We’ve certainly seen some recent positive sociological shifts in sexuality. Scholastic publishing Alex Gino’s George, one of the first “young reader” books centering on a transgender character, America’s forward federal strides gay in marriage, even the recent heated debate over Planned Parenthood’s role in women’s heath showcased (for most) the good the organization does. But still one finds opponents to this seeming new “progressiveness” popping-up all the time; one of the biggest is, and has always been, peer pressure.
When like-minded lifestylers gather, as they just did at the recent 2015’s Montreal Fetish Weekend (see here) there is lots of good-natured networking and camaraderie. One of the annual MFW attendees, Dawn Mostow, head designer and president of Dawnamatrix Designs (http://dawnamatrix.com/) says: “As with any interest whether it be mainstream or alternative, finding one’s community is imperative to building confidence and gaining support.” Truly this is the key to feeling comfortable about any interest, be it a penchant to wear latex or finding people who enjoy the same movies as you do. Knowing one is not alone one’s desires, fantasies and interests empowers us all and keeps critics of those desires, fantasies and interests at bay with a strength in numbers acceptance.
It’s when one can’t find a group, even a few slightly interested friends, when one feels alone, when peer pressure can unfortunately become a very insidious influence. Thoughts, actions, fantasies and certainly fetishes can be quickly squashed if one cannot find a partner, let alone a sounding board to what they are thinking and feeling (and such is the sad case often of our lot of lonely transgendered youth.)
Luckily there are gatherings like Montreal Fetish Weekend, author’s like Gino are relating their view of the world for the children of the world and we do have an ever expanding Internet that connects even those with the most varied of interests. Bullying and peer pressure might just be hot button topics, and they will always exist to be sure, but maybe they are simply becoming less real threats to our sexual positivity as we continue to grow.