider lovably wacky so, as any other 20-something who literally cannot remember or fathom life without the Internet would do, I Googled "list of fetishes." The list I came across, entitled "Examples of Common Kinks, Tropes, Cliches, and Fetishes," turned my misguided but coherent tangent about balloons and sex into five minutes of an elated dramatic reading of my favorite parts of the list, punctuated by incessant cackling.
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I bookmarked this list as "For when you're sad. I love you," because I'm a poor man's alcoholic manic pixie dream girl. Just a heads-up: if you click on the list, expect to find more than 400 fetishes, many with multiple subgenres, including lots of truly unsettling fetishes, some that involve straight-up non-consensual behavior. Nobody needs that s**t. Instead, just read this brief rundown of all the important, not horrible parts. I wrote it for you, for when you're sad. I love you.
Subgenres: f**k or die, fertility rituals, intoxication, taking one for the team
Yes, there are more than 400 fetishes on the list, but the second I read this one, just eight entries in, I knew something f*****g beautiful was about to happen. I understand how power-play stuff gets people's downstairs uglies all ready to bump, but how the f**k did aliens get involved?
How do you even set up this scene? Does it require more than two people, because who gets to play the alien? Is playing the alien the s****y role because you don't actually get to participate in any of this hot, sexy fertility ritual? What team? I genuinely would love to know all of these things.
It took 111 more entries worth of scrolling until I found another that made me dramatically side-eye my computer like that evil squirrel video.
Look, I consider myself pretty aware of people's weird sex stuff, mostly because I f*****g love that Strange Sex show so much that I've had two separate first dates that involved playing the Strange Sex drinking game I invented alone in my basement this summer at like 3 p.m. on a Tuesday.
Given that, I was initially sort of irritated that I didn't know what docking was and petulantly sulked for the 30 seconds it took me to find it on Urban Dictionary. Then, I screeched in utter delight, the way babies do when they realize that you're still there during a game of peek-a-boo, except with more "shoving your dick in another person's foreskin."
Subgenres: dancing girls, cat-girls, schoolgirls, bishoujo, magical girls, cheerleaders (see also: bad girls, good girls)
I just genuinely love that "girls" is its own entry. Shortly before reading this list, I was trying to explain to a friend of mine how much I love the Baconzilla from Checkers (or Rally's, for all you motherfuckers on the West Coast).
She asked me, in complete seriousness, if I had to choose between sex or the Baconzilla, which would I chose? Immediately, I asked if she just meant sex with guys or sex with anyone ever. Because if she meant giving up only sex with guys, throw me a funeral for dick at the nearest Checkers. Giving up all sex with anyone would make it a harder decision, which I emphasized by drunkenly screaming, "Have you ever f*****g seen a girl?!"
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Subgenres: startled joy, passionate gratitude, ecstasy, comfort, happy endings
My first crush was the depressed dough ball from those Zoloft commercials, and this just makes me desperately hope that there's fan fiction written about him somewhere.
Maybe he gets his serotonin levels in check and gets his little dough-ball world rocked by someone he genuinely loves and cares for. They have little dumpling babies. There are ups and downs, there are money issues, they fight about private schools and grandparents and when their dumplings get to have cellphones.
At the end of the day, though, they are one of those couples that BuzzFeed posts YouTube videos about once they're all old and wrinkly and still so very in love. Then all of the comments are stupid s**t about ninjas cutting onions and I kinda hate myself for hating those people. Maybe happiness isn't my fetish.
Subgenre: characters who hide pain behind humor
Oh, man. This is going downhill fast ... doesn't everyone already do this? It's not just me, is it? Is this really unusual enough to be a fetish? f**k. This is like when I had dinner at someone else's house for the first time when I was a kid and thought it was really weird that nobody looked like they were questioning every choice they'd ever made that got them to that point in life.
Subgenres: decorative and/or symbolic, wedding rings, earrings, slave bracelets, piercings
And we're back up! I could play into this fetish by showing people all the scars I have from when I was 16 and got s****y piercings done in some basement somewhere by a dude named Bryan.
Alternatively, we could get drunk playing the Strange Sex drinking game and then go get piercings from a dude named Bryan as a first date.
Subgenres: colonialism, alien invasion or rule, institutionalized slavery, totalitarian states and rebellion, powerful secret societies (e.g., the Illuminati or Watcher-style organizations)
Christ. Is this what Model U.N. teenagers do when the chaperones' backs are turned? Sneak into each other's rooms and roleplay race relations in South Africa? Do you try to f**k in the slave cabins at Mount Vernon? Does Eifel-Towering become Berlin-Walling?
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Because, seriously, this is 50 shades of fucked-up; what is wrong with y'all? And, again, who the f**k is this into aliens?
Subgenres: cops or spies going undercover, a charade to deflect unwanted attention from a stranger, a ruse to avoid ritual marriage to aliens
OK, one, it's fairly common for women to deflect male attention by saying they're lesbians, and I swear to god, if a dude is sexualizing that deflection somewhere, I hope he's also into those weird chastity belts that have spikes to prevent you from getting it up.
Two, I get the whole "gay for pay" or "gay for justice" thing, I guess, but seriously, who the f**k are these aliens with their sex rituals? Does the History Channel know about this yet?
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I love this. There's no subgenres or elaboration of any kind. It just says "Surprises." It makes me want to write erotica about receiving an unexpected edible arrangement and having to go rub one out in your office bathroom. Or about jack-in-the-box sex toys. Or about anger-f*****g when, SURPRISE: There's a leak in your house and so your water bill is like $1,200 and your landlord won't help you pay for it!
Has accidental pregnancy ever made anyone horny? Does anyone get a half-chub reading Upworthy articles entitled "You'll never guess what blah blah at minute 3 of this video?" How does this work?
If this is your fetish, please feel free to hit me up. I am ***Tragically Flawed, and I would like proper recognition and worship for my deep-seated emotional deficiencies. Also, this fetish would make me feel less "dude, seriously, just go see a therapist or something" and more "young adult novel female love interest who is all broken and mysterious and stuff."
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OK, this is definitely my fetish. I didn't know it until I read this list, but learning something new about yourself is what your 20s are all about, or so old people tell me. So far, all I've learned is I don't like any fruit, I still don't understand the point of drinking alcohol out of anything other than a mug, and I will never understand math unless someone's f*****g me over on tips.
Anyway. Wish-fulfillment. Not to get all Dragon Tales on you, but I wish, I wish, with all my heart for my student loans to be paid, for an Amex to be given to me, for plane tickets to, like, every South American country, for my own Cinnabon stand (in my basement), and for health insurance. Mmm, sexy.
I think that's how most gay people wake up. You wake up (gay), post up (gay), ridin' round in it (gay), so on and so forth. To be fair, as someone whose sexuality can best be described with a noncommittal shrug and a disappointed look from my grandparents, sometimes I do wake up feeling gay. And then I return to fetish #168 so I can sit outside a Checkers (no indoor seating, bitches) throwing down on a Baconzilla and having an existential crisis about the existence of every girl ever.
So, yeah. Follow your dreams. If those dreams involve weird alien sex or just drunk-you saving cute bookmarks for sober-you or maybe something entirely less pathetic, make it your fetish. Gorge your genitals on the blood of anyone who stands in your way. Like, vom, but you know what I mean. Go forth and get a hard-on for the surprises life throws at you. Get wet to chasing your dreams. Wake up gay. Send me a message if you have an alien fetish, because, really, I have so many questions.
For more from Alice, follow her on Twitter @milkwench.
Actual impending doom like global climate change or mass extinction just makes people bored.
In some cases, the Marvel source material just did better.