(Doctor’s Note: Hey NerdLovers, I came down with a hellacious case of con crud after ECCC and I’m only about 60% recovered at the moment. Since I couldn’t get a new episode of the podcast out this week, y’all are getting a bonus column, with the possibility of a quick and dirty podcast episode by Friday. We’ll see. Meanwhile… enjoy!)
I have an unusual fetish. I’m a straight guy and still a virgin due to shyness and approach anxiety and since I was at least 17, I’ve noticed I have a tickling fetish. The idea of being consensually bound and tickled mercilessly by hot women, or me consensual tickling a hot, bound, ticklish women, or women gleefully do it to each other while permitting me to watch, (all of these activities with safe words and breaks) excites me like little else in the bedroom. I have ZERO idea why, and I’ve embraced this quirky fetish as an inherent part of my sexuality.
That being said, I’m a little insecure about it. First off, it’s not something I typically picture doing with a committed romantic partner, it’s more something I see doing with a casual sex partner. I’m honestly afraid to ask for it if I end up in a sexual situation with someone, as thought of tickling typically brings back terrible childhood memories (it does for me to, but I’m able to separate those memories from what I know seek to enjoy as a consenting adult.)
Every time the subject comes up on mainstream news sites or social media, 90% of the reaction (from men and women alike) seems to be how it’s such a creepy fetish to have.
So I’m honestly wary of bringing it up or pursuing it, and most BDSM networking sites intimidate me, and I’ve noticed the sites geared toward connecting people with this specific fetish are always huge sausage fests, where women’s personals get thousands of replies whereas straight men’s personals get zero. Is that much of a deal breaker? Is it a mark against me personally? Should I ask for it or just forget it and just accept that it will just remain a fantasy? How should I even ask for it?
Insecurity Is No Laughing Matter
Dear Dr. NerdLove:
I’m a 32 year old gay man. At least, that’s how I have labeled myself, and my sexual and romantic life has been with men. But I’ve always found some women attractive. More recently, I’ve found myself more and more interested in women. I think now I’m actually now more sexually attracted to women than to men. (It sounds really weird, and it’s been even weirder to live through. But bi people have told me that this experience is really common among them). And I’ve done some things to explore my desires for women — and, yup, they feel as real as any straight guy’s. So I’ve accepted that I’m really bisexual, and I want to make women a part of my life. But the obstacles to doing that seem formidable.
I know that most women won’t date bisexual men. Talking with bi guys on-line, they all have nightmarish stories of constant rejection, so much that some have given up dating women at all. I need to find women who would be open to someone like me. I don’t know how to find them. I know to rule out women who might have some religious or moral objections — no loss there. I also know that I’m open to dating women that many straight men would rule out — older women, “bigger” women (who actually really turn me on, BTW). But I really need some kind of hint as to what women might give me a chance. (FWIW, I am disease-free and would be monogamous in a committed relationship). A bi woman would seem ideal, but a lot of them won’t date bi men either.
I also am intimidated by what I know about the straight dating world. The straight women I know all have horror stories about the things men have done to them. The straight men I know all have stories of frustration finding available women and being subjected to various “head games” by women. But something must work, since most of the people I know are in relationships. I’m also put off by the rigidity of straight dating — the man must initiate, the man must pay for everything, the man is expected to make more money. All of these things are much more flexible in same-sex relationships. I know that women have good reason to be wary of men — I’ve had my own bad experiences with men, so I really understand. But I would probably get frustrated quickly with a woman who expected me to always conform to a fixed role.
I don’t know where this is going. I don’t know whether I want a full-blown romantic relationship with a woman, or something more casual. Unlike a lot of the straight people my age, I’m not looking to get married now! But I know that men wanting to “keep it casual” are a dime a dozen, and women constantly complain about men who won’t commit. Once again, I don’t how to find women who would be interested in a casual relationship where I would still be exploring my sexuality. Maybe a woman who recently got out of a relationship and just wants to have fun would work for me. I might be a better bet for a woman who doesn’t want kids, since I’m now in the stage of life where a lot of women get serious about their biological clocks.
I actually think I could bring a lot to a relationship with a woman. My friends would tell you that I am smart, funny, and charming. I dress well and work out regularly. I have an advanced degree and a solid job. I have plenty of female friends (I haven’t dared to discuss my sexual exploration with most of them, and I wonder how they would take learning that their gay buddy was hot for them — which I am!). I am beginning to think that I am moving into a more heterosexual phase of my life, given how strong my desires for women are. But the obstacles to my achieving fulfillment seem huge — I am scared that I’m going to just end up as another lonely, frustrated guy who dreams of being with women but knows they will never have him.
Bisexual Guy Looking For Chicks
One of the oldest canards – something I’ve written about before, in fact – is the idea that women don’t like sex, especially casual sex, as much as men do. It’s the subject of many a heated debate, the punchline to hacky comedians’ jokes and the background noise in movies and sitcoms since pretty much forever. We’re given any number of reasons for this, from the classic “sperm is cheap/eggs are expensive” evo-psych rationale to the more mercenary “women use sex for barter” market view of human sexuality. This supposed disparity between male and female libidos is part of what drives so much of Pick-Up Artists tactics, of Red-Pill rage and many a rant from anime-avatar’d randos on Twitter when people dare to suggest otherwise.
The ur-evidence of this belief is the infamous Clark-Hatfield study, which was published in 1989 and replicated over and over again by YouTube pranksters as “social experiments” ever since.
Of course, the study was fatally flawed; as has been pointed out many times, Johnny Rando rolling up on a college campus and asking chicks to bang him betrays a rather severe lack of social calibration at best. But despite its flaws and mistaken conclusions, it hangs in as part of the accepted wisdom of gender relations.
(Of course, the heteronormative focus of this causes the idea to fall apart as soon as homo- and bisexuality are introduced into the mix, to say nothing of trans men and women… but hey, why let facts get in the way of closely held beliefs?)
However, a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior drives home just why the Clark-Hatfield study was wrong and – more importantly – why women are so reluctant to say “yes” to casual sex.