Fetish Revealed

This is a true story. (I swear!)

One recent evening I got on the subway at 72nd Street. It was about 7 o'clock and the train was crowded, but not packed. In fact, I even spotted a seat, and while the space was a little tighter than I like, I decided I was going to take it. After all, you never know when the person with whom you're sharing leg warmth is going to get off.

Because I hesitated for a few seconds about the seat, I decided to grab a pole and snag the seat after the train began to move (lest you land on the person standing beside you). I clung to a pole in front of two girls sitting opposite my soon-to-be seat.

The minute I arrived I noticed these girls were looking at me just a little longer than subway etiquette advises. I took my seat directly across from them and they continued to look at me, then began whispering and giggling with each other. And, one of them was timidly pointing a cell phone toward me.

I heightened my senses, dropped eaves, and employed a little-known subway trick: the lap reflection. Because it's not polite to look at people on the train, reflections become very important. Under the proper conditions, the curved, acetate-covered row of ads above the seats offer a view of anything bright in the person's lap across from you. This is handy if you want to see what the person is doing on their cell phone or iPod. Today, the conditions were just right, with a dark-colored ad above I could see this woman's camera was on and she was trying to point it at me without seeming too obvious.

By now I knew a few things: I was sitting beside one woman who was with the two sitting across from me; they were young professionals in their mid-20s; each was stylishly dressed; and something about me definitely sparked a reaction.

This game continued for a few minutes and I contemplated moving to an open seat on the other side of the car. I thought that seemed a little cowardly, so I decided to be proactive.

What's the fascination? I asked.

Reticently, the woman across from me replied, It's a secret.

I think I know... I said.

Tell her, she said pointing to the girl sitting beside me.

It's my arms, I said.

My neighbor queried, What about them?

They're hairy, I said, looking over to the girl across from me for validation.

I will tell you here and now, dear reader, that I do possess arms of hair. I'm not just talkin' about a heavy top-coat, I'm talkin' full-coverage that flows around my arms then meets on their underside to be redirected in a river of hair that flows toward my elbow. Had I been mature in the age of the Marlboro man, I would have killed.

Subway conversations among strangers always attracts attention. People wonder why these two people, who don't look like they could or should be together, are conversing? And, more importantly, what are they talking about? Our conversation up the west side was attracting attention and, as more and more people got off the train, my hairy arms received more and more attention from those who remained.

Now that the cat was out of the bag, she began to talk to me while her friends nervously giggled. First, she asked to take a picture of them. We discussed this for awhile. What are you going to do with it? I asked.

Oh, I'll use them later tonight, she said with a coy look.

I wondered: Is there any harm in this? She seemed okay, aside from this deviance. And, why not make her happy... with limits, of course, which we would soon test. Will my photo end up on some arm fetish website?

Can I get a close-up? She asked.

More reluctance on my part, but I eventually caved and she came over and sat next to me for my close-up. I felt uneasy as that eight feet between us was now reduced to mere inches.

Her next request came without rumination: Can I touch them?

I sighed.

Please? she begged.

By now, I have a nervous smile on my face, and people watching this unfold are smiling with me, conveying a level of disbelief.

It was impossible to stop her. At first she touched them, but then brazenly stroked them. I was helplessly looking to others for assurance that this was going to end and everything would be okay when it did. When asked why she needed to touch them, she responded that she needed the tactile sensation in her brain, as if to find one more piece in the fetishistic puzzle she was putting together in her mind.

Can I bite them? She asked as her friends roared. I'm getting off in a few stops...

No, I don't think that would be a good idea, I said. Only one person gets to bite them.

Can I lick them?

I simply rolled my eyes.

She was disappointed, but respected my limits. Our awkward journey under Broadway continued. She never hinted at a date or asked to exchange information, and, obviously, I wasn't going to open up that door. Had I been single and interested, I certainly would have responded accordingly, but today it is not to be.

Her very specific fetish is blond, hairy arms and I was the perfect specimen for her. She is not the first person to approach me because of my arms. In certain bars around town, it's like moths to the flame. Of course, most of the people who do approach to check 'em out are not people for me, but it's always nice to know there are people out there who value what I have.