Jul 01

Achoo! Bless me. Yeah, Baby, just like that.

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Dear Peanut,

So I was bouncing around on the Twitters, and I saw a discussion on sneezing fetishes.  What is this?


-Confused By Psyfallen


Psyfallen is a confusing guy. He’s also apparently a sadist who has now caused me to read Supernatural sneezing fanfiction, which is really not my kind of sadism.

First a brief word on the difference between a fetish and a kink. A fetish is something without which a person can’t achieve sexual satisfaction. A kink is something that one finds pleasurable but not necessary for pleasure. Got it?

TL;DR Most fetishes are rooted in comfort, and I recommend a movie about apotemnophilia and then explain what that is.

So sneezing fetishists are—obviously—people who can’t achieve sexual satisfaction without at the very least thinking about sneezing in some form. The actual appeal of it is surprisingly diverse for such a rare fetish. Some like to sneeze themselves, some like to hear or see others sneeze. Some like them stifled, some like full, exuberant sneezes. Witnessing a person one has a crush on sneeze is referred to as the “Holy Grail” of sneezes, while being in the room when a family member sneezes can be disturbingly close to incest.

A prevailing trend seems to be the subtle caretaking that ensues after the sneeze. People enjoy being blessed. They like to offer or be offered tissues. While the sneeze itself is the most palpable aspect of the fetish, like with most fetishes, it would seem that the ritual of giving or receiving comfort is often just as important.


While we’re on the topic of more obscure fetishes, the other day I ran across a fantastic movie on Hulu called Armless. It’s about a man with Body Integrity Identity Disorder and apotemnophilia (BIID is the psychological disorder; apotemnophilia is the fetish) which cause him to—you guessed it—want to have his own arms amputated.

Armless is a fairly realistic portrayal of the effects of an unusual and virtually unachievable fetish. The main character is portrayed not as a pervert or a villain, but as a sympathetic character who literally can’t stop wanting something so badly he’s willing to risk his life for it. His wife is portrayed equally well as a spouse struggling to support her husband through something she doesn’t understand.

Despite a somewhat awkward subject matter, the story is handled with a delicacy that isn’t likely to cause the viewer to get that squicky TMI feeling that sometimes comes with movies about other people’s sex lives. If you’ve got an hour and a half to spare and want to learn about how people are weird and that’s okay, scoot over to Hulu and give Armless a view.


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