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|Written by Miss Smartypants|
|Monday, 08 March 2010 00:00|
Dear Miss Smartypants,
My 13-year-old son, a well-behaved, sweet boy, already has what I perceive as a strange fetish. He loves and is fascinated by latex gloves. When he was little, he would stop in front of the rubber glove display at the supermarket and just stare at the packages of dishwashing gloves. He wanted me to buy them for him, but he would never tell me why. Now that he's older, he goes online to medical supply Web sites and "shops" for rubber gloves. Recently, I found out he had been visiting glove fetish Web sites with pornographic glove pictures. I installed content filtering software to block him from being exposed to such images. He was horribly embarrassed and guilty, and he promised to give up gloves forever. Apparently, it's not so easy. He still asks me to buy latex gloves for him when we go to the drug store, and he keeps piles of them around his room. He worries that he might not be able to find a girlfriend or wife who will be interested in sharing his glove love. Should I try to stop him, or should I just chalk it up to a personality quirk and worry no longer?
-- Hand in Glove
Dear Okay, Not Really,
This question appeared in the February 25 edition of "Dear Prudence," and a few readers have asked what I think of Prudie's answer and what I would say. Much like the last time this happened, I can't say I'm impressed. Emily Yoffe is not, I believe, what our dear Roxy Munro would call "sex positive." So, Glove Fetishist's Mom, you should just chalk it up to a quirk and worry no longer. That's exactly what fetishes are (or should be, at any rate). Since you've obviously already talked to him about this, do me a favour and talk to him one more time: explain to him that it's okay to have this interest and the only important thing to remember is that he has to vary his routine to ensure that he doesn't respond to only one stimulus. As for finding a girlfriend or wife who will be interested in sharing his glove love, given that his fetish is so banal, as long as he understands how unlikely it is that he will find someone to indulge his fetish 24/7, he should be fine. Throw that into your little talk, and then never bring this up again.
As for Prudie, having a fetish is not the same as committing deviant sexual behaviour. He's not a pedophile or rapist or zoophile. He just likes to mix rubber and latex gloves his sexual behaviour. If anything, this will help make the son more comfortable with using condoms (it's like a latex glove for your dick!). He does not need therapy. He needs someone to tell him that it's okay to be different and to remember that not everyone's going to be different in the same way. He's already embarrassed and guilty that his mom knows. There's no reason to make him feel worse by sending him to a sex therapist.