Where can I find help in dealing with a sexual fetish?
November 1, 2007 9:42 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find therapy which will allow me to understand / cope with / overcome a fetish?

Since early adolescence I've been attracted to watching women smoke. For many years I never understood these feelings and prior to the dawn of the internet just figured there was something "different" about me and that I was likely the only one on earth who felt this way. I've often tried to comfort myself in the fact that, as far as "fetishes" are concerned, this one is relatively benign (doesn't involve children, humiliation, pain, barnyard animals, etc) and that I should somehow learn to accept it, however I'm very uncomfortable with it in general and it has definitely interfered with my goal of obtaining a loving, committed relationship.

I've read most of what I could find online in regards to the psychology behind sexual fetishes and most of it has been rather vague and deals more with learning to accept / find a healthy outlet for these feelings instead of ridding oneself of them. I know that since I've been "this way" for so long (I'm now 33) it is unlikely that I'll ever be completely free of this but it is imperative that I find some sort of help or resolution. Negative feelings about my sexuality have brought about drug & alcohol abuse, bulimia, depression, and social isolation. Over the years I've contemplated everything from chemical castration to suicide. And the situation is complicated further by the fact I'm grossly uncomfortable actually "talking" about it. (in fact, this post is only the 2nd time I've ever actually admitted it) I revealed it to my most recent partner who I was deeply in love with at the time and the results were unfortunately, quite horrible.

I've read that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has yielded some success when it comes to sexual fetishes but I have no idea where to start, what results are realistic to expect, or how to find someone who has experience with helping those with fetishes. I know the mind can be incredibly malleable and many aspects of my fetish have changed / evolved over time but my ultimate goal is to experience "normal" sexual attraction to the female body.

I guess my question boils down to:
A) Where can I find a therapist who has experience in dealing with sexual fetishes.
B) What types of results are realistic to expect from treatment?

If anyone would rather respond privately I can be reached via effinconfused@gmail.com
posted by ninepin to Human Relations (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Best answer: I'm sorry you're in such pain, ninepin. Let's hope someone can steer you towards a workable answer. Alas, I can't do that, so you may feel this response is a waste of your time. If so, please flag it.

I'm responding because I feel like you're focusing on a painful problem to avoid dealing with an even MORE painful problem. You're like someone who says, "I just broke my arm! Now my life is OVER!" Yes, it's a problem that he broke his arm, and -- yes -- he needs to have it seen to. But the BIGGER problem is that he thinks a broken arm will ruin his life.

I'm a non-smoker. If a girl I loved came to me and said, "I have to tell you something. I'm turned on by men who smoke," I wouldn't dump her. That seems like a pretty mild eccentricity to me -- mild to the point of being boring. (Call me when you have a REAL fetish!) If she told me she was ONLY attracted to me who smoke, that would kind of suck. I'm not going to get addicted to nicotine for her sake, but I'd be willing to take a puff now and then. And I'd be willing to talk dirty to her in some way involving cigarettes. And I'd be willing to hold them, put them in my mouth, pretend to smoke them, etc. In other words, I wouldn't find her fetish odd or creepy or a deal breaker. I'd do what I could to work with it.

And I don't think that makes me particularly open minded. I'd say that if a girl dumped you over that, you're well rid of her. If I dumped someone over something like that, it would be because they kept it a secret from me, not because of the content of the secret (I'd wonder what else they were hiding from me).

So ... why is this such a big deal for you? Why can't you just date a girl who smokes (alas, there are plenty of them)?

It sounds like you do need therapy. But don't be surprised if the therapist wants to delve deeper -- rather than just trying to "cure" you of your fetish.
posted by grumblebee at 10:00 PM on November 1, 2007 [5 favorites]

Are you saying that your fetish of watching women smoke has driven you to all this self-destructive behavior? Just watching women smoke?

I mean, the sexual imagery of women smoking has been well-established and accepted for, well, since women began smoking. And I mean "accepted" as in, "so many men like watching a woman put a cylindrical object (cigarette or not) to her mouth that it is not so much a fetish as a default reaction". Combining the "bad girl" aura of smoking with the oral fixation on the cigarette and it is no wonder it turns anyone on. When I read the first part of your question I thought this was going to be like some of the other wacky shit that's come through AskMefi, like the vampirism-loving Christian guy or the dude dealing with his girlfriend's desire to get shat on. What you've got, it's even tamer than finding girl-on-girl action hot.

