Beauty of sharing an experience while being in a story

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(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Virginia State Parks

(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Robert Ferrari

(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Bureau of Land Management

A lot of my writing focuses on fetish and erotic(ized) fantasies. Especially trying to figure out how sexual kinks operate - and how they compare with the commodity fetishism of economics - or the daily addictive behavior of "normal" vanilla person. The fetish does not seem to be such an exotic perverse realm as some like to perceive it - and taken from the other side: the daily life contains quite more mystery and kink than one might think.

To look smart, successful, desirable
(Credits): Wikipedia - Rakoon

To be enjoy speed, freedom, to impress
(Credits): Wikipedia - Semnoz

To be the best, to win, to be famous
(Credits): Wikipedia - Tongshuiscentm

There are archetypal stories circulating in each culture - and they associate with certain objects: relics, holy idols, souvenirs, dresses related to certain status, role, calling. The more sacred they are, the less attainable (in whatever sense) - the more they tease, the more power falls upon those related objects.

(Credits): Wikipedia - US Navy (Public Domain)


(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. Air Force

In particular, gay men are (were) often excluded from highly competitive sports, from hyper-masculine military society, ignored by somewhat violent and idiosyncratic skinhead or punk culture, or directly threatened by neo-nazi or hooligan tribes - the associated fetishes continuously evoke intense attraction. The power-hierarchies are a theme of erotic games in both heterosexual and queer world. Fetish may be a way how to approach the paralyzing danger face-to-face, without risking to be hurt, to enact healing constellation play, or just to symbolically reach out to a space that we have no access to.

Shared fantasy of mental and physical closeness

concentrated into an object of fascination
(Credits): Wikipedia - Timmy Truck

wearing it might not satisfy the soul's craving

Identity that usually evokes fear ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Qz10

... is not far from fascination ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Vugluskr

... and a futile desire to wear it.

Lonesome rider in the land of no laws ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Library of Congress

... the template fashion items ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - dbking

... and playing with the culture.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Dejan Čabrilo

A gay man fantasizes of soldiers living together (all-male society, self-sufficiency, closeness), working out together (physical beauty, shared play, acquiring skills), showering together (erotics), sleeping in communal rooms (intimacy) and eventually providing release if there are no other ways (sexuality). All this is transgression of usual male-to-male interaction – stiff body, preserving macho image, compulsory topics, phrases of proper communication, voice tone, combative jokes, detachment, constant teasing, competition, flexing muscles. Male world is also somewhat sterilized in body-shame, anxiety, asexuality, unemotionality, practicality. Even I remember that I realized my sexuality feeling frustrated by lack of tenderness, interest, compassion, mutual listening, support, friendly or even curious touch – among men. It just intensified and went towards full-range experience of sexuality.

Excitement, skills, connection ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. Navy

... projected on the item ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Tyler178

...that might not ensure the experience.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - János Korom Dr.

If we shift towards the actual military endeavors, combat and war - straight men probably get off more on accomplishing the task, technical gadgets, rush of the battle, prospect of winning, glory, hierarchy, territory. Gay soldier fantasy often focuses on mutual support in tense and straining situations, surrogate intimacy that replaces usual family life, micro-world of relationships arising from having to share small space together. What we may have in common is a boyish excitement with "camping", travel, play, acquiring and applying skills of survival, the Adventure.

Straight eyes: Toys, technical skills
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. Marine Corps

Straight eyes: Patriotism, glory, wolfpack
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. Marine Corps

Straight eyes: Fight, winning, ranks
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. Army

Common ground: whatever defines masculinity
Physicality, vitality, challenge
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. Marine Corps

Common ground: whatever defines masculinity
Adventure, discomfort, mud

Common ground: whatever defines masculinity
Fun, play, joy
(Credits): Wikipedia - US Navy (Public Domain)

Queer eyes: Closeness

Queer eyes: Intimacy

Queer eyes: Erotics

Without demonizing the dynamic, the advertisement world knows that movie fans will buy unique and new products they've seen in the story they'd enjoyed. It's a way (or an attempt) how to extend that story into one's dull everyday reality. Though buying the object/souvenir (without living the adventure) usually does not grant the experience of the story - to come along with that thing. Just a vague feeling of somewhat "approaching" the essence of our fascination. With every story-associated item we feel like coming closer, but never close enough - which causes frustration - and justifies (even conditions!) another purchase. A maxim: "happy people do not buy" - will not come as a surprise even to the non-left folks. Buying the camo pants will make you look like (a bit closer to) you war-movie hero, but you will not reach out to his skills, friends, experience, stories, adventure.

Superheroes with superpowers ...
(Credits): Wallpaperup - BellDeesee - Marvel Studios / Disney 2016

... the object of merchandise ...
(Credits): Wallpaperup - BellDeesee - Marvel Studios / Disney 2016

... and an innocent costume play.
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. military

Though the point of seeing the fetish dynamics is not necessarily to "cure it out" immediately. Observation and seeing the thing (in all dimensions, on all levels where it expresses itself) is the best non-action (wu-wei) one can take for the start. Next step might be finding out a playful way how to engage not only the object of the fantasy, but the whole story, satisfying the need for closer connection with physical reality along the road.

