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The Definition of a Fetish

By Mark Gray

When Madonna, in her ever-pressing efforts to spark controversy for attention, released her “Erotica” cd and “Sex” book in the early nineties, puritanical America was aghast. Both featured graphic images of sado-masochism and Madge as a gold toothed dominatrix. The video was banned on MTV and the record was Madonna’s first debut single off of an album that didn’t reach number one on the charts.

Oh, how times have changed. Today, even pop sweetheart Rihanna is singing how chains and whips excite her in “S&M”, and America isn’t batting an eye. What has changed to make fetish acceptable? We spoke with Faith Michaels, the tranny who has taken the Florida scene by storm and whose Erotica-inspired track, “Fetish”, is currently heating up afterhour dancefloors, to learn more.

What is up with America’s fetish fascination?
I don’t think it’s so new. I’ve been subscribing to newsletters for all kinds of fetishes for some years now. Online, there are thousands of websites devoted to fetish. There are some real kinky people out there.

It used to be that we kept our fetishes hidden.
A fetish isn’t a fad. It’s not like a pair of orange pants that’s all the rage one season and forgotten about the next. A fetish lasts a lifetime, baby, and it’s who we are. It’s time we embrace our desires.

How do you feel about role-playing?
I love it. The characters I play are always trying to get at my partners feet.

I love feet.

What is about feet that turns you on?
I like well kept feet. Clean nails. I like a guy who knows what a pumice stone is. I also love the look of socks on a foot. The way the sock hugs the foot drives me crazy.

Do you get into smelling feet?
I love the smell of feet. Not a three or four day unwashed smell. That’s a bit much for me. I prefer the natural smell mixed with the delicious odor from shoes.

Does a particular shoe get you going?
I get excited when I see a guy wearing loafers or boat shoes with no socks. Seeing their bare foot disappear into the shoe; I love it! Also, watching a guy slip their foot in and out of their shoe is a real turn-on for me.

Can you see yourself getting into exhibitionism?
I can and I have.

Do you have a story to share?
My boyfriend and I were in Phoenix for a runway show. We were young and broke and sharing a room with a straight friend who happened to be travelling through Phoenix too. When we thought our friend was asleep, we started getting frisky. The thing is, I’m not quiet. If you do something I like, I’ll let you know. My boyfriend whispered in my ear, “he is watching us.” I apologized to my friend but he said it didn’t bother him and that he actually thought it was kind of hot. So we kept right on going, and he kept watching, and it was pretty amazing.

How do you feel about a man in uniform?
I love a UPS man with those hot brown socks. A baseball player uniform turns me on too. Nothing beats the business man look, though.

What is the most popular fetish?
I would guess it is a tie between foot and leather. Both have a lot of groups and websites dedicated to them. The smell and look of leather can really be intoxicating. Have you ever smelled a leather candle? I have. It is tantalizing.

Have you heard about looners?
Yes, they enjoy the feeling of balloons against their skin. Or some like the sound of balloons popping. I would like to sit down with a looner and talk to them about their fetish.

What is the most misunderstood fetish?
Cross dressing is probably the most misunderstood fetish. Some straight men enjoy cross dressing. They love the feel of stockings on their skin or the way panties look and feel. Because I am a drag queen, I’ve had men come up to me and talk to me about cross dressing. I’m always happy to answer questions one might have about fetish.

Why is it important that we embrace our fetishes?
We should fully embrace every wonderful facet about ourselves. No one should be ashamed of what is natural to their self.


Photos: Guy Guido