“Rarely has man been more cruel against man than in the condemnation and punishment of those accused of so-called sexual perversions.” — Alfred Charles Kinsey, 1948
The fourteen short stories that make up The Fetish Collection are varied other than each refers to at least one unusual sexual preference. These range from ablutophilia (bathing) to zonaphilia (girdles) by way of balloons, dolls, food play, painted toenails, shoulders and yachts.
The characters deal with issues at different stages of life including a boy who can’t understand why men stare at his mother, a student grappling with honesty, a priest who no longer has faith, grief in old age and a woman facing imminent death. Some stories feature explicit sexual scenes, others are coyer. Surprises abound.
The geographic spread is wide with the majority featuring England or New Zealand. The period covered stretches from WWII to the present day
The collection includes one modern Gothic tale, the prize-winning Folie à Deux, about the descent into madness of a man addicted to affairs with married women and obsessed with intimate presents from their husbands.
What’s It About?
The Fetish Collection is an anthology of short stories that feature different sexual fetishes as the backdrop to the story; including Folie a Deux, The Ogling Man, Fleeing South, The Brothel Keepers, Moobs, The Harimai Harem, Beholden, Father Sweet, La Belle Indifference, Glutted With Conceit, The Wife He Never Married, Lurus vs. Lurus, More Sincere than is Proper, The Order of Abraham, and A Life Reviewed.
“In time, lovers had to be wed. It was as if the betrayal of the marriage vow was a prerequisite to my sexual fulfillment.”
The fetishes vary in their degrees of raunch, and include a man who prefers married women; men who ogle at large breasts; an Iranian woman who writes illicit novels, risking torture and death if she is found out; a secret life spent seeing a dominatrix and prostitutes; “pearl necklaces”; bathing fetish; plushophilia; balloons; emetophilia; dolls; role play; sitophilia; spanking; and many more.
“I saw no reason to deny others the sexual freedom that I craved but said nothing in case it led others to suspect the deviant in me.”
It’s difficult to review an anthology because all stories aren’t created equal and some I enjoyed more than others. I will list my favorites and discuss why I enjoyed them:
“What we have here is a cross between a hospice and a harem.” –The Harimai Harem
My favorite short story was The Harimai Harem. This one was particularly well-written and I loved the plot idea of a farewell extravaganza for an old man dying of cancer.
“He enjoys creating little worlds and manipulating his puppets.” –Folie a Deux
Fleeing South is another notable short story. I loved it how the little girl was able to cheer up the sad old lady on the cold bench, and how she wouldn’t have been there, if it wasn’t for her mother needing time to write her erotic stories in the house alone.
The Brothel Keepers, which can be downloaded for free, here , is another gem in The Fetish Collection that explores the duty one feels to a friend, even when what they are doing is criminally wrong, (seeking out prostitutes).
“The love he felt would be his secret… She would be the wife he never married.” –The Wife He Never Married
I loved The Wife He Never Married. Amidst the raunch of the other short stories was this charming little romance. ❤
What I liked about this collection of short stories was how varied each one was, and just like people have varied tastes, they can pick and choose what stories they may enjoy from this collection. Truly, there is a story for everyone in this anthology. I would recommend The Fetish Collection to readers who enjoy short stories with an erotic sub-plot.
Returning to England in 1978, he worked in continuing education and organisation development. Between 2000 and 2007 he helped survivors of torture as a volunteer. Capturing the accounts of survivors for legal and therapeutic reasons re-ignited his interest in writing. He has a Certificate in Novel Writing from City University and also studied writing at the City Lit in London.
From 2007 onwards he reduced the number of days he worked to make more time for writing and became a full-time writer in 2013.
He lives in Wembley with his partner, Sue and Lola, a cat who often sits muse-like on his desk as he writes.