This month marks a double-digit milestone wedding anniversary for me. Statistically, that puts me at 51% right there, simply for not ending in divorce. Now factor in the number of happily married couples where one person is an inflatable fetishist and the other isn't--and both people are still somehow able to stay happy and fulfilled--and I think the number would plummet severely. Unfortunately I don't know of anybody who keeps statistics on a pervy niche within a niche, but let's assume it's pretty rare.
On this milestone, someone asked me what our secret was, and I had to be honest: Communication. I have always been very straightforward with my wife and vice versa; we don't hold grudges and we don't play mind games. It just so happens that she knew about my fetish very early in our relationship. I sort of let something slip in the throes of passion, which caused her to giggle--and then I had the awkward task of explaining, "Well, yeah, okay, it sounds funny, but actually, um..." It was difficult to say, but instead of dodging it or repressing it, I said it. I told her the truth.
Imagine my surprise when she did not run screaming.
After it had some time to sink in, I asked her how she really felt about it. To which she famously replied, "Well, I see it as a personality quirk. It doesn't hurt anybody, it makes you happy, there's a lot of really bad stuff out there by comparison, and it's pure fantasy. What's wrong with that?"
It should be stated that she does not share this fetish. She just accepted it. That alone helped me resolve all sorts of misplaced guilt and confusion I had been holding on to, and slowly, over the years, we wound up exploring it together--finding out what my triggers were, laughing about how silly some of them are, and even finding what ultimately gives her the upper hand when she wants it. We've done some roleplaying, but rarely use props, and often, she's not the target of the roleplay anyway. I'm literally just happy to explore it on any level and not be thought a total freak for it.
I have spoken to a lot of other people who are fetishists and are married or in long-term relationships, and more often than not, they have said things like "Oh, no--she has no idea. I could never tell my wife." And as I've suggested in this blog before, if you cannot tell your life partner, who can you tell? I think that's literally one of the saddest things I can hear--a fetishist who refuses or does not feel they trust their spouse enough to share their deepest desires, particularly since the spouse is the only person who will ever help you satisfy or realize them.
For those of you out there who find yourself in that position, I beg you: Be honest with him or her. Tell them the truth, or analyze why you don't feel you can, because it may be a symptom of a larger problem. You've made a life commitment here. That's gotta be worth some understanding and open-mindedness, no matter how weird they might think it is at first.
And for those of you who are single and fear you will never find the right person because "the right person" is a fetishist, all I can say is, don't assume that. Widen the net, go for a person who you like and respect in all other areas, and when the time is right--or in my case, when the moment presents itself--introduce it. There is going to be more to your romantic or sex life than your fetish anyway. But take heart that there are people out there who will understand you for who you are and what you like and even what turns you on.
Thanks to my wife's generosity and understanding, I've had tangible fun with this fetish for longer than some folks in our community have even been aware of their own perverse interests. Trust me on this one--build it into your relationship, and everything gets sweeter.