Endurance ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Northernhenge

... strength ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Tough Mudder LLC

... cooperation.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Jsslee

Survivalism reality shows that are currently in fashion, military-themed movies, or boot-camp style workout - may refer to the desire to acquire basic skills (almost a mythical grail for a post-modern "soft" human lost in safe corporate environment), or answer to the void in new definitions of masculinity. One less-conspicuous aspect of these contemporary fashions/fetishes is not to be omitted: We lack live experience of stories, that our culture still refers to in myths and art and collective memory of us as a species. Survival, action, quest, calling, purpose. Uniforms or camo is the easiest and somewhat toothless attempt to reach out to those realms.

Object is not a story.
(Credits): Public Domain Files - U.S. Air Force

Item is not a context.
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S. national Guard

Drag is not an adventure.
(Credits): Wikipedia - U.S.Navy

Collecting fetish items can be nicely complemented by obsession with imagery. Me being owner of several tumblr blogs, I realize quite well how need, craving and lack of my own stories conditions the wonder and obsession with the images of other people's adventures. Though this new addition to contemporary addictions is not far from what draws movie freaks to see yet another film, or why gamers spend hours and days with exciting opportunities to "act" in desired landscapes and narratives. Virtual worlds replace the real ones. Although I don't mean it as the usual nostalgic/moralist and nostalgic lament. I sincerely ask: where the hell are the real ones? Why are they inaccessible? Why are they expensive or perceived as a subject of purchase at all? Why are they rare? The stunning outbreak of "virtual reality" (what an oxymoron!) speaks of an acute lack of competence to shape or even access the "real reality". It just factically confirms that Adventure is not out of fashion, but it is still The Topic.

Exotic ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Jemingway

... eventless ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Unsplash - Maciej Serafinowicz

... predictable.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Tejcoomar Luchmun

As a society, we are co-creators of this adventure-less world. It is quite obvious that "browsing the catalog" sort of tourism is focused on comfort and any claim of selling adventures is just an advertisement deception to lure us to buy the template services and pay off someone's wage. Though the same applies to clubs, parties, bars, saunas, dark-rooms - any facility - even gyms, mass workouts, ballroom dance, music and movie festivals. If for a moment I overlook the possibility of entrepreneur's greed, even with good intentions in mind, I am stunned by misunderstanding of what draws us to these activities and events, at least the most of us. We want to experience stories, adventures, encounters - not just to get or to have something.

Clubs where everyone is just searching
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Daniel M. Hendricks

Apps that rob us off the storyline
(Credits): Wikipedia - Sasha Kargaltsev

Bars where we are out of context of our life
(Credits): Wikipedia - Paul2

The world of dating websites and apps, even if seemingly providing safe (harmless? castrated?) space to search for the matching partners, suffers of the abysmall sterility of its design/nature. In order to "simplify" something we though important (access to people) we actually dissected something that really matters (adventure of life). The playful joy of searching in reality, without certainty, reading the body language, unsure, with thrill and a bit of fear - is gone. Perhaps not for some of us ... an institution of cruising has still survived, as a tangible reminder of the sponteneous beauty of the real-life interactions. Apps often do not facilitate encounters, they replace them or prevent them to happen.

A bit of danger ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - arthurhs

... teasing the boundaries ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Jose Luis Nunez

... exploring beyond.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Virginia State Parks

As much as the popularity of extreme sports and survival games comments silently on our excessively health&safety-cushioned reality (convienent for the reason, but not for the soul) - even the reemergence of unsafe-sex fetishism regardless of STD epidemics suggests, that we overlooked a fundamental need for certain dare, healing properties of carefree mind, or connection without barriers, being lead by our animal instincs - to play, to explore, to be connected sensually with the world.

Scrap health&safety ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Jsslee

... I want to feel alive ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Jsslee

... to play and experience.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Jsslee

The questions that bother me: How on Earth an emerging queer community invests so much talents, energy and money into creating facilities so de-focused from stories and experience? Is there a way how to re-orient our "fun" and "venues" and "events" to respond to the call for Adventure, not just drum the string in the background tune of the commercial?

Freedom might look like ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Levi Clancy

... romantic adventure ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Unsplash - Jon Asato

... wish to share the beauty.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Zach Dischner

In English, the word for Adventure stems from the Latin and old French roots suggesting events "about to happen" but also situations "at the mercy of luck and coincidence". I understand that these are difficult to produce through an intention. What I have in mind is not a forceful creation of artificial stories, but rather creating and organizing gatherings and events with clear vision of not inhibiting adventures, creating non-sterile spaces where they feel invited, where they are possible at all. In Slovak, the equivalent word - "dobrodružstvo" - means "good-companion-ship" and refers to the sharing of the experience, which is one of the key elements of any Adventure. Whether we travel with someone or alone, we still expect to meet people and creatures or situations.

It does not take much effort ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Murray Foubister

... to explain the nature ...
(Credits): Wikipedia - NikbarteMedia

... of what humans call adventure.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Virginia State Parks

Facing the magnificent.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Flickr - Pacific Southwestern Region 5

Connected with the nature.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Philantio

Screaming and then laughing.
(Credits): Wikipedia - Tiara bolivia