• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

International Fetish Day: Different strokes for many folks

Whether traditional, not-so-traditional or downright wacky, if you’re a follower of this column, you know we celebrate all types of holidays. Some are for a good cause while others are just plain silly. Today we observe a “holiday” that may be controversial or uncomfortable for some. It’s International Fetish Day, an annual occasion that is observed around the world on the third Friday in January.

Originating in the United Kingdom as National Fetish Day in 2008, International Fetish Day was observed the following year. The event helps raise awareness and support of the fetish community. Members often don a purple item of clothing as a form of solidarity.

According to Merriam-Webster, a fetish is defined as a “need or desire for an object, body part or activity of sexual excitement” or a “strong and unusual need or desire for something.” Not all fetishes have to do with whips, spanking, handcuffs and leather. Fetishes can be sexual or non-sexual and there are many of them. From bondage, feet and rubber to balloons, dolls and voyeurism, sexual fetishes enhance the sexual experience. While some folks may consider fetishes kinky, weird, abnormal and/or downright wrong on so many levels, as long as they aren’t illegal, placing anyone in danger or in harm’s way, isn’t what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes, their own business?