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  1. #1

    Question Globophobia (Balloons)

    When I was 18 months old, my parents threw a huge birthday party for my sister. They made a scavenger hunt and hid clues inside balloons. Just the perfect thing for someone my age. Although I clearly don't remember that night, the fear stuck in my head.

    Up until I was 16, I was terrified of them. If I was at school, I'd hide in the bathroom for hours or I'd tell my teacher that I was sick. I had an awful meltdown in front of a fair when I was 10, and all my teacher could tell me was to "get a hold of myself." Four years later, I started researching online and ended up watching hours of non-naked balloon fetish videos. I'd gradually turn up the volume until I couldn't stand it anymore. The more I did it, the more comfortable I felt. Looking back, I'm not sure if I was more scared or turned on.

    I told my boyfriend last year, and didn't understand one bit. The topic came up in conversation at a restaurant. He said, "Well, at least I'm not afraid of something as stupid as a balloon." That stung. We went home and he apologized, then offered to give me whatever help I needed. I used him to help me through it, because I associated him with being comfortable. And it worked! This eventually turned into a sex game. He'd "torture me" by threatening to pop the balloon in my face. I know I'm not cured and I probably won't ever be, but it feels like a good leap in the right direction.

    Does anyone else have experience coming out of phobias like such? I'm sure there has to be a term for having a fetish that stems from a taboo.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    I'm sure there has to be a term for having a fetish that stems from a taboo.
    Hi Dragon,

    I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by this sentence? A fetish is usually associated to sexual desire. Are you saying that you were able to get over your phobia by making this fear of yours into a sexual game with your bf?

    Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
    an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression
    fetish - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

    I'm not convinced that true phobias are truly forgotten so easily Dragon. But, I'm not an expert here.

    In any event, I think that I would be reluctant to promote this particular method of getting over a phobia.

  3. #3

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    That definition seems a bit restrictive, Jazzey. I don't think a fetish has to necessarily be required for sexual gratification: It just needs to add something to sexual arousal or gratification.

  4. #4

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    Thank you I looked it up because I wasn't sure. (I'm blaming webster-merriam )

  5. #5

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    Me too

    I just checked some other sources and most use the same terminology - "necessary for sexual gratification". That's not the way I've always understood it.

    Here is how it's defined in DSM-IV-TR:

    This paraphilia is characterized by sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving use of non-human objects to produce or enhance sexual arousal with or in the absence of a partner.

    Diagnostic criteria for 302.81 Fetishism

    A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the use of nonliving objects (e.g., female undergarments).

    B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

    C. The fetish objects are not limited to articles of female clothing used in cross-dressing (as in Transvestic Fetishism) or devices designed for the purpose of tactile genital stimulation (e.g., a vibrator).

  6. #6

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzey View Post
    Hi Dragon,

    I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by this sentence? A fetish is usually associated to sexual desire. Are you saying that you were able to get over your phobia by making this fear of yours into a sexual game with your bf?

    Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
    an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression
    fetish - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

    I'm not convinced that true phobias are truly forgotten so easily Dragon. But, I'm not an expert here.

    In any event, I think that I would be reluctant to promote this particular method of getting over a phobia.
    I should have been more clear, sorry! I'm not quite sure how to explain this, but balloons were always something I never wanted to touch or to look at. I hated the very idea of going into a room with one, even deflated balloons. My parents ended up telling teachers and friends with birthday parties' parents that I was terrified. Since they were the ones who insisted on telling everyone (and it was like a rule to not have them around me,) using balloons sexually was like breaking rules and getting away with it. Is there a term for this?

    I wouldn't promote this method either, but it seemed to have worked. Getting comfortable like that got me over most of the fear. It didn't start out sexually, but near the end of the 30-40 days it turned into that. I knew years ago that I had to find someone to help me.

  7. #7

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    Thanks for the explanation Dragon. I get it now... You basically just kept exposing yourself to the fear and connected it to something that you could enjoy.

  8. #8

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzey View Post
    Thanks for the explanation Dragon. I get it now... You basically just kept exposing yourself to the fear and connected it to something that you could enjoy.
    Exactly!

    I don't think I'll ever get rid of my problem, but I don't think I feel the need to run away and hide in bathrooms anymore.

  9. #9

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    I thought, I was the only one who was afraid of balloons, I always thought it was stupid but I just can't get over it, it's bad I hit a guy with a chair during prom because people knew about my fear and he chased me around with one of the balloon pillars that where around the edge of the dance floor to decorate. I'm afraid of them, I even shy away from deflated ones. the worst time was trying to get to my bank, they where having a huge raffle this was only a few months ago, and had all these balloons I was stuck across the road watching terrified because I needed my money (I don't use check or cash cards I refuse to leave my money in banks due to another paranoia.)

    one of the people noticed me and started coming towards me holding this huge hand full of balloons, it was awful. I'm not sure I could ever do what you did I think it's amazing you got over it. anyway I just wanted to say it's amazing to meet someone else who has the same or well had the same fear I feel less weird ^^

  10. #10

    Re: Globophobia (Balloons)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfall View Post
    When I was 18 months old, my parents threw a huge birthday party for my sister. They made a scavenger hunt and hid clues inside balloons. Just the perfect thing for someone my age. Although I clearly don't remember that night, the fear stuck in my head.

    Up until I was 16, I was terrified of them. If I was at school, I'd hide in the bathroom for hours or I'd tell my teacher that I was sick. I had an awful meltdown in front of a fair when I was 10, and all my teacher could tell me was to "get a hold of myself." Four years later, I started researching online and ended up watching hours of non-naked balloon fetish videos. I'd gradually turn up the volume until I couldn't stand it anymore. The more I did it, the more comfortable I felt. Looking back, I'm not sure if I was more scared or turned on.

    I told my boyfriend last year, and didn't understand one bit. The topic came up in conversation at a restaurant. He said, "Well, at least I'm not afraid of something as stupid as a balloon." That stung. We went home and he apologized, then offered to give me whatever help I needed. I used him to help me through it, because I associated him with being comfortable. And it worked! This eventually turned into a sex game. He'd "torture me" by threatening to pop the balloon in my face. I know I'm not cured and I probably won't ever be, but it feels like a good leap in the right direction.

    Does anyone else have experience coming out of phobias like such? I'm sure there has to be a term for having a fetish that stems from a taboo.

    Thanks!
    Same thing happened for me. Im not really sure why but I felt comfortable enough to let my girlfriend try and help me with this fear. She did the same as your boyfriend did. It turned into a sex game and still does. Its awesome to see that you have gotten over it as i have and I'm not the only one who finds it sexually attractive.

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