Your Partner’s Fetish is Not to Your Liking. Now What?

About a year ago, I stumbled upon an article that was just so damn inspiring. It was about this young man, Alex, and his reactions and actions after discovering that his girlfriend has a fetish called macrophilia. I never even heard about this fetish before reading that article. Basically, it’s when one is aroused by giants.

In that said article, Alex is portrayed as a very caring, loving partner, that learns about his girlfriend’s unusual sexual arousal stimulus and does his best to help her enjoy it — even though he himself is not into the same fetish. At least, not to start with. In his original Reddit post that sparked the interview, he says that after having sex this way for a while, he is getting into this fetish himself:

Only thing is that we’ve done things like that so often now, I think I’ve developed the same fetish.

After all, when we consider that a fetish in many cases is a result of some cue being associated with sexual arousal, it makes sense that practicing someone else’s fetish with an open mind and heart will result in developing a similar fetish.

I wish I had Alex’s approach to his girlfriend’s fetish. 

I once used to be with a guy who was into BDSM.

I wasn’t. At the time, I thought I did my best to accommodate for his fetish. It’s a relatively acceptable fetish so it should be easy to oblige him, right? I did the things he asked me to do, although I didn’t find them thrilling whatsoever. I was doing my best to serve him because I cared for him and wanted to please him. But internally I was still judging his fetish. Which meant that I was never fully giving him what he wanted. I was no Alex.

It looks like the best way to enjoy someone else’s fetish is to absorb ourselves in the arousal that they experience. Come to think of it, if both partners are aroused by similar things, this just happens naturally. After all, seeing our partner aroused is a huge turn-on for most people. However, if a narrative that comes into our head says “they shouldn’t be aroused by that”, it distances us from their arousal.

How can we be more like Alex?

It is easier to be an Alex at the beginning stages of the relationship when we are still high in love, and everything our partner likes fascinates us. It’s more complex later in the relationship. Especially if one (or both) parties are sexually frustrated. Say, after a few years of explanations of what we like that fell on deaf ears.

The sexual imbalance and discord tend to grow wider apart if one partner knows exactly what they like, while the other partner doesn’t.

The friction can expand even further if one partner gets their way without their partner’s participation. It’s not just about having an affair. It could be as simple as watching porn or going to an event with their fetish’s theme without their uninterested mate.

A couple could have lots of different interests that they pursue individually. But when that interest is sex, bridging that gap could seem almost impossible.

If you are in a relationship that suffered from years of sexual discordance, you might not have the capacity to become an Alex all by yourself.

What can we do when our partner’s fetish does not tickle our fancy?

I wish I could give you a to-do list that you can tick to make it happen for you. It would be most helpful, wouldn’t it?

Unfortunately, not all problems can be solved by reading an article online. If both you and your partner are committed to making your relationship work, I highly suggest seeing a therapist that will help you find common ground. A good sexologist can offer materials to help you build that bridge together. 

And still, here are two tips that I would like to suggest.

  • When you don’t share your partner’s fetish, first make sure you know what you do like. Perhaps you never had a fetish as such, but what about a fantasy? A roleplay? A deep desire? Being able to share your vulnerable sexual side with your partner might assist with shaking both your walls of defense that were built over time while you were both unsatisfied sexually.
  • Understand that there’s a difference between arousal and pleasure. Both arousal and pleasurable sensations in our body have a vital role in giving us sexual satisfaction. Usually, we have sex in a way that incorporates both. Sometimes it’s nice to separate the two and work only with one of them. Suggest to your partner to have sex together in a way that focuses on bodily sensations and not on arousal.

I usually advocate doing everything you can to keep a long-term relationship going. (With the exception of abuse. In that case, I will always advise against staying. It has nothing to do with this article but I had to put it out there). And this is no different.

I know a few couples that share their fetish, have an amazing sex life, and every aspect of their partnership is enviable. Not perfect, but close enough.

However, I don’t know any happy couples that have a miserable sex life. If you know of any, please let me know.

In any case, do yourself a favor and make your sex life work wonderfully together.