Category Archives: Fetish & Kink

“Cranking” – Gas Pedal Pumping Fetish

“Dear Dr Annalise, I recently heard of Jordan Haskins and his felony convictions for “cranking”. As a political candidate, how conservative can a kinkster like this really thing he is? My real question is that he is an addict and will he do it again?

J

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Hi J,

[First of all, while I’m flattered you call me Dr., I do not have a PhD, nor am I a medical doctor. I do have six years of training and internships behind me to qualify as a sex therapist, I hope that’s enough for you.  “Miss Annalise” will do. ]

I hadn’t heard of Jordan Haskins until you wrote to me.  It seems he’s stepped down from his political candidacy, pretty much at the time you wrote to me, and it was due to pressure over these sexual offenses from his past.

For those who also haven’t heard of Haskins, he was a Republican candidate for the State House in Michegan. He’s had both felony and misdemeanor convictions for what news articles describe as “a sexual fetish.” It seems that he liked breaking into other people’s cars, disconnecting their spark plugs and then sitting in the driver’s seat, “cranking” the ignition while masturbating.

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I can’t really judge whether someone can consider themselves conservative or not based on their kinks. Just based on my personal experience, if a person has a kink that they are really trying to repress or avoid, it often becomes even more extreme. What I can talk about more is his sexual interests of the past and what they might mean now.

Cranking is certainly a fairly rare sexual focus. It involves getting sexually excited to the sound (or other stimuli) of a car engine turning over unsuccessfully.  Here’s an example (and I’ve scattered a few more throughout this post in case anyone would like to see them):

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There are a whole lot of elements that make cranking exciting for some people:

  • There is an element of the damsel in distress, or person in trouble.
  • It intersects with an interest in legs and feet, and can intersect with an interest in shoes or socks and stockings as well.
  • A strong visual image of that leg pumping up and down on the gas pedal, muscles moving under smooth skin. Very sexy.
  • The soft organic often young female interacting with the cold hard old brutally resistant machine.
  • The desperate nature of the act, someone trying so very hard to get something to work. It builds up a huge sense of anticipation -the whole act is a plea for relief: “Please please please PLEASE….. YES!!!!”
  • The loud harsh sound of the starter turning over, and the possible release of the engine starting.

Cranking is only one part of what Haskins liked sexually. He could have disconnected the wires of his own car inside his garage and turned it over in there while masturbating in private, or watched videos like the ones I’ve included here. He probably did all that, but he also felt the need to break in to other people’s cars and masturbate in public – elements of danger and exhibitionism that meant that this impulse was strong enough for him to take extreme risks, and those risks probably also added to how strong the impulse was for him.

Sexual addiction is not yet recognized by the DSM (the manual that is used for diagnosis for mental disorders).  However there is a section on sexual disorders, and a subcategory on “paraphilias”.  Psychology Today defines a paraphilia as “a condition in which a person’s sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about and engaging in sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme.” A diagnosis also requires that the person feel distress about their interest (and not just from social pressure or disapproval), or that their sexual interest could cause distress or harm to someone else.

The way Haskins is disowning his past sexual behavior indicates some level of personal distress. His actual past sexual behavior involves unwilling persons – those whose cars he used, and the people who discovered him masturbating in the cars. He qualifies as having a diagnosable sex disorder of a relatively severe magnitude, enough to risk arrest again after his first conviction.

The evidence that is available about paraphilias says that it’s almost impossible to change the patterns of what arouses us.

What someone like Haskins can do is to start analyzing his paraphilias. He can break them down into things that cause issues for him or others, and things that he can do without causing problems.

spend some time working out exactly how his fetish is causing issues for him and for others, and start working on particular behaviors. This is easier with a sex therapist, and it also helps to have a supportive partner.  Most importantly, he needs to identify which things he can do that aren’t problems. For example, he can fantasize all he wants about it (as long as feelings such as guilt aren’t driving him crazy);  he might set a small budget aside for doing NiteFlirt calls with someone who is accepting and has a wild imagination (hint! hint!). He might even have or find a partner who is willing to incorporate elements of his fetish into their sex life. At the very least, there’s probably nothing stopping him from fooling around in the privacy of his own garage with his own vehicle.

I can’t tell you whether he will offend again. I hope not, for his sake especially. It can be very difficult living with a problematic paraphilia, but it’s not impossible to get it to a point where a person can engage with it appropriately and in moderation. As long as the person can find a way to indulge their sexual preferences in a way that doesn’t hurt them or others, there is nothing wrong.

