dating

Ask Sean: “I was on my boyfriend's computer when I discovered he might have a... fetish."

When it comes to figuring out men, it sometimes pays to skip the girl talk and head straight to the source. This column is my advice on your most burning questions about guys. And since I’m gay, I’m kind of halfway inside your head already. Let’s dive in!

This week, you asked:

 “I’m in a fairly new relationship with a guy, and it’s going really well. But I was over at his house the other week and found something uncomfortable. He said I could use his laptop to do a few things for work, and at one point I went into ‘history’ to go back to a site I had been on. When I clicked, I saw a few sites. They were pages about having a breastfeeding fetish. He had clearly been Googling it and had visited a number of pages about it. I feel weird… because I definitely don’t have the same fetish, and I can’t work out if it’s a little… objectifying? There’s also the chance that he was Googling it for another reason, maybe because he had heard about it somewhere and was just curious. Should I broach it with him? Are fetishes that aren’t shared by both partners a deal-breaker? Help!”

The most successful relationships have one thing in common: honest communication.

No matter how uncomfortable or strange the topic may seem to you, the long-term success of your relationship relies on your ability to discuss these types of issues with your partner in real-time. 

You’re right when you say “there’s a chance he was Googling it for another reason”. It is possible that he was just doing research, but you’ll never know unless you ask. So stop overanalysing and get it off your chest.

Diving headfirst into a potential sexual fetish may make him uncomfortable, so I’d bring up the broader topic of sex first. You want to come across as non-accusatory, so ask if there’s anything you can do to spice things up in the bedroom.

I’d suggest you look into your own fantasies and come to the table with a request of your own. Think you don’t have fantasies? You might just be using too extreme a definition of ‘fantasy’. For example, would you have sex in a car? Maybe you can pretend you don’t know each other out at a bar. Nothing is too big or too small (again, pun intended) when you’re discussing sexual fulfilment.

If he does have a breastfeeding fetish, it’s important that you understand the fantasy in full. Some people with lactophilia (the medical term for a milk fetish) simply enjoy watching it in porn. Others want to suck on women’s milk-filled breasts and some want to have sex with pregnant women and watch the milk come out, but aren’t interested in consuming the milk at all.

Understanding the details of his fetish should help you in deciding what to do next.

You have a few choices: leave him, explore the fantasy together, or allow him to explore the fantasy with someone else.

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I’m sure most people won’t say this to you, so I will. This fetish isn’t going away. And it shouldn’t have to. In fact, it’s widely believed in medical and psychological practices that, like with sexual orientation, eradicating a fetish is not only not possible but it’s unethical if the person is not causing harm.

If you try stopping him, there is a chance he will cheat. It might not happen today or in the next five years, but fetishes persist. And life is very, very, very long.

Side note – how do you know if you ACTUALLY love the person you’re with? Post continues after video. 

That said, you don’t have to stay with him. It’s sad to think of parting ways with someone because of sexual incompatibility, but sex is as important to a relationship as shared interests. If you can’t fathom loving someone who has a fantasy that makes you uncomfortable, then the relationship simply won’t last.

The last thing I’ll say is this: Monogamy isn’t for everyone. If a fetish makes you uneasy but a love is truly special, you do have the choice of permitting your partner to pursue it with someone else. You would need to establish rules, schedule check-ins, and maybe speak with a therapist, but relationships don’t have to end because people don’t have the same fantasies.

Humans are complicated, but communication doesn’t have to be. Go home, chug a glass of wine, and tell your truth. Remember that speaking up for yourself and what makes you comfortable isn’t a sin, but either is having a fetish. Good luck!

If you have a question involving men that you’re afraid to ask your friends, Sean is here to help. In fact, those are the questions he enjoys most. Send him an email at [email protected]. No topic or problem is too complicated to explore!

Read more from Ask Sean: 

Sean Szeps is a freelancer, and Mamamia’s resident Agony Uncle. To ask him a question, you can email [email protected] You can also follow Sean on Instagram, or listen to him on Mamamia’s parenting podcast, The Baby Bubble

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