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Has seeing fetish material from a young age done me harm?

Posted: Fri May 20, 2022 11:14 pm
by brungerbulb
I’ve had internet access since I was little, as have a lot of people these days. Of course, I was always a big fan of shows like Pokemon and Digimon, and because of this I ended up stumbling upon a certain sect of the furry community who combine aspects of these stories with various fetishes, in particular- and I don’t mean to be graphic, but it is a little necessary to my point- transformation (as in, human to monster) and vore (a kind of soft cannibalism). I saw these because of the subpar content filtering capabilities of Google Search Engine and
DeviantArt dot Com. They were never flagged under explicit content filters, most likely because they never featured nudity or any sort of harsh language, which is something very interesting I think about a lot of the art I saw: they usually weren’t overtly sexual in terms of art style or tone, which were always amateur in an endearing way. Well, it’s endearing to me. I don’t know, I’m getting off-topic by now.

Basically, for a long time I enjoyed this type of content completely unperturbed, until I found out from my parent’s offhand disgust that this was something shameful, at which point I hid it. I knew what a fetish was, and that I harbored a few, before I could even name all the parts of my body. I’m not phrasing this too well. My apologies. Nowadays, I’ve grown into myself pretty comfortably and learned better boundaries of interacting with explicit content, keyword better, not perfect, since I still have to ask this: was it harmful for me to see this type of thing when I was little? (That’s seven or eight, by the way). I imagine someone else may have been more disturbed by it than I was, and of course I wouldn’t condone SHOWING it to children, but at the same time… those weird webcomics have been incredibly influential on my own art, and, I’m embarrassed to say, even helped me learn to read. I still have a lot of fondness for the stories I read, of which I can remember the plots of a few. They introduced me to a number of fascinating speculative fiction concepts, even if they were set dressing, and were even the first place I can remember seeing transgender characters (it was a common theme for male humans to be transformed into female monsters. Gosh, one I specifically remember that I dug up from Deviantart recently showed one of these ex-humans talking about how she was so much happier being a girl and had always really wished it inside…)

I still even search out this type of artwork today- the furry community tends to have a fantastic grasp on fictional biology, appealing character designs, translating different materials into artwork and so on! I… Man, I don’t know! I know kids shouldn’t see porn. What I saw was meant to arouse. And it did! Me specifically! But I can’t see anything in my life that was was impacted negatively by it… a lot of those fetishes still bring me a lot of comfort, even if they aren’t the main focus of my fantasies anymore… I don’t know if I’d be the same guy without these experiences, if they were just or not. I like being the person I am today, and I feel like the philosophies I’ve learnt about from hovering around kink spaces online have been really crucial to my views on escapism and boundaries and… I don’t know! I know I wasn’t born like this, but it is something that happened to me, and I guess I’d just like to know if anyone who’s like, an expert or something, has anything to say on it. It’s been nice to just have a confessional in between therapy sessions, even if you can’t really answer my… question? Did I ever ask one? Oh well. Sending post.

Re: Has seeing fetish material from a young age done me harm?

Posted: Sat May 21, 2022 8:18 am
by Sam W
Hi brungerbulb,

So, while it certainly sounds like consuming this content influenced you, being influenced by something isn't the same as being harmed by it. And from the sound of it, you still think really positively of this content and some of the ideas it introduced you to. There's nothing wrong with that! Media, including sexual media, can affect each of us in different ways, and I don't think the source of a positive influence being sexual media makes it inherently shameful or bad. Does that make sense?

Re: Has seeing fetish material from a young age done me harm?

Posted: Sat May 21, 2022 11:02 am
by brungerbulb
I know what you mean! But at the same time, I feel like in a safer internet this never would have happened. I’ve heard other people talk about how this type of thing gave them nightmares when they were younger, and I feel for them, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be who I am without it. It’s like, a lot of people were harmed by this, but I (just one guy) wasn’t, so does that make it okay that this was/is such a pervasive trend in content filtering online? Maybe I’m just trying to simplify things too much. Anyway, thank you for your message, it really did make me feel a bit better about things.

Re: Has seeing fetish material from a young age done me harm?

Posted: Sun May 22, 2022 9:19 am
by Heather
You know, I think that it absolutely makes sense to have wanted to have been introduced to something in a way you chose and fully consented to -- to come to this from your own curiosity and desire to find out, not the way you did -- but still connect to and like that thing. This is super-valid, and I absolutely hear you about how it's just not great to have a thing foisted unto you rather than seeking it out yourself.