Color Me Kinky: Military Uniform Fetish

Tenth Annual Military Fetish Ball at Sin City Fetish Night: Facebook

This article is part of an ongoing series in which Ravishly editor Katie Tandy explores the psychology behind a fetish, and writer Jetta Rae DoubleCakes crafts a piece of erotic fiction that reveals how it would manifest in a sexual encounter. Color Me Kinky refers to the "hanky code," a system in which certain colors connote one's sexual interests and proclivities in public spaces. Previously we've written about Foot Fetish (coral), Mommy Play (mint green) and Armpit Worship (Magenta.) Stay tuned for more science-smut next week, but right now? Revel in Uniform Worship.

In these dark days of police violence, growing racial tensions, and the militarization of those who deign to "protect and serve," it can be hard to imagine fetishizing the very symbol that separates them from civilians: uniforms.

Then again, fetish is all about the gleeful perversion of the secular, the ordinary, and elevating it to a heady Venn diagram that boasts an admittedly muddy—but rich—overlap between the sublime and the sexual. In other words, it should come as no surprise that uniforms in all their crisp sharp lines, jaunty hats, glinting boots, gleaming guns, belts, and badges induce knee-buckling lust.

In truth, despite our societal obsession with all things deviant—sexual and otherwise—uniform fetishism of the military bent is surprisingly shadowy and under-researched. (Most explorations and explanations of uniform fetish focus and fixate on the "naughty school-girl"—which breaches into maybe-pedophilic age-play—and "nurse" archetypes, which in turn eroticizes medicine and every wet hole of the body that can be manipulated and penetrated with liquid and/or objects.)

Anyway. 

Arguably, one of the only academic papers to delve into the specific psychology and sociocultural presence of uniform fetish was published more than ten years ago by Dr. Dinesh Bhugra and Dr. Padmal De Silva—"Uniforms – fact, fashion, fantasy and fetish"—in the journal Sexual and Marital Therapy.

Bhugra and De Silva's prevailing theory—not surprisingly—is that uniforms (particularly of a militant/police variety) is all about the display and wielding of power. And authority. Of good and evil. Right and wrong. Of justice and mercy. The pleasure in punishment. There is, of course, elements of BDSM at play within this exploration of power. Uniform fetishists want to subjugate, control, restore order, command authority and dominion over another's body; those submitting to said control, want to be—alternatively—taken care of and disciplined, protected and punished

You can get arrested and bent over the hood of a car; lick someone's muddy boots; you can be ordered to take it in the rump, deep-throat a throbbing phallus or wait patiently to be pounded; you can be locked up, have your suspenders snapped, suck on a cigar and get rude with a rifle. You can don tweed, latex, leather and chain-fringed epaulettes.

But above everything and all—just know your position.

Amid all of this marching and parading of power is of course the stark essence of posturing and performance; both parties know—even if the dominance and submission are decidedly real (and the orgasms most certainly are)—that it is, in the end, when the crops have been scrubbed and boots spit-shined, role play. 

There is also an element of delectable subversion; how wonderful to reappropriate a very real—and often terrifying—paradigm of power and punishment and transform it into a vehicle of physical pleasure. It's quite the feat of alchemy if you ask me.

Bhugra and De Silva describe these transformative garments as “outer skins,” which "eliminate ambiguity about the role and status of the individual who is wearing one . . . the process of identity formation is often dictated by society—clothing and uniform by extension play an important role in that."

"The process of defining the identity of the individual. In this process, such a garment or an ornament also often contributes to the individual's self esteem. Uniforms have also facilitated the individual's belonging to a part of the group or society and contribution to the functioning of the group. The lack of the uniform in some situations can lead to one being defined as a deviant. 

Before I toss you into the finger-licking fiction below, I thought I'd leave you with one last heady and eviscerating observation by the one and only Virginia Woolf from her 1938, book-length essay Three Guineas:

Even stranger, however, than the symbolic splendour of your clothes are the ceremonies that take place when you wear them. Here you kneel; there you bow; here you advance in procession behind a man carrying a silver poker; here you mount a carved chair; here you appear to do homage to a piece of painted wood; here you abase yourselves before tables covered with richly worked tapestry. And whatever these ceremonies may mean you perform them always together, always in step, always in the uniform proper to the man and the occasion. Obviously, the connection between dress and war is not far to seek; your finest clothes are those that you wear as soldiers.

How wonderful to take the trappings of a glorified death march and render them in lurid blood-red latex and sopping wet sighs of love and languish. Amiright?

So without further ado, I give you the scintillating story below.

“Hello, Sailor.”

“You’re the tenth person to say that to me so far. I guess I’m supposed to give you concert tickets, now?”

“Well you’re in Arizona, dressed like that.”

“My only clean clothes. Accident at the laundromat.”

“Well, seeing as you’re a . . . Lieutenant, wow . . . I’m sure it wasn’t anything you couldn’t handle.”

“Skin of my teeth, I’m telling ya.”

“So of all the fetish nights in all the gay bars of Arizona, you had to stroll into this one.”

“I like the music.”

“If you can name even one song in this playlist I’d buy you a drink.”

“What if I told you I don’t drink?”

“Oh, and you’re just holding that for a friend? Lemme guess, your girlfriend?”

“Well, women love a man in uniform.”

“So do other men.”

“I’m becoming aware.”

“So that’s a no to the drink, then?”

“I’m just saying—what if I wanted something more other than a drink from you?”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. What is it that men in uniform that other men find attractive do? Do you want me to make you give me twenty?”

“Well, it’d be a start. Twenty what?”

“Depends. What’d you bring with you?”

“Oh, I’m stag tonight.”

“No, I meant in your bag. I’m guessing by the look of you—”

“Is this what they teach you at the Academy?”

“You’re probably into being hit.”

“Wow. You found a masochist at a fetish bar. Lemme guess, you worked the torpedo guidance systems on your submarine?”

“Aircraft carrier.”

“My apologies.”

“And I preferred the brig.”

“Oh.”

“As you might imagine, not a lot of sea battles in Arizona. So I spent a lot of time alone with the equipment.”

“Your ‘rifle’?”

“Restraints. Cages. Ropes.”

“How many knots can you tie?”

“If you can’t escape from any of them, does it matter?”

“So, that’s a ‘no’ on you knowing the song—”

“You’re probably not interested in knowing how to knit my own hat or in 18 hour sleep cycles. You see a man like me and you’re hoping that I’ve got a cage back home. That I’ll put you in it.”

“Depends. How big’s your cage? A lotta guys here have cages.”

“Small enough that I could hogtie you from the top of it and still kiss you from the bars. Or feed you my favorite bright, neon green dildo. That’s your what, third or fourth diet coke tonight? I bet you could get it nice and wet for me before I put it inside—”

“You still haven’t told me what you want twenty of.”

“Lashes, obviously. The motif has to be considered.”

“I still don’t know if you’re straight or not.”

“Neither do I. But I’d have all night with you to make up my mind.”

“Are you sure you’d know what to do?”

“Well, you’re a good boy, aren’t you? If I just gave you my cock, you’d be able to make it work from there.”

“If I’m tied up as tight as I’m hoping to be you’ll have to put it very, very close to me.”

“How long can you hold a salute?”

“Wait—is this a dick reference?”

“Yes.”

“I have a cock ring. A while.”

“If I end up deciding I am, you know—”

“Uh-huh.”

“I might wanna—”

“Yeah?”

“Take you up on that ‘drink’, as it were.”

“Oh my god.”

“It’s ‘Living After Midnight.’ Judas Priest. 1980.”

“Yessssss.”

“Now drop and give me that twenty.”

“Yes, sir.”

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