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October 18, 2001
I'm no Internet guru either, TT, but nevertheless I managed to find a virtual ton of information about your particular perversion. All I did was type "catheter fetish" into a search engine (google.com) and--ta-da!--not 10 minutes later I was on the phone with the owners of MedicalToys.com, a "provider of medical toys, products, and apparel for the medical fetish, nurse fetish, and the medical BDSM scene."
"Doc" Sebastian and "Nurse" Laurel launched MedicalToys.com four years ago. "We have been actively involved in the fetish community for over 20 years," says Doc Sebastian, "and wanted to make this wonderful fantasy playland, its products, and knowledge more available and affordable." While medical fetishism has a long and proud history in Europe and Asia, according to the doc, there's very little awareness of the fetish in North America. So Sebastian and Laurel started MedicalToys.com to let others into domination and submission know that they had alternatives to run-of-the-mill bondage/SM play. And to make money, of course.
"Catheter play and fantasies are quite common and popular in the medical fetish world," says the doc. What makes catheterization sexy? "Most people who are attracted to the idea of catheter play get off on the control aspect of it. Once a person is catheterized, they have no control of their urinary function. If the catheter tube is left open, one's bladder will completely drain until it is empty, and then it will continue to drain as additional urine is produced. When a catheter tube is clamped shut, the person will not be able to urinate even if they want or need to."
Doc Sebastian recommends that you check out http://groups.yahoo.com/group/medical-fetish. "It's a members club that you will have to request to join," says the doc, "but it's completely free, confidential, and non-commercial. It's a great place to start to find others and get more info." There's also lots of info about catheter play at MedicalFetish.com--and the doc asked me to stress just how important it is for anyone interested this kind of "edge play" to get info about the skills, equipment, techniques, and risks involved. You can hurt yourself sticking tubes into your bladder, so proceed with caution.
I'm into bondage and I want a straitjacket. The problem is that all the fetish shops only sell black leather "designer" straitjackets. What I want is one of those rough, canvas straitjackets they put the nutcases in. I've tried to find one on eBay, but to no avail. All the ads ended up being for those stupid leather ones. So I've come to you seeking help finding an authentic straitjacket in my size (5'10", 175 lbs.). Perhaps one of the contacts you know in the BDSM and/or psychology business could help me out? And any extra information about straitjackets would be nice, too. How durable are they? Do they come with instructions? Who makes them? Will I be arrested if someone sees me wearing one in public?
Hm... where can a boy get his hands on an authentic, institutional straitjacket? From the good, kinky folks at MedicalToys.com, of course! I realize this column is turning into an infomercial for MedicalToys.com but, hey, they deserve it. I'm genuinely impressed by their website. It's professional-looking and upbeat, and somehow manages to make what might seem like a deeply creepy sexual fetish look like good, clean fun. But more important--and what really blows me away--is how friggin' reasonable their prices are.
An authentic, institutional, off-white canvas straitjacket is only $149.95--which is not much more than you'd pay at an actual medical supply company. "We've tried to price things fairly," says Doc Sebastian. "It's too common for people in the fetish industry to take advantage and jack up the prices." And MedicalToys.com's straitjackets are a whole lot less expensive than designer leather versions. The custom-made leather straitjackets sold by Mr. S Leather Company in San Francisco (www.mr-s-leather-fetters.com), for example, will set you back $1,295.
MedicalToys.com's straitjackets come with instructions, and they come in four sizes. "These are the real deal," says the doc. "They're the jackets you would be restrained in if you had the misfortune of being placed in an asylum."
To answer your final question--is it illegal to walk around in public in a straitjacket?--I called the cops.
Sgt. Jim Muscat of the Toronto Police Department said... well, Sgt. Muscat said a lot of things. "Is it illegal? Well, first of all, there's no charge for walking around with one of those great big pumpkins on your head," said Sgt. Muscat. Strangely enough, I hadn't asked Sgt. Muscat about pumpkin heads. I'd asked him about straitjackets. "Is it illegal to walk around in public wearing a straitjacket?" he asked again. "Well, a person could handcuff themselves and be wearing sexy lingerie walking down the street and pretend that he's going to a masochistic orgy."
Uh, did they legalize pot up in Canada and not tell us down here in the States?
Marion Lee, information officer for the Atlanta Police Department, managed to field your question without going off on loopy tangents about pumpkins and masochistic orgies. "Unless you had escaped from a mental institution, it would not be considered illegal to have a straitjacket on in public," said Officer Lee. "It might give an officer suspicion to think the person was mentally ill, and they might investigate that. But there's nothing specifically illegal about it."
Confidential to My Many, Many Critics: There, I got through a whole column without mentioning God or the September 11 attacks. Tune in next week and find out if I can get through a whole column without mentioning the fact that I didn't mention God or the September 11 attacks.