Few elements of a celebrity’s private life are more guarded then personal sexual proclivities. Often when such details are dished out to the public, it’s a carefully choreographed selection that is intended to serve a specific function. Maybe it’s to generate tie-in publicity for a project. Maybe it’s intended to shade public perception of a star to something a tad sexier, darker. Or simply more mature. Fetishes generate headlines. But when the information unintentionally slips out, it usually offers a more genuine glimpse into what makes stars tick – or pant.
Feet seem to do the trick for many people, including several musicians. Everyone from Elvis to Marilyn Manson has been tagged to the toe. Tommy Lee has been rather blunt, telling GQ “My mother was Miss Greece in 1957. She’s gorgeous and she’s got beautiful toes. That’s one of the reasons I have a foot fetish today. When I was a kid I’d massage her feet.” This certainly plays into his edgy persona to make such statements. They’re also hard to wipe from your mind. Aren’t we intimately familiar enough with this guy by now?
Another foot aficionado is Jack Black of Tenacious D, who has incorporated foot worship into their music and videos. He openly shares, “I find myself staring at feet. I like a heel. If she’s wearing clogs, that does something for me. Flip-flops. Sandals. Bare feet are the best.”
Ricky Martin had a rocky start to 2007. As he was kicking off an 18-city world tour, a magazine interview he’d given included the revelation that he enjoyed a bit of urine with sex. He told the now defunct Blender, “I love giving the ‘golden shower.’ I’ve done it before in the shower. It’s like, so sexy, you know, the temperature of your body and the shower water is very different.” He then added, “I’m open to everything. There are moments for soft, gentle sex. And there are moments for a good spank in the butt.”
The statements actually led some to openly question the appropriateness of his charitable activities. This included running the Ricky Martin Foundation, an advocate for children’s rights around the world. He also serves as a goodwill ambassador to UNICEF. Martin responded in a letter to Univision, saying “At the time I granted the interview never did it cross my mind that my comments would spark this absurd and sensationalist public discussion. I cannot avoid speculation about my career and life, but I cannot allow those for whom my foundation works to be affected because I am a public figure.” One has to wonder if reaction from this episode gave him pause about coming out two years later.
Somewhat of a sexual pioneer in modern Hollywood, Angelina Jolie built her persona early as a free spirit who challenged the already loose standards of L.A. From her blood vial with Billy Bob Thornton to her even wilder earlier days in Hollywood, part of her appeal has always been ‘the bad girl.’ A series of photos including her with a leash were leaked in 2010 and billed as S&M pics – but that’s debatable. What isn’t is her strange, possibly drug-fueled rant on video saying, “I have to explain to people how, where it’s more like you’re tied down because you need to have someone hold you down… It comes from a real real place as opposed to being accessories.” These types of stories have occasionally hampered the promoting of her projects, as with 2010’s Salt. The so-called S&M pics went public just as the film was released.
Then there’s the odd case of Russell Brand, who following his split from Katy Perry was pegged as an insatiable hump monkey with a penchant for wheelchair sex. US Weekly sighted close sources, blaming his sexual appetite and peccadilloes as the key deal breaker. He joked about the revelations in July with Howard Stern, saying “That woman spent ninety percent of our marriage in a little electric wheelchair.” Here, I believe, we are not seeing an actual fetish. Brand has a tortured past that includes a childhood of constant uncertainty. He was sexually abused at the hands of a tutor, introduced to prostitutes by his mostly absent father, all while he was shuttled between homes as his mother battled cancer. He eventually developed a sexual addiction, which he revealed in his 2009 My Booky Wook. Add to that an extended heroine addiction, a flair for extreme comedy – and a quickie divorce from another modern day carnival barker prone to hysterics. These elements don’t allow for a clear view of what’s real, what’s revenge, and what’s simply product. Besides, as an addict who is quite possibly manic, Brand would not experience the conventional fetish like most. He’s more likely aiming in the dark for a satisfaction he cannot fulfill – no matter what props surround him.
Some celebs seek out the uncomfortable headline, or wish to be recast in Hollywood’s eyes. Nothing breaks a High School Musical persona more then a spanking video. It’s perfectly understandable that many other famous people would prefer to keep their own fetishes a closely guarded secret. Most normal people usually do, even from their own lovers. Through fear of ridicule or even abandonment, they keep their desires unspoken – often for a lifetime.
Celebrities fear the same two reactions, but on a world stage. We crave those details, as it brings them closer to being mortal and maybe a bit messed up like us. Not to say fetishes are bad- instead just a common byproduct of developing sexuality. They are perfectly normal, but when they arrive in the form of a press release- well that’s just perverse.
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