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I think I have a fetish

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My question is of a sexual nature, and I’m a little embarrassed about it. It’s something I keep to myself, but now I’m wondering – do I have a fetish or am I just a S&M freak or something like that? Ok, here’s the thing. The last couple of fights my boyfriend and I had he said he was going to punish me, and teach me a lesson.

It sounds ridiculous, and at first I thought he was joking, but then he actually made me take down my pants and underwear, bent me over, and spanked me.

The first 2 times I was shocked and a little angry, as I felt humiliated and my red behind hurt like heck. Then, later on, as I was thinking about what had happened, I started getting turned on by it and realized that in a way I had actually liked it. (I would never admit this to anybody.)

It doesn’t end there, however. He gave me warnings that if I acted up again, I would receive another spanking, and it would be worse. Feeling a little turned on by it, I “acted up” again to see what he would do. This time, saying he had warned me, (and with a big smile on his face), he again ordered me to strip from the waste down. When I playfully resisted, he shoved me down on the sofa and removed my clothing himself. He then turned me around and bent me over like before, but then there was a pause as I heard him unbuckle his belt followed by the loud snap as he pulled it off. I couldn’t believe it, I was terrified! Too scared to move or protest, I obeyed when he ordered me to stay completely still.

Needless to say, I got a hard spanking with a leather belt, and on my bare behind. When he finished he said he would not hesitate to do it again, so I had better behave myself. I went into the bathroom and shut the door, and as I checked out my bright red and slightly bruised backside, despite the pain the whipping had caused me, I felt an undeniable surge of excitement. I was so totally turned on. This has happened several times now, and when I’m “bad”, he takes on the role of a strict father figure, and threatens me with corporal punishment .

What is this? Role-playing, S&M, a fetish, all 3? And is there something horribly wrong with me for enjoying it? I feel sick and perverted every time I think about it, like it’s wrong, even though I allow him to do it because I enjoy it. It’s horribly embarassing to admit it to anyone, and I feel like what is going on here is just wrong, but I like it, and have been “punished” quite a few times. Please tell me what is going on psychologically in my head to be into this kind of thing, because I feel so dirty.

There are many theories about why people are aroused to S/M or Dominance/Submission. Which is the correct one? Are any of them correct? The one thing that we can be very sure of is that historically, sexual arousal to these things goes back as far as written history.

Is it a problem for you? Is it hurting you psychologically? You are now feeling some guilt associated with your sexual arousal and that could well be a signal that indeed it is hurting you. A therapist could better evaluate this for you, after a thorough interview with you.

The thing that concerns me is that these activities seem to spill over into your non-sexual life with your boyfriend. If it were simply a “game” that you played in the bedroom for sexual stimulation then you would be able to read about and study the lives of millions of people world wide who share your interests in D/S. Perhaps it is a harmless activity that you and your boyfriend engage in for sexual stimulation that only appears to involve normal times. I can’t answer that question through email communication.

Millions of people do associate sex with guilt but that does not make it normal or healthy. Not all guilt is a sign that psychological damage is right around the next turn. The guilt can’t be ignored. Please find a therapist with which you can discuss this issue. I hope I’ve helped.

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