(This - long and meandering [apologies for that] splurge of a post could go in the telly thread or the porn labyrinth one but I wanna mention it in the context of this book so I'm putting it here)
The other day we watched a three part documentary called Secrets of a Psychopath. An unnecessarily lengthy (we didn't realize it was three parts, not sure we would have started it if we did, but once you have done you want to find out what happens so you gotta finish) and detailed account of the murder of an Irish girl called Elaine O'Hara.
It was a very tragic and dark set of events involving a young woman who suffered from depression and other mental health issues and the investigation revealed that she had these very nasty and dark bondage fantasies. She tried to meet people online with similar interests through fetish websites and so on but most found her tastes were too extreme - until finally she met this one guy who seemed like a perfect match.
And really in one sense all the blood-letting leather stuff could be seen as merely a detail... the important thing which would remain the case regardless of the details and which shouldn't be lost sight of is that he was a manipulative bully who cruelly took advantage of a vulnerable woman and ultimately killed her... but now thinking about the ARG novel in the context of this awful story makes it even more distasteful. I know that's incidental and is not really any kind of rational reason to criticize the book but it is how I feel and I can't help that.
Also, while I don't think I'm a prude or easily shocked or any of that, I do think that there is a potential danger in indulging fetishistic fantasies too much. Maybe it is a reactionary position but I feel that just as how for some people soft drugs can lead to harder ones, there is a possibility that fantasies that are too narrowly focused have a tendency to lead to harder ones. I think it's a good idea to bear that in mind and avoid creating a situation for yourself wherein there is only one specific thing arouses you, and you keep needing more and more intense versions of it.
Obviously I'm just speculating, this is something I think rather than have any real evidence for. And I don't really want to be someone saying "Don't have a fetish" but I guess I find myself in that territory.
I - again without any evidence - think it's the specific focus on one thing that I find disturbing, which I think is really what fetishism is isn't it? So while that gooning thing immediately sounds shocking and depressing and weird, and it does sound like a constantly growing addiction, maybe the multiscreen vari-porn overload isn't something that worries me in the same way.