NATIONAL FETISH DAY
"Perverts Wear Purple"
Monday 21st January 2008
What is it about and why should anyone join in? I’ll explain…
Back in October 2007, a discussion was started on an Informed Consent website forum board as to whether ‘fetish’ should be allowed to have a National Day, considering that so many other causes and/or beliefs were celebrated with their own National Day. The discussion developed and the people contributing to the thread slowly started to furnish the idea. No committees or focus groups were formed. No meetings were held. No positions of responsibility were allocated. Instead, like-minded individuals from all walks of life, from all over the country contributed their feelings towards the idea of unity. Slowly the concept became more and more realistic.
People decided that the vision of a National Fetish Day was something that could really happen. A date was chosen that gave enough time to spread the word of what the day stood for. The next big problem was as to how people with a fetish could celebrate their ideas and life choices; a slogan was born, “Perverts Wear Purple”. Why purple? Purple is a colour that is heavily represented in BDSM/fet art, style and clothing. Purple is a colour that is still unusual enough to be different yet common enough to be deniable... so no-one wearing purple needs to be scared they are automatically outing themselves. Finally, it sounds good in a catchy slogan!
So what exactly are we celebrating? Let’s have a look at what a fetish is according to the Cambridge Dictionary:
“noun: a sexual interest in an object or a part of the body other than the sexual organs.”(1)
Should this then mean that National Fetish Day is for those people who have strict fetishes for feet/rubber/leather/shoes/etc? No, not at all. The beautiful thing about alternative lifestyle decisions is that it is made up of a community of online and offline people who see themselves as belonging to different types of sub-culture. As the Informed Consent dictionary puts it:
“Many people in the community enjoy the thrill of wearing rubber without having a strictly fetishistic attraction to it. Particularly people who are into BDSM use fetish imagery to enhance their deeper sexual need for dominance and submission.”(2)
If this is the case then ALL of our varied and diverse sub-cultures, interests and lifestyle choices have parts of them that overlap into others. The community is a living, thriving and most importantly, organic humanistic meeting of beliefs and ideas. If this is the case, then we can all stand together on this day and be proud of the safe and sane choices that we make as consenting adults.
Why should we do anything in particular on this day? We often hear the word ‘community’ used when speaking of BDSM and fetish. An open-minded and understanding community that is inclusive to all. ‘We’ may claim to be inclusive to all but do others understand what we do and enjoy? Many, yes. Some, no. The British government is currently legislating to criminalise the possession of images - even if the pictures are of consenting fun and no-one was harmed(3). Media coverage and word of mouth has led to misunderstanding in some areas of the lifestyle choices that we make. We feel proud as a community that we are safe, sane and consenting adults who enjoy our activities in private, in professionally run National events or even just having a nice chat during informal social gatherings. By joining this fun ‘National Fetish Day – Perverts Wear Purple’ event, you as an individual will be joined by fellow community people all over the country in saying ‘It’s ok to enjoy what I enjoy’ without damaging your ‘vanilla’ identity or integrity.
So imagine it. You're harming no-one by wearing an item of purple clothing on this day and you smile to yourself whenever you think *why* you're wearing it...BUT...what will run through your mind when you see someone else wearing a purple item of clothing? Imagine this happening across the country at the same time on the same day. Everyone who contributed to the threads, everyone who secretly read it on websites, everyone who heard about the idea and thought it would be a bit of fun. All these perverts, all over, all doing the same thing at the same time for the same reason.
No, this simple act *isn't* going to change the world or laws or social way of thinking. However, I genuinely believe that it might make participants (or even those that have heard but don't join in) think about this sub-culture, what it is, what it means to us and feel a slight bit of unity.
Enjoy and be proud, it’s ok to be you!
(1) Cambridge Dictionaries Online: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
(2) Informed Consent BDSM Dictionary: www.informedconsent.co.uk/dictionary/Fetish/
(3) backlash: http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/