Scouring the streets for vomit may seem like an odd hobby, but for some emetophiles – vomit fetishists – it's as much a part of their sexual repertoire as lube. Like any fetish, it has varying degrees of extremities, with some people reporting getting turned on just by seeing videos of people vomiting, while others on the more extreme end might self-induce their sick or ask a partner to for them.
There aren't any known stats on how many people share this kink (after all, it's not exactly something you come out with after a pint), and the only major study into it seems to be the one conducted by professor of psychiatry Robert Stoller in 1982.
So how do you navigate life when puke gets you off? I spoke to Ho, a 27-year-old from Hong Kong, to find out why he's more interested in your vomit than what's underneath your clothes.
VICE: When did you discover that vomit was appealing to you?
Ho: When I was 11. I couldn't stop replaying all the times I vomited when I was a kid – it was like an addiction. The first time I realised I was aroused was when I watched the vomit scene in the documentary Super Size Me in 2005. But my emetophilia didn't intensify until I successfully caught a man's vomit in 2011. It's strange, because I hated the disgusting smell and taste of vomit as a child.
What is it about vomit that turns you on?
The appearance. My favourite type is natural vomit caused by too much alcohol or illness. Vomit from food poisoning is great, but I won't beg for it. If it's forced or unnatural, I would be interested in it but I wouldn't be that into it.
Can you get aroused by your own or does it have to be someone else's?
I can be turned on by my own, but I really hate the feeling of vomiting. I'm mainly turned on by men's vomit. I'm more into vomit from straight guys or men who are dads, but it's very hard to find a straight man or a father to vomit for me. It's much easier to find a gay guy that isn't a dad to vomit for me. If I see someone vomiting in public it doesn't have to be someone I fancy – I would get turned on as long as the person vomiting is a guy.
Do you worry about revealing your sexual kink to partners?
Although my emetophilia does make me feel dirty and a creep, I don't worry about telling partners. Only if I think they're the right person would I choose to reveal it. I'm bisexual and my boyfriend as well as my ex-girlfriend knew about my emetophilia. They accepted it, and luckily it had no significant impact on my relationships.
It's not a dealbreaker, though – I've dated people who aren't into it and some haven't even known about it. Vomit is the most effective catalyst to turn me on, but it's not everything. I've already opened up to my close friends. All of them accept my emetophilia. Some of them have even tried to provide me with their vomit.
Is vomit an active part of your sex life or a fantasy?
I haven't actually had full sex with my ex-girlfriend or my boyfriend – we just masturbate with each other. I have asked my boyfriend to vomit, but it isn't something I force him to do. He has done it sometimes and then I masturbate with him. I've encouraged my boyfriend to drink some red wine as he once threw up after drinking, but unfortunately I wasn't with him when it happened. But I don't control or dominate partners into vomiting, as I prefer it when it just happens.
What's the most extreme thing you've done to find vomit?
I've licked the vomit of a handsome man from the edge of a loo. I've also gone to my town centre at Christmas Eve to find any men's vomit. But I found it hard to identify if a batch of vomit in the street belonged to a man or woman, so that ruined it a bit. Another Christmas Eve, I intentionally caught a batch of vomit in the street. I saw a man vomiting and then I used my hands to pick up all his vomit.
I've also brought takeaway vomit back home. I found a man vomiting in a toilet without flushing at a station near my home, and I used a bag to scoop up the vomit and take it away. From then on I've tried to catch and take away more and more men's vomit. I have problems storing it properly as I mainly put it in my rubbish bin and under my bed. But it rotted very fast, especially during summer. Now I've got wiser – I've started to store takeaway vomit in a freezer so that it can be preserved for longer.
The first time I took away my own vomit, I picked it all up into a plastic bag and then packed it into a large paper box. I then put the box under my bed and it acted as a large container.
If you can't find real-life vomit what do you substitute it with?
I've tried to DIY vomit, but I'm not really satisfied with it. I still haven't found a suitable substitute.
Have you found any like-minded people who share the same kink?
Yes, but all of them are on the internet. I want to find someone in real-life that shares the same obsession with me.
Best of luck to you, Ho.