Four Fetish Fanatics

Clowns, feet, cigarettes, and latex are fair game for fetishists

The one porn video I own that always gets a comment, and usually an incredulous stare, is The Sex Lives of Clowns. "What?" people ask, followed by "Why do you have that?" As to the latter—it was in the bargain bin at Hustler Hollywood once, and I was curious.

To answer the first question, I approached Ouchy the Clown: "People who are bored with traditional doms choose me." Who else? "People who enjoy a good belly laugh, are scared to death of clowns, or who appreciate the weird." If you fall into those categories, you can hire Ouchy for hot-wax play, straight-razor shaving, or making you laugh until you cry—literally, if that's your thing. "For some it's just the unexpected things a weird adult clown comes up with during play that makes them laugh and surprises them," he says.

Fetishes of all kinds abound, each more esoteric and bizarre than the last. As an editor at kinky sex mag Penthouse Variations, I've seen reader letters about everything from bald women to tickling to girls wearing glasses or rubber bathing caps. Some don't know anyone who shares their obsession, and they cling to it fiercely, building up an extensive fantasy life. My own fetishes are of the nonsexual variety—I have a thing for office supplies and post offices—but I know plenty of people who fixate sexually on a single body part or object.

Foot loose: A fetishist's grand view
photo: Rachel Kramer Bussel
Foot loose: A fetishist's grand view

I've picked four fetishes that fascinate me—clowns, feet, smoking, and latex. Whenever I mention anything about my feet, my friend Doug goes crazy, so I asked him how his foot fetish got started. He doesn't know, but he simply loves to touch, rub, kiss, and suck on women's toes, preferably ones with perfectly polished, brightly colored nails. What amazes me is his ability to isolate feet, though it makes sense on one level— after all, I notice certain traits like sexy tattoos, long hair, or a killer smile. For Doug, not all feet are created equal; some are simply sexier than others. He's a fan of Jodie Foster's and Carrie-Anne Moss's, and he once sent me a link to a photo of Monica Lewinsky's feet. Doug has found that it's primarily a guy thing. He continues, "I find it hot when a woman knows her feet are sexy or enjoys drawing attention to them with toe rings or anklets." He's not the only one. Foot porn sites such as the extensive inthefeetofthenight.com and review roundup footzilla.com feature girls showing off their feet, toe sucking, and feet being inserted into pussies.

Another fetish I discovered (but one, as an asthmatic, I definitely don't share) is smoking. Smoking fetishists flout political correctness and take the allure of wafting smoke to its extreme. I asked Mike Williams, editor and publisher of Smoke Signals(smokesigs.com), a website and magazine devoted to smoke lovers, about it. He prefaces his answer, as did Doug, with an explanation that, for fetishists, their fetish simply is. It's probably been there since an early age. For many, women who smoke are elegant and mature; smoking also conveys a "fuck you" attitude. Though Williams emphasizes the diversity among smoking fetishists (some want to see women who've smoked for years, some want to ogle a virgin smoker), he concludes that most "find smoking women more relaxed, mature, and socially competent."

Williams elaborates on his interest in female smokers. "Personally, I'm attracted to 'serious' smokers—women who love to smoke, smoke a lot, and are good at it. It's an important part of their lives, and they embrace it. If they were asked to define themselves with only three adjectives, one would be 'smoker.' They recognize that their smoking style is as much a part of their look as their dress and makeup, and they enjoy the attention they can attract by perfecting it."

Some fetishes, like latex, may be easier to understand. I consulted the Baroness (baroness.com), who designs "elegant, provocative latex fashions" and sells them in her East Village store. She was originally drawn to latex for its sensuality. "It smells like chocolate milk, and the sound of a long latex skirt moving behind you is like rumbling thunder," she says. "It has a slippery, magpie appeal, with all those deep crevices and valleys you want to dig into." Her voice practically purrs as she discusses her favorite fabric: "Latex reminds you what a temple your body is. Because it's nonporous, you get moisture on you and it draws your attention back to your body. You can feel it being tight, then feel the cold air on your skin when you take it off." But not every buyer is a fetishist; some simply like the sexy, clingy look of it. With others, she says, "You see their eyes glaze over, and they'll be stroking themselves."

Some fetishists are just so passionate about a certain kind of clothing, object, or act that the mere mention of it makes them unbearably horny. I admire that intensity. Also, despite the websites and communities, fetishists are largely individualists. They don't necessarily grow up seeing feet get kissed or clowns fucking, so their interest is largely cerebral and internal—at least at first. Like any sexual minority, they have to work up the courage to seek out like-minded souls. Doug tells me, "A foot fetish is an interesting double-edged sword. Feet are often displayed and most women aren't threatened by conversations about their feet, but it's still a bit unusual and I've certainly heard from a number of guys that they have problems finding significant others who will accept this fetish."

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