Swedish newspaper The Local reports that while fetishism has long been a taboo subject in Sweden, it is now finding a mainstream foothold in Swedish society. Sweden is, of course, known internationally as a country with very liberal and relaxed views about sexuality and nudity.
People look for more excitement or new forms of excitement, try to find some “extra spice”, and challenge the traditional sexual relationships. More and more adopt a fetishist lifestyle, often also a more exhibitionist one. BDSM – Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism – is becoming more and more widespread.
There probably is many reasons why this is happening. The many symbolic sado-masochist references, so visible, in pop culture and Internet networking may be an important factor. The Local writes:
The spread of exhibitionist clubs as well as political lobbying among have also played a role, according to Anna Bäsén, a medical journalist at the Expressen newspaper and co-author of the sold out book “Pervers – Sex utöver det vanliga” (‘Perversion – sex that’s out of the ordinary’).
“It is not unusual to see Madonna or Britney Spears sporting SM clothes and dragging tied up men on their video clips on TV,” she said, noting this was not the norm a decade or two ago. …
“During the last five years or so, the Internet has made it a lot easier for people who have different preferences to meet others who share their preferences, especially sexual interests,” Bäsén explains.
“The club scene has become bigger: there are clubs like Dekadance, Whipclub, Swedish Leather Men – SLM, Lash, Club Sade, Club Sunrise and many more. However, people also arrange private parties.”
There are many stereotypes of fetishists, in Sweden and elsewhere. For instance, it is commonly assumed that they are people that have lots of piercings, that they wear leather clothes, and some even like to think that they are more inclined to be criminals than “normal” people. However, according to Anna Bäsén, a medical journalist at the Expressen newspaper and co-author of the sold out book “Pervers – Sex utöver det vanliga” (‘Perversion – sex that’s out of the ordinary’), these images are wrong. More and more
“research shows that fetishists and sadomasochists are actually very ordinary people who, in many instances, come from the more well-to-do ranks of society.”
The modern fetishist may look normal in work life or in public, but change and turn into fetishists when they go home or join others with the same orientations. Indeed, this is what is becoming both fashionable and more common in Sweden.
“A lot of people have these interests to some degree,” she [Anna Bäsén] says , adding that, “it’s pretty normal to be abnormal.”