Saturday, July 26, 2008

could this be the appeal of latex?

Why Touching Sometimes Trumps Sex | Dr. Pam Spurr | July 17, 2008 04:01 PM

There's a lesson for us all in the recent story of a couple who had been married for 80 years.They wisely put their relationship success down to sharing a kiss and cuddle every night before bed.

From the moment a baby is born, touch is important to developing healthy bonds.

Those without this bond show emotional withdrawal from the world, developing into adults who find intimacy difficult. And many men, even those from loving families, remember that they came to a certain age, say 9 or 10, and were positively discouraged from asking for a hug from their mum.

These issues leave many couples with a touch of a problem.

A refrain I hear frequently from female friends and clients is that once the sexual passion has waned, affectionate touch goes out of the window too. "I can't give him a simple cuddle without him thinking I want sex!" women moan. That's because he learnt not to have "emotional" hugs long ago. So when a woman offers him one, he thinks she's signalling full-on passion.

continues here


SanderO said...

There seems to something to the notion that the typical tight body hugging fetish clothes do seem to strike some sort of chord for those who have discovered the pleasure of them. Some call it gentle bondage, or over all body hug, but this feeling seems to bring on a state of well being... and of course you can do this WITHOUT a partner.

Here is one of the ironic twists about fetish and loving latex: it becomes a rather inner directed, almost selfish experience, very different from what we are taught to expect from our bodies which we are taught are to be shared with our lover in a sort of mutual back scratching.

Fetish is a path which provides the need stim without the hassles of another human being and their needs.

Most desire a fetish partner who "gets it" so that they can engage in a mutual fetish feast which both celebrates the selfishness of the individual fetish experience and mimics the transaction of the typical vanilla one.

This is where the D/s or power exchange comes in. Having a thing for rubber really has nothing to do with power exchange or Ds but this is the type of guilt free relationship where people negotiate to get to do and experience what they want.

Interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if I may leave my two cents here...

The deal is that not all stimulation is equal. The article cited mentioned a distinction between emotional touch and "full on passion", and indeed the difference does exist all the way down to neuro-chemistry.

I might have mentioned here before that my hypnotic material tries to exploit the brain chemistry of sexual arousal. If not, here's the short version:

The neuro-transmitter *dopamine* ends up being responsible for both voluntary bodily movement and emotional *excitement*, or being in an "UP" mood. One could humbly suggest that a post-hypnotic feedback loop linking the inhibition of movement to arousal and back ends up *shunting* dopamine from a large part of the brain (for movement) to a smaller one (forming positive, excited emotional memories).

Back to the subject here though: with most folks, men and women alike, the arousal/passion stages of sexual conduct end up being mainly dopamine based in nature. Someone or some situation delights the senses, and the chemical gets fired up.

In it's simplest sense....this happens all the way until thorough contact (penetrative in some species) occurs, at which point a nerve hormone called *oxytocin* gets released. Oxytocin has a broader emotional purpose than just "making sex fun". It's a *pair-bonding* chemical: mothers get it when they breast feed infants. It's also been implicated in some religious experiences that seek "agape" (3 syllables), or transcendent *brotherly love*, or global *love of mankind*.

Oxytocin is the afterglow. It's the blush. It is also the *Feeling* of being held, cuddled, stroked and adored. It can and does exist freely and independently of sex...and yet most Men in Western cultures are actively discouraged from accepting this or seeking it out, except in highly unusual and limited circumstances. Never mind *All* of the social and ethical consequences of this one...

The most important one of these is that *Men*, and by default Man-Gender Oriented Societies (can you tell I hate the word "patriarchy"? *lol* Because it isn't that simple...) end up being *Blinded* to the difference between being aroused/excited, and being pair-bound. Yes, the two feelings can and do exist in close association, but they don't *have to*.

It's both possible and *healthy* to be pair-bound to people in non-sexual ways. This is how healthy families *work* people.

In the absence of this knowledge, people have *few if any* emotional recourses to fall back on against the machinations of a Darwinian, dog-eat-dog culture. This is by design, BTW.

And the design ends up forcing folks to go to extremes, both to maintain the dopamine "UP" state (energy drinks, too much exercise, illicit drugs, extreme sports), and also to *access* the thorough-touch induced Oxytocin "Bound" state (more illicit drugs, intense/constant fetish play, self-harming).

The real, true point though is: It does NOT have to end up like this.

We can touch without having constant sex--it's called massage, hugging friends and neighbors, playing games like little kids do, tousling hair, smiling and holding hands (one of the most *Homophobic* cultures in the world, the Islamist culture of Iran...commonly features *men holding each other's hands* as a social bonding measure. Friendliness, not sexuality).

And yes, wardrobe and costume play can figure into this, but it need not be so anti-social or stilted, forced into a Mother-May-I dysfunction of a relationship.

Strokes can and do happen without the sexuality. Oxytocin can and does come into play without so much of the dopamine rush.

Sorry to go on so,

--Bradley Poe (who might well be one of those "isolated people" the article mentions)

SanderO said...


I like that analysis. It makes me think that fetish is addictive and explains why people who dip their toes in it are driven to more and more bizarre fetish experiences to get a "buzz" from it.

Anonymous said...

Yep. This is pretty much a case of "any port in a storm". But really, if more of us fetish and/or obsessive folks actually did get massages from people or otherwise got more thorough, positive physical contact from *other people*, the latex, corsets, high heels, etc. on and on, wouldn't be *such a* sensory addiction because people could be *trustworthy* again.

If that makes sense. Would the woman in the pic with the article here at Doll's Realm feel *better* if she wore *less* latex, for example, but had someone who *cares* put it on her slowly, carefully and lovingly? I'd think so....I'd think *quality* would trump *quantity* for most of us.

--Brad Poe (who apologizes for a slight lack of focus earlier today, since the caffiene and taurine and vitamins took a while to kick in...)

SanderO said...

We live in a very strange world where on one hand if you show even the slight physical contact with others you can be accused of sexual harassment or stalking or being a dangerous predator, or invading someone's personal space, and on the other hand we are told we need to be more physical and less detached from other humans, that we need human touch.

I see the marketing of sex and everything with sex as a source of frustration for many people who find fetish as a personal worship of their own bodies which they are not getting from others and less so from their partners after the initial heat wears off.