Fetisch ≠ Sex

If you walk around in clothes made of leather, rubber, varnish or even wear a dog mask, all you want is sex and preferably right away. But is it really that simple?

One might almost think that it is a summer hole topic. Every year a fierce discussion breaks out in the queer community and it is always some fetish that is to be excluded.

A few examples

CSD Bremen writes 2021 “We don’t find the display of fetishes in public helpful if we want to talk about topics like asylum rights, trans* rights or queer health care at the same demonstration and rally. Especially with fetishes that are read sexually to onlookers, there is the additional problem that the audience cannot consent (lack of consensus in the sense of safe, sane, consensual).” – After a strong outcry that went through the community, the passage was changed.

After this year’s CSD Berlin, a picture circulated through social media of people kneeling on the ground with dog masks and a small child standing in front of them. Immediately afterwards, an association starts a petition for the ban of fetishes on at all CSDs with the reasoning that this is child welfare endangerment. The picture is already several years old and has nothing at all to do with the current CSD Berlin. In addition, experience shows that children see it more as a game and are happy when they can pet and interact with human dogs.

Every year, Heidepark organizes a Pink Day together with CSD Nord e.V.. This is to reduce fear of contact and support the community. However, as of this year you write that there are new rules of the game and this includes “no display of fetish”.

Fetish as a problem?

Is this really about fetish per se? No! The argument behind it is always, “There are families and children there. And children need to be protected.” One hundred percent agreed, when it comes to sexual acts. However, this raises the very question we raised at the beginning: Is a child harmed by seeing a guy in a leather uniform or encountering someone in a Puppy mask? So it’s not fetish that’s the problem, it’s the portrayal or even performance of sex.

We are human beings and we have had an education and we know on what occasions to behave and how. And just because we don’t conform to the heteronormative doesn’t mean we have to be excluded. Think of it as an opportunity to recognize the diversity in the world!

A very readable post with the topic “Der CSD, Fetische und deren Instrumentalisierung” (The pride, fetishes and their instrumentalization) was recently published by CSD Deutschland e.V..

We as an association will continue to advocate that fetish is not further instrumentalized and we will continue not to hide.