Sunday, 28 November 2010

Styles of Goth fashion: fetish Goth

There has always been some crossover between the Goth and fetish scenes, probably stemming from punk's tendencies towards 'perv' fashion, e.g. bondage straps, PVC, suspenders and collars. There are combination Goth and fetish events, too, and these crossovers have led to a style of Goth fashion that your parents really won't like - fetish Goth.

Source: The Gothic Shop
Fetish Goth style doesn't necessarily have to be a full-on bondage-fest (now there's an image). Many Goth outfits have a touch of glossy PVC, rubber or leather about them, so sometimes it's hard to tell whether someone is a fetish Goth or just likes shiny fabric.

In the Goth scene, fetish wear or BDSM-styled clothing is just as likely to be a fashion statement as it is an advert of one's personal preferences, and is not necessarily an indication that someone wishes to be touched, for example, or treated in a certain way. Festival-wear in particular occasionally involves risque stockings and suspenders on show, or in some cases partial nudity; but usually this is not a sexual advertisement - it is generally seen as a 'liberated' form of dress.

Because Goths are often very tolerant and open-minded towards sexuality, and some types of Goth clothing (vertigo-inducing heels, corsets, fishnets, and PVC, for example) are often considered erotic, the subculture provides the ideal platform for fetish crossover, which is why there are so many events that cater to both subcultures. During festivals, a handful of Goth couples can often be seen with one partner guiding the other on a chain or leash; and there is usually at least one person clothed (or unclothed) in head-to-toe PVC, leather or rubber, including mask.

Do all Goths indulge in fetishes? No. Not even all fetish Goths actually have fetishes - for many, it is literally just a preferred style of dress and a fashion statement. Are all fetishists Goth? Again, no. Do you have to have a fetish, or a wish to indulge in 'unusual' sexual practices, to be a Goth? Definitely not. If fetish is not your thing, just make sure you avoid Goth/fetish crossover events.
Source: Photobucket
If you're under the age of 18, I would have to say that dressing in full-on fetish gear is definitely not a wise move, particularly if you still live with your parents. And Goths of any age may wish to bear in mind that overly revealing or erotic clothes are more suited to the club than streetwear - people will make judgements about you, and you may even be putting yourself in danger.

It is, however, possible to add elements from this style to your look without shocking your parents (too much) or offending little old ladies - stiletto-heeled boots, a spiked or padlocked leather choker, or a hint of fishnet stocking can be added to an ensemble to give a nod to fetish fashion.

There is no particular type of music associated with this style, although Industrial is popular, and there are many bands with risque names, for example Lesbian Bed Death (example song title: Goth Girls are Easy), Alien Sex Fiend (OK, so that one's a stretch), Android Lust, Bloody Dead and Sexy, Boudoir, Grotesque Sexuality and Leather Nun. Black Tape For A Blue Girls' most recent album, 10 Neurotics, focuses mostly on themes of sex, fetish and lust.


Anonymous said...

great article

Caroline Carnivorous said...

I'm glad I don't like PVC and all that. I'm 4'10'' and weigh 66 pounds - I would be pretty easy to rape.

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