The news is really bad right now. The world is reeling from multiple catastrophes at once: stocks are cratering, governments around the world continue to be pointlessly, cruelly incompetent, a killer asteroid is coming (always), Sarah Palin is rapping on live TV. And then of course there's the minute-by-minute updates on the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus. :(
Being on Twitter right now is like experiencing a really dark acid trip laced with methamphetamines during a freefall, and every new bizarro thing I see deepens the feeling that I'm stuck in a lucid dream. So when multiple people sent me this tweet from expert poster and Vice contributor K. T. Nelson, the hell-pit feeling got deeper:
"The best coronaposting is currently happening on the sneeze fetish forums," he said, adding a few choice posts from SneezeFetishForums.com.
"I think the whole thing is ridiculously sensationalized and overblown and none of my fetish-related habits or activities will change at all because of it," one user said. "The increased levels of sneeze talk and news stories with sneezing women as the header image is quite nice," user Shining Light posted, who is possibly jerking off to this article, right now. Hello!
It says something about my own hole-punched brain that my reaction to this wasn't "lol" or "wow what a crazy thing," but instead, "Sneezing isn't even a symptom of coronavirus." And it's not: Sneezing and a runny nose is actually one of the signs that you have a cold or some other illness, and not coronavirus, which manifests in a cough and respiratory problems.
However, if you have an allergy sneeze or huff some pepper while you’re carrying COVID-19, you can definitely spread it to others that way.
This information either hasn't made it to the sneeze fetishists of the internet or they don't really care about the specifics and are suspending their disbelief. My money's on the latter, since the sneeze fetish community is a pretty well-informed group on these sorts of things.
Before going any further I should explain that sneeze kinksters absolutely exist and are valid, just like fart porn enthusiasts and people who get off on becoming blueberries. This is not to yuck anyone's yum; this is just to say that some people's 'yum' is seeing someone launch a spray of involuntary booger-projectiles from their face, and that's ok.
Some people enjoy the fantasy of infection and virus transmission, others just like the idea of an involuntary, sudden reaction after some buildup (it’s also worth noting sexually-induced sneezing is a thing).
I asked cam model Amara, who has experience creating sneeze clips, what she makes of this whole thing. "Personally I find it to be a really fun and innocent fetish; as far as fetishes go," she said. "For some it’s about the loss of control while sneezing (often related to pee fetishists) but for others it’s the faces, sounds or even sometimes an infatuation with snot. I find sneezing to be an extremely satisfying feeling so finding sneeze fetishists was a blessing as it’s now my top-selling category, making up 43% of my career-long video earnings, despite only making my first sneeze video around a year ago."
She said while she hasn't seen a jump in sales or requests for sneeze content, she's considering experimenting with the coronavirus-porn theme.
As Nelson first pointed out, these fetishists are absolutely having a field day.
SneezeFetishForums, with more than 6,000 members, is really the place to be for this type of up-to-the-minute current events conversation. Others, not so much: users haven't posted much on the extremely specific furry sneeze forum Sneezefurs.org since late last year, and the subreddit r/sneezefetish seems mostly inactive as of about a month ago, which is a real shame. r/AskReddit is asking some really deep questions about sneezing and COVID-19, but unfortunately not about fetish.
On SneezeFetishForums, one user has been waiting with bated breath for someone to sneeze on SNL, and got their moment last week, when Cecily Strong sneezed at the end of the "Sands of Modesto" skit. Congrats to that fan.
Another thread asks some very existential questions: "In the fight between the fetish and being infected, what do you choose?" Most people who replied said this question is absurd and they would never risk spreading a pandemic for boner fodder, which is cool! Thank you sneeze fetishists for flattening the curve.
Personally, if someone sneezes near me for the next month I'm going to have to call 911 and the World Health Organization, in that order. Even though I know sneezing is not a coronavirus symptom.