The fact that this is causing you so much trouble makes me wonder if you don't have issues with sex, period. As if desiring for nothing but absolute, plain vanilla is wrong. You say it's interfering with finding a happy relationship--how so? You don't want to date a smoker? Or you're embarrassed to ask your lady friends to hold a cigarette to their mouths?

I don't want to come off as dismissing the pain you've gone through over this, but really, I think you need to relax. You should go to a therapist, not to get rid of this fetish, but to figure out why you have such a problem with it. That is what any session you have with a therapist will turn into, anyway. If you were the guy who wanted to get killed and have some German eat his penis they would probably ask you to look for other outlets. But this is just watching a lady smoke, for Chrissake.
posted by Anonymous at 10:25 PM on November 1, 2007

Well, I had a long-ass answer, but grumblebee hit every point, clearer and more succinctly.

However, let me add this: smoking women are sexy. There may not be anything inherently sexy about smoking, but watching plenty of movies with attractive people smoking with savoir faire and élan have given me a certain attraction to smokers (which is then completely negated by the ashtray-kiss effect, but that's another story). There are plenty of cultural markers which imprint smoking=hot on our psyche.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being attracted to smokers. Seriously, nothing.

Beware any therapist who tells you he wants to "cure you of your fetish." If the psychologist is even half-decent the first words out of his or her mouth should be "what's wrong with liking women who smoke?"
posted by Kattullus at 10:27 PM on November 1, 2007

I think grumblebee has some wise things to say, especially about the fact that your difficulties sound as though they may lie as much in your reaction to your fetish as they do in the fetish itself.

This, however:

Call me when you have a REAL fetish!

Is dismissive and condescending, and has no place in such a thoughtful response to your question.

As far as how to find a therapist who can help you with your issues, your best bet is probably to actually ask a therapist.

If you have access to a professional in the field (through your health insurance or through friends or family members) ask him or her to recommend someone who specializes in helping people deal with the type of issue you describe here. Therapists know other therapists. They know who specializes in what. You are fairly likely to get a reasonably good recommendation this way.
posted by dersins at 10:44 PM on November 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I sincerely appreciate the response, grumblebee. I was seeing a therapist for some time and I eventually fessed up to my feelings about "A fetish" being a huge problem for me but I really didn't elaborate on it and she admitted to not really knowing much at all about them.

In my most recent relationship, I did experience a great deal of hope because for the first time in my life, I actually ENJOYED sex. She did smoke, and for a short while seemed somewhat accepting of the fact that it drove me effin crazy. However, there were countless times when our sex had basically zero to do with my "fetish" and more to do with the fact I was madly in love with her and just simply enjoyed being physically intimate as an expression of those feelings.. She never accepted this and insisted that her smoking was the "only thing that aroused me" As far from the truth as that was, and even though ultimately that had more to do with her own insecurities than anything else, it certainly took a toll on our relationship and yea, it really sucked.

The bottom line is: I don't want to HAVE to date only girls who smoke (and as many nuances as there are with my particular fetish, I don't actually find all girls who smoke attractive) There also doesn't seem to be a really "appropriate" time to out oneself as having a fetish. Throw moral / spiritual / health issues into the equation and it's become quite the dilema.

Again, thanks for your thoughts.
posted by ninepin at 10:44 PM on November 1, 2007

Okay, I think that one of the extreme biases on MetaFilter is that people tend to be all "YAY, obscure sexual things, watch me not judge them and be loud about not judging them! I read a Dan Savage column once!"

But if this bothers you, it bothers you. You don't have to convince a bunch of doofuses on the internet that it's troublesome and that you want help. Sexuality is complex and often really hard to talk about. I think it's brave of you to talk about it here, if my doofusy opinion matters to you at all.

Having said that, can a therapist cure you of a fetish? Well, some therapists do indeed work pretty heavily in those areas, but they mostly work with people who have issues that most folks would consider destructive, not just unusual, and I'm not sure that most people in the field would say that unusual sexual things can be cured. But I think that a good therapist can help you deal with pretty much anything. Cure you, maybe not. Help you be healthier with it, absolutely.

