This is actually an excerpt from a Savage Love column. If you don’t already read Dan Savage, add him to your list. He gives great advice and his perspective on sex and sexuality may be very useful to those of you with lingerie fetishes who wish to integrated them successfully into relationships. The exchange you’re about to read is about a Running Shoe fetish, but it could be about any fetish at all.
My husband and I have been married for one year, but we had been dating for 10 years prior to that. I thought we had a very understanding relationship. In the last couple of days, I have found out that he has a serious obsession with females wearing running shoes. He had in the past hinted at the fact that it turns him on, but I had no idea of the scope of this obsession. I’ve discovered that he spends a large number of hours a week devoted to this fetish. He was sloppy in covering his tracks one day, and I found evidence on his computer.
I should also mention that when he told me he thought running shoes are hot, I thought he meant on me, not on all living and breathing females.
I believed that he could trust me enough to be open with me, but he has been hiding this from me for 11 years! I am still in shock and not quite sure how to deal with it. He obviously feels ashamed, otherwise he would have told me years ago. Why did he not bring this up before we got married? I had a right to know what I was getting into. I don’t know if I can live with knowing that he gets a hard-on for every running-shoe-wearing woman who goes by. I feel betrayed and creeped out. He says that he didn’t want to hurt me, but he has done just that. I feel physically sick to my stomach knowing that I didn’t really know who he was all this time. We still have to work it out and really talk about our new situation. But I am beginning to think our marriage isn’t going to survive this. Am I being too sensitive? How can I fix my marriage?
Dumbfounded In Brooklyn
Does your husband like your tits only, DIB, or can he get a hard-on for every tits-wearing woman who goes by? Does he like your pussy only, DIB, or can he get a hard-on for every pussy-wearing woman who goes by?
If your marriage can survive the husband being attracted to tits and pussy generally, DIB, but attracted to your tits and pussy particularly, your marriage should be able to survive the awareness that your husband is into women in running shoes generally but into you in running shoes particularly.
Why did he keep it from you? Because he was ashamed, DIB, because guys with fetishes are told—hey there, Prudie—that they’re disturbed and unlovable, and because no one bothers to inform straight women that fetishes are to male sexuality what lies are to a Fox News broadcast: likelier to be present than not. So he dropped hints but didn’t tell you during year one—or year two or three, year four, etc.—because he was afraid you would have the reaction you’re having at year eleven.
So what do you do now? You forgive him, if you give a shit about your marriage, if you actually ever loved him, and you do a little reading about male sexuality. Daniel Bergner’s The Other Side of Desire is a good place to start.
And ladies? If your boyfriend or husband has “hinted at the fact that [something or other] turns him on,” you can safely assume that [something or other] really turns him on.