Yesterday, Fetishman came through my letterbox. It’s ok, we’d paid for this to happen…
Feitshman is the creation of Dr Geof, and brings together two forms of writing of which I am not unfond. The Superhero genre, and BDSM. As a child I was a huge Batman fan, and I trace my enthusiasm for BDSM and fetish fiction back to that as well. The masks and costumes, the contrived scenes around capture and violence. While I have huge issues with how this genre depicts women, and with the samey plots, I still feel nostalgic. I spent some years writing filth myself, and gave up largely because I’d run out of ideas and was getting surreal to the point of dysfunction. I digress.
There are a great many things to love about Fetishman. For a start, there’s little that is graphic or detailed, although there’s seldom much doubt as to what’s happening. Almost all of the filth is implied, so it’s down to the reader to fill in the gaps with their own knowledge. Anyone capable of smirking at the idea of filling in some gaps for themselves, will be fine.
There’s a huge and important political aspect to the whole thing. Dr Geof is a clear supporter of the idea that consenting adults ought to be allowed to get on with it. He demonstrates the obscene double standard in our current laws – call it erotica or porn and you can fall foul of some pretty tight anti-extreme porn legislation. There’s lots of things that, even in a cartoon, it would be risky to depict. But, call it educational, or horror, and we’re good. Consenting genital masochism is bad, depictions of abuse and dismemberment are fine within this arrangement. Which sucks.
I’ve been seeing this double standard in books for too long. If it’s literature; incest and bestiality are no problem at all. The same content, in the erotica section is filth that must be banned. And before you conclude that really it’s about the low quality of writing in the erotica genre, it isn’t. Some smut is brilliantly written, some literature is pretentious wank. What it comes down to is that we’re allowed to describe or show outrageous things in intimate detail only if we pretend that no one could possibly be getting a sexual kick out of it. This strikes me as deeply unhealthy.
On the other side of this, we’ve got a culture that really doesn’t care as much as it should about consent. Victim blaming, slut shaming, the idea that non-consent can be sexy (50 Shades anyone?) the constant use of the female body to sell products and the likelihood this creates of seeing sexualised females bodies every day, regardless of whether you want to. What if we lived in a world where what happened between consenting adults was considered fine, and we were horrified by non-consenting situations. How different that would be!
Fetishman, it must be said, is all about consent. It’s also all about filth, fetish, ridiculous scenarios and a man who largely fails to fight crime because he’s wearing a restrictive fetish suit. It’s very funny. The Filthology brings together ten Fetishman comics, plus lots of lovely extras. I read it over the last two evenings, laughed a lot and felt better about life.
More about Fetishman here – http://fetishman.co.uk/