I’ve commented before that anything can be a fetish, and that one of the things I like best about sex blogging is reading people try to explain why certain things turn them on, that we’d not usually expect would do so. Needless to say, this ring fingering thing from Chelsea at Pretty Dumb Things made my day:

Marriage is a contract that I may never make, and yet I like being fingered by men with wedding rings. It’s not that I can feel the ring. Wedding rings tend toward the slim and the flat. I’ve never had the experienced the interior wriggling of a finger with a ring rococo as Liberace’s , a skull bauble thick as Keith Richard’s, a chunk of metal clunky as Robert Lee Morris’s Superman. The rings that have been inside me have been modest, prudent, utilitarian bands signaling commitment.

There have been three of them in reality and one in my imagination.

Clearly, when the finger is diddling me, I can’t see the ring. I can’t even feel the ring. So the pleasure of the ring comes neither from the visual nor from the sensual. It’s a purely imaginative power. It’s a pleasure that rests in the seat of all pleasure—my pinky-grey and corrugated brain.

It’s difficult for me to put my finger on the exact spot of that imaginary pleasure. I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that part is powered by the shock of the illicit thrill, if indeed the finger belonging to the man fingering me is infidel. Like almost every other human, I do feel pleasure in transgression, and crossing this boundary, like all the strange others that for one reason or another give me the good down-low tingle, nudges whatever purely physical pleasure there is into electrically-charged territory. But the illicitness isn’t it in and of itself.

I know that it’s not because the man, the imagined man, the one without the ring, the one whose ring I imagined and in imagining it found great delight, was Donny, my now-X and then erstwhile fiancé. It was his imagined not-ring that prodded me to gyrate indecorously one sunny August afternoon, his naked fingers twisting and turning inside me. My mind furnished his finger with a ring. It bedighted his third finger on his left hand with a ring, and though neither the ring nor even possibly that exact finger was rubbing the walls of my pussy like a magic lamp, it was real enough to me, and I came from the concept as much as from the reality.

Which all leads me to believe it’s not the cheating that I like. It’s the abstract concept of commitment. It’s the symbolism of the ring, this piece of metal that our culture uses to denote those of us who have made a pact with another human from those of us who haven’t. It doesn’t matter whether the man has committed to me—though clearly my fetishization of the ring in general and my somatic response to Donny’s fictive ring in specific suggests that a commitment to me would be ideal—it’s that this man has committed, for good, bad, or ugly to someone.

It’s all very strange, though. Just as a gentlemen is advised to remove his socks before sexual congress with a woman, wouldn’t the usual rules of etiquette demand that he remove his wedding ring before fingering a woman not his wife? I’m not sure Emily Post ever covered that nuance.