“Fetish”, a word with one meaning but many interpretations. Some associate it with some’s eccentric pleasures, others with a sense of sexual affiliation. Irrespective of your perspective of the fetish, it is a psycho-sexual fundamental. In this post I will introduce you to the basis of “feeding the fetish”. This will be the platform on which all future posts will be based on. But before I go any further I would like to briefly brief you on what I call the Theory of More. This in effect states that all man’s mental needs are insatiable. Basically, by biology, our needs are based on an optimal state. All our urges are based on reaching and/or sustaining this optimal state, similar to a household thermostat, bouncing above and below of specific point. This is clinically known as homeostasis. But mankind has evolved out of this biological dogma. Our mental capacity enables us to reach for the infinite, or in other words “the need for more”. It also stipulates that all society’s ideals and flaws, its conformities and eccentricities are based on this need for more.
To begin, we must understand that fundamental biology is centered on seven life functions. Namely: Motion, Reproduction, Nutrition, Sensitivity, Growth, Excretion and Respiration. Five of those seven functions are burdened solely on the body, i.e. conscious effort is not needed to perform these tasks,two however, namely nutrition and reproduction, are burdened on both the body and the mind. So, because of the fact that they are also burdened on the mind, according to the theory of more, they become insatiable. But nutrition, or the need to eat i.e. not necessarily hunger, has a large biological constraint. We can only ever eat our stomach full. Thus, its insatiable nature is substantially nullified. Also, our need to eat is far more rooted in our biology than our need for sex. To illustrate, breathing is literally insatiable. You can never get tired of breathing, but the only reason you can never get tired of breathing is because you need to in order to survive. So, this cannot be classified as insatiable.Therefore, reproduction is the sole insatiable fundamental biological need we face as humans.
To further cement this point, I shall make use of the insight of a renowned psychologist W. Lambert Gardiner. Gardiner explained this uniqueness of the sex drive using Need-reduction theory. According to Gardiner as time passes every organisms drifts from its optimal state. “it gets thirsty; it gets hungry; it has a need. The need can be satisfied by appropriate behavior with respect to some appropriate object in the environment (goal): drinking water in the case of thirst and eating food in the case of hunger…..the physiological state of deprivation (the need) must be transformed into its psychological counterpart (the drive), which orients the organism to the appropriate environmental object (the goal). By making the appropriate response with respect with the goal, the drive is removed, the need is satisfied, and the optimal state regained.” (Gardiner,1970).This need, drive and goal relationship is the basis of homeostasis (from a psychological perspective). Though some needs have no corresponding drives. For instance, the need for oxygen has no corresponding drive. We have no mechanism for detecting a lack of oxygen, mostly because it is so abundant in the atmosphere. On the other hand there are some drives without corresponding needs. Here is where the difference lies. Sex is the only psychological drive with no corresponding physiological need i.e. it is burdened almost solely on the mind.
Also, you may have been wondering why my use of quotation marks is so frequent. This is because my use of some words may not correspond with their literary meaning. For instance, it actually not possible to feed a fetish because the fetish is not a need in itself. To understand what it means to feed the fetish we must first define the fetish.
The literary definition of a fetish is an object, body part or physical stimuli to which we associate our sexual arousal. But my definition of the fetish is the combination of all our media of sexual arousal. We all have an unlimited reserve of sexual energy. Freud, a renowned psychologist, described this as the libido, the life instinct. This energy is the product the reproductive need. The fetish is the valves through which our sexual energy flows out. A series of valves whether they be cascading, one leading into another, or along a plane, beside each other, compose the fetish. It is these stimuli whether physical, visual, mentally embedded etc. that serve to arouse us i.e. let loose our sexual energy. This is how the fetish itself becomes a psycho-sexual fundamental. It is this definition of the fetish and the understanding of how this definition comes about that we will use as a base to analyze all the facets of human psychology.
Gardiner, L. (1970). Motivation. In Psychology: A Story of a Search. Belmont, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.