Like all good stories, this one starts in the middle. To be precise, it starts at 7 a.m. on a cold Saturday morning in January in this home. My wife was getting ready to go to work (she was working Saturday overtime partly to pay for spending on fetish clothing during the previous month) and I had hoped to have a nice lie-in. However, the forces of exploding porridge and shattering glass were to prevent my plans from coming true.
My wife has always enjoyed dressing up and, as our relationship developed, I had always encouraged her to explore this side of her nature and enjoy it. I'm not sure how comfortable she was with this (I'm not sure she wanted to admit to herself how much she enjoyed it) but in the months that preceeded this story she had discovered internet sites selling fetish clothing and started to buy products from them. The clothes she bought were impressive and we had both put aside previous doubts about shopping on-line (if anyone has stolen our credit details ... tough, there's no money for you to steal!). You want to know about the porridge now, don't you?
On this morning my wife had managed to explode some porridge in the microwave and had woken me up to ask me to clean it up before it set. She, meanwhile, made herself something else and disappeared off down the dark hallway to eat it elsehwere. There was a crash and a scream and I entered the front room to find she had walked into it in the dark and smashed a glass on the coffee table with her cereal bowl. This does not sound like a promising slice of domestic bliss, does it?
I had resigned myself to being awake and cleaning up, so I got on with the task after she had left. However, I was interrupted by a knock at the door, which turned out to be made by a postman delivering a package for me. I knew what it was. You see, she had been ordering all this fetish clothing and I had decided that maybe I would try to buy something to wear too. I had a pair of leather trousers that I always found refreshingly pleasurable to the touch, but that really is the acceptable side of pervy fashion. No, I wanted something to wear that said 'No messing, this is for sexual pleasure only.'
I laid the package down on the bed upstairs and left it for when I had finished clearing up. This kind of ritual seemed natural to me as it was to be my reward for completing the housework. I won't deny that my heart was beating double-time just at the thought of opening the package. When the time came to open it, I had to calm myself down and allow myself to savour every moment of the experience.
I laid out the two items I had ordered (still in their packaging) on the bed. Suddenly, it struck me. For years, this was how I masturbated. No, really, it was an incredibly sharp connection - get everything else done first and then set out the clothes you're going to wear to be sexually excited in. I was truly shocked by this feeling. Did other people dress up to masturbate? I had honestly not thought about it before beyond a vague feeling that there was something wrong and unnatural about it. I never had pervy clothes, but had always had clothes that I had set aside for that purpose (I kept specially tight underwear for instance).
So, the first thing I tried on was the tight purple top which laced up the back. The lacing was hard to master but I dressed myself carefully in front of the mirror. I liked the feeling of the material and it made me feel ... well ... attractive. Then came the PVC trousers I had ordered. The material felt like nothing else I had felt before. I mean, leather is lovely to the touch but this was something else. Well, you know enough about feeling good, I don't really need to tell you anymore.
The point is that suddenly I realised that I was in the middle of the story. At first it had seemed like a new beginning but it wasn't any longer. Now I understood so much about myself. For years as a teenager I had envied women for the lovely soft, silky materials they could wear. I started to worry that I was a transvestite and maybe I would end up being one of those men who secretly dress up in their wife's underwear when she's out of the house. A few years ago I had even joked about that with her work colleagues (they asked her what I'd get up to while she was away on a course and she had drunkenly replied 'he'll probably download bondage pictures from the internet' so I had turned it in to a joke about 'why do that when I can dress up in her underwear'). I am very particular about my clothing - frankly, I love it. I mean, even my T-shirts and sweatshirts that are put down by other people have a tale to them for me. I don't think most people feel that kind of bond with what they wear (other than the odd pair of lucky pulling pants with a photo of Boyzone on them - no, I did meet a girl who confessed they were her favourite item of clothing).
But for years all this was just buried inside me and confused with feelings of not belonging, weirdness and unhappiness. I am weird, by the way, but I accept it and celebrate it now and it's nothing to do with being a fetishist.
This is where part two begins (the story's paused here and we're on to another strand. This is a good point for a cup of tea or to mutter 'screw this' and go to the next post).
Last night, my wife and I were dressing up to go out. She told me what she was going to be wearing - an outfit that included a tight vinyl basque and a spiked collar. It was a mixture of fetish style and vanilla fashion style. Of course she looked gorgeous but I was immediately aware that it could cause problems and the second pub we went into, the problems started. It was full of rugby fans. Pardon me if I seem a little intolerant here, but I don't think that rugby fans that I meet in pubs are always the most broad-minded of people. There were comments and looks and when we got to the back of the pub, a moment when there was a widespread focussing of male eyes on the top of my wife's basque. It should be a pleasant thing to consider (and can you guess that I'm not one of those men who likes his woman to look dowdy on a night out for fear of someone trying to steal her?) but there was a certain unpleasant atmosphere especially when one drunken fan started to come over and make comments, only to be restrained by a furious wife. Some soul music started on the music system and my wife started to dance a bit. I immediately realized that a new 'wobble factor' would be added to the equation. It was unnerving to be the focus of so much attention and I'm sure that much of it comes down to being dressed ... 'weirdly'.
Compare this to the nightclub we were in later on. It was a band night / indie night and there was a fair amount of leather (and even some PVC) on show - the lead singer of the band was even wearing a leather collar. But, again maybe I am judging people wrongly, in this sort of place you get the impression that it is all just for show. I am reminded of a teenage girl I saw in Tesco with her parents just before Christmas who was wearing a spiked collar very similar to the one my wife was wearing last night.
Shall I come to a conclusion? Yes! When I first thought about posting about being a clothing fetishist I thought that I shouldn't because it was not really relevant to anyone else's life. But then I wondered what I would have thought if I had read something like that in the last few years when I have occassionally dipped my toes into the on-line BDSM world and also because I think that many of the fetishes or desires that we develop are constants throughout our lives and that we only start to realise this when we accept` them and develop them. Then after last night I thought that I would add in the second part as a few thoughts as to where pervy clothing is acceptable and unacceptable. Of course, the people who wear it to be cool are probably thinking the whole time 'ouch, that's a bit tight' which is, I suppose, where the difference lies. And if I sound like I'm coming across as 'pervier than thou' then I apologise, it's just that I know that there are certains ways of dressing that will probably never be 'acceptable'. But then, I once had a pair of bright orange leggings that brought me enough abuse, so it's not as if this is any kind of revelation to me.
Yet, this is an important part of my identity and always will be. It is also now an important part of my monthly bank statement. We will know that we live in a truly tolerant world when I can explain to my bank manager that I have a large overdraft because PVC and leather are just so expensive. For now, I'll just tell him that I do a lot of Internet shopping...
Dewi-Cinci, who is wearing PVC underwear as he types