I’m on Fetlife, a site dedicated to BDSM. I’m there because it also has an amputee devotee community, and it has amputees participating in it. I’m not into BDSM myself, yet I’ve always liked the open minded attitude of this world.
Browsing through the many users that populate Fetlife, I came across an older post by a female amputee. It was her first, judging from what it was saying. And it was curious in a credent way. When I checked her profile, I saw she hadn’t been online since a while. And she’d changed the About me to just one line: “You people scare me!”
Lack of taboo has an inherent danger. It can be very exciting and satisfactory, provided you know what you’re doing. Obviously, sincere lack of taboo is never out to hurt anyone emotionally. It is more vulnerable to it however. In ‘normal’ relationships there’s quite enough danger of going wrong already, and a fetish liking on top of that is not going to make things any easier. A stable relationsip requires a lot more than the mere going after the thrill of it. And with respect to devoteeism, I’d say that’s where the pitfall is.
We all know how we live our erotic fascination. It’s carefully stashed in the deeper crypts of our mind, often without ever getting a chance to talk about it. Not in real life at least. The world looks at us as deviant. If we’re not found creepy, we’re at best considered highly weird. Within a culture of the perfect body, any preference for imperfection is inconceivable.
The rise of the internet has been a blessing to many devotees. It was to me for sure, simply because it let me discover I wasn’t the only one in the world having this. After many years of never confessed passion, finding out I wasn’t alone felt like a stone in my stomach suddenly disappearing. Okay, I was still twisted maybe, but there were more like me.
The internet also vulgarised devoteeism however. It was likely lack of real life opportunities to get in touch with the ones qualifying our preferences that caused it: the emergence of places on the net where pictures – and later videos – were posted and exchanged. And it wasn’t too pretty. Some of it was shot with the amputee consenting, but a lot of it wasn’t. In fact most of it wasn’t, very much still isn’t and I find that very dubious. It invades privacy, it’s often on the verge of stalking and most of all it’s totally respectless. I do have pictures and videos of amputees myself as well, but none of what I have was taken without consent. It’s a meagre way to enjoy what I find really beautiful though. But it’s something, although the often purposeless action presented in devotee videos can really leave you wonder why on earth you’re watching this. So it’s for lack of better. It’s never real and it also tends to only tickle the objectifying side, easily making you forget it’s a person you’re watching. And watching videos is also enjoyment without communication.
On Fetlife you can chat though. There are more places, but I’m using this as an example. There are amputees who will chat too, provided you convince them to find you interesting enough to be chatting with. And provided you’ll remain respectful, which, judging from that “You people scare me!”, is not always the case. To put it mildly.
It’s understandable alright, going all out. Finally getting to chat with an amputee after years and years of emotional confinement can make it really hard to keep perspective. But that doesn’t make it justified not to. The person you’re unloading on has no connection whatsoever with your history, nor will she automatically connect with your desires. In an open minded world like Fetlife she may not reject your liking, but that’s not the same as liking you. Chat is communication between people, and that chat continuing to remain interesting has nothing to do with number of limbs.
So, in a way, chat will put the devotee to the test, the test of whether he’s capable of not letting his erotic liking be in the way of a normal relationship, be that just being chat friends or more. A cry out like “You people scare me!” is telling me that many aren’t though.
And in that respect, lack of taboo can make things worse…