Thanks for asking, J! Please feel free to contact me any time with more questions. 🙂

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Exhibitionism

I love calls from exhibitionists and love to feature them on this blog. Imagine reading this for the first time, realizing that I have (with permission) taken screen captures of you from a Skype chat, and that one or more of them is going to be on public view as an entry in this blog. Intensely exciting, right?

So dear reader, consider yourself warned. Graphic pictures of nudity and genitalia can and will occur on this blog!

(For the purposes of this entry I am going to assume most exhibitionists as male, which is mostly the case.)

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Exhibitionism can play out in a person’s life in many ways. For many of my clients in the past who are exhibitionists, showing themselves nude and sexually aroused on webcam or in a picture or in person is exciting because they are both vulnerable and being seen.

Exhibitionism can be a very intimate and special thing, especially in a Dominant/submissive (D/s)relationship. As a particular submissive’s Mistress, it excites us both that I can command him to come and display himself to me on webcam, and that I can display him here on my blog and tell my friends so that they come to see him here at the bottom of this post. I’m hoping some of them will comment, that would be fun!
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Exhibitionism can also be a problem. For some, part of the problem is finding Dominant partners to command his exhibitions… without it costing him too much. Finding a Mistress to work with him who will also listen to his needs in that respect is very important, which is why a submissive often comes to me – thinking (rightly) that as a Mistress and therapist, we might be able to work out a relationship.

Exhibitionism may be combined with other things – such as D/s above – or other sexual practices. As with a lot of fetishes, each individual usually has their own rituals of what they want their exhibitionism to include. For example, Adam loves me to take screen captures so I can show him as I see him, what poses I like the best. With another submissive, part of our ritual is for me to email these to him after our conversation.

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Some exhibitionists have contacted me for help with serious issues with their exhibitionism. Sometimes that need to be seen can be so strong that it can cross the line into assault, taking the form of showing oneself (i.e. one’s genitals) to a non-consenting partner. Some exhibitionists hope for an aroused or attracted response. This is a very natural desire, but the exhibitionist is unlikely to gain that response, unless played out with a consensual partner.

The most common response to exhibitionism from a stranger is shock or upset. Some exhibitionists have attached their fetish behavior to desiring this reaction, and this is when exhibitionism can become a very serious problem indeed. It is socially unacceptable and can lead to legal issues, social ostracism, breaking down of social and personal relationships. Often a person who is following this behavior pattern will not even realize that they can be causing serious trauma to other people, as well as not actually meeting that deep-seated need to really be seen. I see this behavior as a way of someone saying “Well, no one is willing to see me as a person, with thoughts and feelings and desires, so I am going to force people to see me.” Of course playing this out as an exhibitionist is just going to lead to further rejection and reinforcing that no one is willing to see you. In that moment this can be a weird kind of comfort – letting you know that you were right, and that no one will ever want to see you. Because of this reinforcement of your deep beliefs about yourself you never have to confront the deep loneliness, insecurity, self-esteem issue or desire for connection that you may find if you stopped using exhibitionism as a tool to deal with it.

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Of course “being seen” isn’t the only explanation for exhibitionism… research has revealed many possible causes from biochemical to life experiences. The important thing is not the fetish itself, but discovering where it benefits or is a problem in the life of an exhibitionist.

As with other fetishes, the exhibitionist often doesn’t get help unless part of the behavior is such a problem in their life that they are forced to confront it. Problems with relationships, arrest or other social censures, financial difficulty (if using professional services to meet their desires), or an inability to find a consensual partner are all reasons why exhibitionists have come to me to get help.

Getting help doesn’t mean letting go of your exhibitionism, necessarily. I always approach a fetish from the point of view of finding ways to keep the stuff that is great, while taming the issues and finding ways to fulfill the needs in other ways so that the desire is not so overpowering. This stuff is very individual and very personal, and so can’t be just laid out here as a cure-all for everyone.

… and of course, as always I love to play with a fetish as well as doing therapy because I believe that going cold-turkey doesn’t often help with a sexual compulsion. One of the things that I love about having become a phone sex therapist is that I can do a mix of both – keep the Beast of your urge at least mostly satisfied, while working with you on strategies to shape it into something more satisfying and useful to you so that the urge is reduced… and to work on discovering and finding other possible outlets for the reasons behind your urges. Over time, I have seen some very satisfying results with this method.

If you’re an exhibitionist reading this, give yourself a pat on the… back… :P… for finding a great way to have fun, and maybe a fun way to deal with some stressors in your life. If you want to talk more about it, give my therapy listing a call!

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Sources, and other reading:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/exhibitionism

http://www.askmen.com/dating/love_tip_500/533b_understanding-fetishes-voyeurism-exhibitionism.html