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[personal profile] jewelfox

This is a response to 'Hello, my name is Ally' -- how children are being exploited by YouTube predators.

The link goes into slightly graphic detail about fetish material. This short essay discusses in broad terms what's happened to me and to others, but is not itself graphic.

The tl;dr of the link is that certain people with niche fetishes, like macro, are exploiting kids' ignorance about this stuff by creating fake "challenges" in the vein of the ALS ice bucket challenge. And then asking kids to try them.

As someone who's had her sexuality exploited to control her, and used to be friends with someone who was sexually abused as a child, I've been thinking a lot about the way stuff like this happens in society's blind spots. In families and subcultures where no one can see what's happening, and to people who don't realize what is being done to them.

And I feel like, maybe we should just make different fetishes part of sex ed? I'm not saying "expose kids to fetish material," I'm saying "educate people of all-or-most ages about what different fetishes entail," and it doesn't even have to be comprehensive.

This would help to reduce the stigma involved in having "weird" interests, as well as the shock factor of finding out you or other people have such-and-such fetish. It would shine a light into niche communities that may be rife with abuse, like furry and individual families, by making it less scary to check up on them and less shameful to talk about what goes on in them. But most importantly, it would help to protect the innocent from having their ignorance exploited.

Anglophone culture is deeply afraid of sex and ashamed of its interests and fetishes, and this leads to pretending that they don't exist. This makes the life of an Anglophone child into one of those horror movies where adults are useless / oblivious, because you are constantly being exposed to alarming stuff that no one has ever prepared you for and no grown-up will even acknowledge exists.

It took me a very long time to be comfortable with my body and feelings, and to realize that they belonged to me and not to god or the devil. Something like this would have helped me to see my feelings as harmless, and my "caretakers" as dangerous.

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