It sounds to me like this is making you feel really bad about yourself and your sexuality, and that makes me sad for you. I can hear that it's really painful for you. A therapist might not be able to wave a wand and make this go away, but they should be able to help you integrate this, so instead of thinking "I am a bad man for having this weird thing that turns me on, and I will never be able to have a normal, loving relationship", you think "I'm a pretty decent guy who has some unusual foibles, but I'm okay with that."

As to what kind of therapist you might want to look for, if I were you and feeling brave, I would poke around in my local area for therapists who specialize in sexual issues. If I were feeling less brave, I would pick almost any kind of reputable therapist at random and go in and tell them what was on my mind, and ask for a referral if they didn't feel that they could help me.

Therapists are, in a way, professionally non-judgmental people. I know this is hard, and maybe impossible, for you to hear, but: your strange fetish? Is just not that weird. Whatever kind of shrink you end up talking to has heard much, much stranger stuff. And I promise you that they're not going to think that you're a deviant freak. And they can help you feel better about yourself. So I really hope you find someone to talk to.

Best of luck to you.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:46 PM on November 1, 2007 [3 favorites]

There are tons out there. Ask your old therapist to research a name for you.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:57 PM on November 1, 2007

Since your actual fetish is harmless, the thing that really needs to be dealt with is your feelings about it, and perhaps it's intensity, if it bothers you too much. For both of these, I'd suggest seeing a therapist who knows how to prescribe SSRI medications.

In terms of talk therapy, you need to be convinced that having a fetish of some sort is utterly normal.
posted by DarkForest at 11:15 PM on November 1, 2007

(IB's wife)

You could always contact a professional. Many phone sex operators are happy to indulge a smoking fetish. We love your business, and it's risk free to you (except, of course, if you consider the cost unacceptable).
posted by InnocentBystander at 11:34 PM on November 1, 2007

Suggested course of action: (1) get therapy - for your concern about this fetish and unwarranted associations of guild and shame with it, if not for the fetish itself. (2) consider taking up smoking yourself (if you find it unpleasant this will help you get over your problem - if you find you like it, well, it'll shorten your life a bit, but in the long term, it's probably worth it); (3) consider dating social/occasional smokers; (4) when you get involved with a woman who smokes, and you presumably will, mention that smoking really turns you on but you find the idea a bit unhealthy/disturbing, and would like to wean yourself off it with her help.

What I mean by the last is, if you can't actually have sex without her smoking in the course of it (that is really what defines a fetish as opposed to a mere turn-on), then start off that way. Gradually cut down how much time of the sex she smokes. Gradually cut down to smell/taste triggers. She could have a cigarette but not actually light it. Etc etc, you can work the path out yourself, but it would ideally end up with you turned on by the idea that she used to be a smoker (which is a little weird, but utterly harmless).
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:44 PM on November 1, 2007

Ninepin, do you think it may be possible for you to admit to this without making it into a fetish or obsessing? I'm not telling you to stop thinking of it that way, mind, but learning to casually mention that you find the way a woman smokes a cigarette hot might help you to be more comfortable with the idea. You can decide if and when that makes you comfortable, but in this day and age, when a woman asks if you mind if she smokes, she might be a little relieved if you say you actually find women smoking attractive, as long as you're not staring intently or otherwise being creepy about it.

You've definitely got it right that a woman who thinks you only find her cigarette attractive, not her, is having issues with her own self-esteem and insecurities, not with what you find attractive. My husband finds breasts attractive. He would probably find me less attractive if I didn't have them. It doesn't mean he only likes me for my breasts or would leave me or stop touching me if I had to have a mastectomy. If you had a relationship that made you happy and involved great sex, and she quit smoking, would you quit her, or try to find ways to accommodate both your needs?
posted by Cricket at 1:27 AM on November 2, 2007

a therapist might help you, but not get over it. i don't think fetishes are really "curable." the best you can do is learn how to cope with it or, in your case, not get so fixated on it that you can't develop normal relationships.

however, a change of vocabulary may help you. i almost wouldn't call it a fetish. it's a turn-on. they're different. fetishes are usually exaggerated behaviors that exist on or beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior. although smoking is becoming less welcome, it's still a normal human behavior. so, you get turned on by watching women smoke. say it out loud.

why not give your next girlfriend a pack of candy smokes and incorporate it into your sex life? might be a lot of fun.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:15 AM on November 2, 2007

I realize that for some people a fetish is different than just finding something sexy. But the fact that you say you were able to have sex with your past ex without needing it to be about the smoking suggests that this is not a necessary fetish.

