Guest post: Just a particular kind of bondage

Originally a comment by artymorty on A pivotal moment.

That openness attracts some transgender people who empathize with Ariel’s agony of being trapped in a body that feels wrong.

That’s a euphemistic way of saying there’s a big overlap between crossdressing and roleplaying as a mermaid (or a furry, or something infantile like a child’s doll or even a child in diapers). And I can imagine that mermaid-dom has much of the same problem as furrydom (and babydom and doll-dom and trans-dom): that parents let kids and young people get involved thinking it’s harmless roleplay or some kind of special identity, completely unaware that for a lot of the adults in the group, it’s a highly sexual activity. I’ve read stories of parents dropping their teens off to spend the day unattended at furry conventions, thinking it’s just a bunch enthusiastic fans of various cartoon characters, unaware that such conferences are basically orgies for fetishistic men — no place for young people to be at all. That’s not so different as the stories of 13- and 14-year-old girls joining transgender support groups and finding themselves surrounded by men in their early twenties: for the girls it’s about escaping distress around the reality of living as females; for the men it’s about the sexual thrill of getting into it.

Mermaid-dom is in fact for some people just a particular kind of bondage: it involves the lower half of a woman’s body (often actually a crossdressing man roleplaying as the “woman”) being incapacitated and tightly encased in rubber or latex. In illustrations and photographs widely distributed by mermaid fetishists, the upper half of the body is also bound and gagged with rope and duct tape. There’s often someone with a whip standing nearby — hardly Prince Eric from Disney’s Little Mermaid cartoon. I wonder why that failed to make it into the article?

(Speaking of fetishes for incapacitation and being wrapped in latex: I actually knew someone who died from that. I was at his memorial. No one mentioned the cause of death, which immediately led me to suspect something kinky was involved, and I did a deep google dive and sure enough, he had constructed an elaborate contraption that would completely vacuum seal him in a kind of giant rubber Ziploc bag, leaving him completely unable to move, and dependent on modified mechanical diving contraptions for oxygen. The breathing device malfunctioned, and he suffocated alone in his home inside his homemade fetishistic rubber Ziploc bag while his girlfriend was away in California marketing that very contraption at a fetish convention. I wonder how many mermaids have bought one?)

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