Once upon a time, serious fetishists could end up seriously lonely (or unfulfilled) people — because, let's face it, fetishists and fetishes have always been around. The Sexual Revolution brought a level of openness to hetero-normative sex and the desire for it, but, to one degree or another, it left a lot of people still in the closet. Between the growing acceptance of LGBT people and the interconnectivity brought by the Internet, some of the remaining barriers to finding the partner who fits your sexual proclivities are dissipating — but, as The Independent's Esther Walker learns, the level of openness or actual human connection isn't.
First off, I know (and have known) many people in non-traditional relationships with non-vanilla sexual interests who have perfectly happy, loving relationships that incorporate each person's (usually complementary) fetishes in a supportive and open way. Sometimes, they have met through the Internet, sometimes through organizations designed to cater to their needs, sometimes through happy accident. But, as I have previously noted, for some fetishists, the fetish can serve as a pretty effective barrier to having an actual relationship with someone, which involves having to open yourself up to both positive and negative emotions. Walker lines up 4 examples of the latter type, with an asexual man and a charming older women who likes younger men (not a fetish!) seemingly the most well adjusted.