So, maybe you can reframe this in your mind from being something that is an all-consuming fetish to something that you find incredible sexy.

For example, I am not ashamed to say I have a boob fetish. Try as I might to resist them, I find my girlfriend's boobs incredibly sexy. But I also love her a lot, and I show this in my behavior towards her and our interactions. She manages not to accuse me of loving her or only finding her sexy because of her boobs. I don't see how being turned on by something your lover does is different than being turned on by something your lover has.

The only real drawback is that if she decides to quit smoking then you are losing this aspect that you find incredibly sexy. But I imagine if you are with someone long enough, you form an attachment to them that beats out whatever fetish you had to begin with. That's why couples can still stay together and still have awesome sex even after some of the things that might have originally drawn them together (hot bodies, or being very actively physically, etc) are no longer present.

I would trust in your ability to have a meaningful relationship with a partner. I think you see your fetish as this huge wall standing in front of you and women. It's not, really. Try to refigure it in your mind as, I don't know -- a condiment that you like splashing on every relationship.

So, look for someone who matches you on a personality level, say at an online website (like, oh...I don't know, OkCupid [previously]). Make sure you only date women who say that they're smokers, but focus first on women who are a personality match. The more honest you are in who you are and what you like, the more likely it is that you will be matched with someone who is perfectly willing to be flexible with someone with fetishes.

So, on the first date: (hopefully, you don't live in a smoke-free city) Try to find out what her favorite brand of cigarettes are . Bring some (this probably only works if the cigarettes are gender neutral otherwise it might be a bit weird that you have Virginia Slims handy), along with a swanky lighter, to the date. If she pulls out one of her own cigarettes, light it with a flourish. After you've gotten the banter out of the way and assuming there's some mutual attraction, the next time she smokes look at her with a friendly yet slightly mischievous grin on your face and say (quietly), "You know, I think women look really sexy when they smoke." See how she responds. If she raises her eyebrows at you and takes a slow, deep drag, you win. Man, I hate cigarettes and even I thought that was sexy. Finding smoking women hot is totally natural.

If you are concerned about long term health issues, there are herbal cigarettes which look just as sexy but aren't as harmful (smoking anything still puts CO in your lungs, but you can avoid things like nicotine and tar).

You can so do this. However, I would definitely recommend a therapist, ideally one who is open to these sorts of things -- a sex therapist might be ideal but probably isn't necessary. The key is to let go of your insecurities and self-loathing on this, and to embrace this fetish as a part of your personality. I mean, this is less shameful than enjoying boy band music.

On preview: wow, what Cricket said, but from my perspective, I guess. My gf has asked me how I would feel if she had to lose her boobies. It isn't something I like to think about, but the truth is if all I cared about was her boobies I wouldn't still be with her. You'll have the same thing happen, I promise. One day you'll realize you're attached to the person and even though you still like the sexy thing you like her even more.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:30 AM on November 2, 2007

Oh, and

(and as many nuances as there are with my particular fetish, I don't actually find all girls who smoke attractive)

I think this means, basically, that it isn't a fetish, or at least not a strong one. My understand is that for people with strong fetishes, it matters very little who is fulfilling the fetish so long as it is being fulfilled.

I have come across some really weird fetishes on the Net (and here I mean fetishes that are weird but don't squick me. I avoid those at all costs). I used to collect them, sort of. Some day I'll have to do a FPP on them. There are some great ones out there.
posted by Deathalicious at 4:35 AM on November 2, 2007

All of the smoking-fetish guys I've run into are also submissive, so I'm wondering if there's something deeper here. Maybe you honestly have no interest in sadomasochism, but I'm wondering if the feeling of submission (to the woman, or just to the fetish) scares the bejeezus out of you. I've seen guys really wreck themselves over the internal conflict that comes with feeling/wanting to feel submissive.

My understand is that for people with strong fetishes, it matters very little who is fulfilling the fetish so long as it is being fulfilled.

I haven't found this to be true.
posted by desjardins at 6:11 AM on November 2, 2007

Response by poster: Follow up for clarification purposes:

Regardless of how much I try to down play my attraction, by definition it is definitely a "fetish" - it goes far beyond the realm of a simple "turn-on". I guess I could just refer to it by it's clinical term of a paraphelia, but the situation is the same.

Without going into too many gory details: From early adolescence on all of my "sexual fantasies" were essentially non-sexual in nature and involved imagery of women smoking exclusively. They did not involve physical contact, intercourse, or heck, even nudity for that matter. There is also a voyeuristic element at play as well. When my most recent lover was just simply smoking and being sexy by nature of being herself, it drove me wild - but after I opened up about the fact I found her smoking incredibly attractive and she'd occasionally smoke prior to intercourse it was incredibly odd and uncomfortable to say the very least.

I appreciate all of the thoughtful replies and all of this does give me SOME hope regarding the situation. As I mentioned previously, I know that "what does it" for me has changed and evolved over the years and I'm hoping that if all of this is the result of conditioning that I can somehow find a way to "condition" myself to find more traditional "plain vanilla" sex more appealing.
posted by ninepin at 6:16 AM on November 2, 2007

I'll start with the disclaimer that I'm a die hard Dan Savage fan and thus feel I am an expert on all things sexual, but I digress.

I definitely understand why you find your fetish disturbing, not so much the fetish itself, but that it seems to be your only sexual outlet/interest. You don't really like sex and really really like sex plus a woman smoking, you just really like women smoking essentially to the exclusion of all, and it is pretty easy to see how that would destroy a relationship with someone that doesn't share your fetish because for you there isn't really any middle ground. From what I've read (yes from Dan Savage) it's pretty unlikely you will ever get over this kink. You certainly sound motivated and not selfish, so you may just have to accept that hey this is how it is for you. So I say use the internet and go out and find a woman that shares your kink (maybe even someone that is into voyeurism/likes being watched?) there may be more than a few kinks/fetishes that could be compatible with your own. I'm not saying it'll be easy, but I'm guessing it is your best bet for finding a fulfilling sex life and relationship.
posted by whoaali at 7:48 AM on November 2, 2007

Youre over-thinking this. If you believe its a problem just call some local therapists and ask them if this is something they can help you with. Some therapists may say they dont have much experience with it and perhaps will recommend someone else. I imagine you'll be able to find someone with only a few phone calls.

I imagine its impossible to predict the results. I imagine a CBT will probably try to desensitize you to it. Considering there are many people with serious fetishes (to the point of not being able to get aroused without it) who have found relief, I would think your case is actually very treatable. Good luck.

Also, Im pretty disappointed by the replies to your question . The various people telling you "its not a problem" are missing the point. That's like telling a socially phobic person 'Hey its just a crowd.' Or an OCD 'hey its just a little dirt."
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:59 AM on November 2, 2007

How much of your problem is the existence of the fetish and how much is that your last girlfriend battered your self-esteem over your fetish? Were you this bothered by it before the relationship with her?

It can take a long time to recover from having a partner who belittles your sexual needs. (Speaking from sad experience... I've been in a healthy relationship for 5 years now, and the insecurities still sometimes surface.) If this is where your wounds come from, the best cure for you will be a loving, indulgent, smoking partner who will be delighted to turn you on because she likes you.

Good luck to you.
posted by happyturtle at 4:45 PM on November 2, 2007

Response by poster: "How much of your problem is the existence of the fetish and how much is that your last girlfriend battered your self-esteem over your fetish?"

Truthfully it's probably a bit of both. Prior to my most recent girlfriend I hadn't dated in several years and never figured I would have the nerve to actually be "open" about it with someone. After dating her for a year - during which we for the most part had great sex (actually, it was the first time I had truly ENJOYED sex in my life) I finally opened up to her about it. My motives were more along the lines of wanting to be truthful and completely honest with her rather than hoping she would somehow "indulge" me and while at the time she didn't make a huge deal out of it, things got progressively worse. While her smoking was a HUGE turn on, nothing I could say or do would convince her that this was far from the ONLY reason I found her attractive physically.

For now, until I can find a therapist who may be able to help me understand / cope with this I'm trying my best to remind myself that just because THIS particular experience of being open and honest about it was a bad one, it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone would react this way.

Thanks again for all of the wonderful and thoughtful replies.
posted by ninepin at 12:37 AM on November 3, 2007

While I agree that being casually open about smoking being a turn on is probably a good idea, I have to nix deathalicious' advice to lay it on heavy on a first date with lighters and favorite brands and whatnot.
As a girl smoker (well, at least until three weeks ago, we'll see how long THAT lasts) I have run into smoking fetishists. My experience has been fairly creepy, with strange leering men asking me to send them videos of me smoking and so on, which has given me a bad impression of that particular fetish. Since other female smokers may have had the same experience, you could freak them out by coming on too strong and reminding them of previous comeons.
On the other hand, does the fact that you are not alone in your fetish help?
Also, I would guess most of us have little kinks that make us ashamed. Yours is really no different - in fact better than most - and no call to get suicidal about. (There was a guy on here once asking for help because his fetish was to drink the blood of a freshly killed girl. A Marlboro light looks pretty vanilla next to that one, no?)
In the worst case scenario, you just keep it a deep dark secret forever.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:58 AM on November 4, 2007

Ninepin, given your desire to not have to date women who smoke and the idea that you might not be able to eliminate this fetish as a turn-on for you, I want to present an alternative to smoking cigarettes:

If it is it the sight of smoke itself coming from a woman's mouth that turns you on, consider Hookahs as an alternative to cigarettes. One of the first things that came to my mind on reading your post was Hookah bars, where non-smokers sit around breathing in aromatic smoke and then breathing it out. It can be pretty damn hot to have your significant other exhale visibly toward you with Hookah smoke. If your future significant others are not smokers, then, you can still indulge to some extent without endangering their health, and in a way that is, in my experience anyway, totally normal. You can even buy a Hookah setup for your home, they are sold in Greenwich Village in NYC and I am sure they are online as well.
posted by lorrer at 9:29 PM on November 4, 2007

I've followed this thread with great interest having stumbled over it for reasons that might be evident by the end of this post. In fact its prompted me to fork out my $5 in the last few minutes to join the community. I feel that's well worth it if just to offer you a little support and fellow-feeling, ninepin (but it seems a great and well-tended site anyway so I'm sure there will be secondary benefits).

I'm somewhat older than you and have lived all my adult life with a (broadly) similarly intense and seemingly unalterable sexual preoccupation with smoking women. In my case I've been more fortunate in that I've always managed somehow to keep my head above water in mental health terms, but certainly its impacted painfully on a series of relationships (with both smokers and non-smokers) and I can identify/ empathise with so much you write. Like you, the/my 'whatever-it-is'* by no means accounts for the whole of my sexual realm not to mention other interests and desires, but it sure as hell is always there as a moreorless dominant factor and I've come to accept it always will be (*I find the word 'fetish' inadequate - it suggests its a stand-in for something more 'real' but I guess basically I don't subscribe intellectually to a fixed 'normal' sexuality in any one - 'passion' is perhaps better, as its certainly that, but tends rather to exclude the negative aspects you describe so well). Plus, I smoke myself, and my feelings about that tend to merge with my attraction. I'm well aware (no lectures please from others!) I've long reached a stage where this is inescapably a mortal issue.

I'm clearly in no position then to offer 'advice' and many of the things I would want to say have been sensitively expressed already. I suppose all I want to add is my admiration for your courage and honesty in communicating your very real anguish about this and a note of solidarity. I can only say, speaking for myself, that two admittedly vague but enormous 'rules of thumb' seem to help. The first is hope and the second humour. In terms of the former, even if there's little point in holding out for 'cure', I feel its always worth reminding ourselves that there is an utterly infinite potential in relationships out there and that perhaps at least a part of your distress may be related to what I alluded to earlier - a kind of working assumption - all too easy to fall into when you beef up your consciousness of 'difference' - that ALL prospective partners will have to same feelings and reactions you have so far sadly experienced. As for the latter, of course its far more easily said than done, but I do find that merely trying to be a little easier on myself and smiling at - rather than beating myself up over - the sheer absurdity of my antics and contortions with regard to this topic (and by golly I could tell some stories) helps a touch.

Hope none of this sounds patronising, its not meant to be. Most all, good luck!
posted by otherwisefelt at 7:58 AM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

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