Prompt Day #71: Pick a fetish, any fetish. Now create a character who not only has that perverse predilection, but who also has the ability to hypnotize others. You figure out the rest.
I woke up this morning and read my prompt for the day. Then I went back to bed for about an hour–because it was my day off–no judging! But when I woke up I knew exactly who this character was, I just wasn’t sure how to tell his story. I spent the whole day thinking about how to make it into a story. Tell it from a first person view, third person? How?? Then I started out the same way I do every time: I wrote the prompt at the top of the page. As I reread it, I decided this was more about the character than the story itself. And I thought, it would be cool to show you this character in the same way I get to know my characters when I am writing a long story: I interview them in my brain. I ask them how they got in that situation, I ask them to tell me about their history and how they would react to certain situations. Then, the “story” came easily. He has an unusual fetish and the ability to hypnotize people, this is a criminal waiting to happen and a psychotherapist’s dream! So, without further ado: I present to you the Reverend Matthew Joseph Stoddard as interviewed for a chapter in a new book on sexual perversions.
Praise the Lord and Suck Out the Demons
A Study in Perversion
Deviant sexual fetishes can often be traced back to childhood. When we search for clues we must look to both nature and nurture. Some are born with a predilection towards a particular perversity which, through innocuous and sometimes well-meaning interactions, amplifies the underlying propensity into a full blown pathology. Take for instance, the case of Reverend Matthew Joseph Stoddard. Rev. Stoddard suffers from an unusual sexual fetish known as nasolingus which is defined as sexual arousal to sucking on another individual’s nose. In order to discover the etiology of such an unusual proclivity, the patient was asked to describe his childhood. When questioning a patient in this manner, one should stress that the patient consider his diagnosis in determining what he feels is important to share. Many patients are quite aware of the abnormality of their conditions of arousal and have already considered the potential cause. They are usually ready for such a question and will give detailed accounts of childhood incidents that they believe, correctly or incorrectly, to be a nidus of their fixation on the particular subject. The following is a portion of the transcript from my initial interview with Rev. Stoddard regarding his childhood:
“Reverend, can you think of anything unusual about your childhood that may have affected your proclivity for noses?
When I was a baby, I sucked my thumb. Well, I guess most babies do that, that probably doesn’t sound too unusual. But the thing I’ve been told is that I always had my thumb in my mouth. It got so bad that my skin started to break down. My mother told me they tried everything but nothing could keep me from sucking on it. It was really the only thing that soothed me. Finally, the doctors had to cast both of them in order to get me to stop. This was when I was three or four years old, you see. It was a real problem for my parents.
So, you stopped sucking your thumb after that?
Yes. I did.
Tell me, Reverend, how do you think this translates to your nose fixation?
Because I had an uncle who was quite a joker. When my father died—I was five, just started school when he was stuck by a hit and run driver on his daily walk—my mother and I moved in with my aunt and uncle. Anyways, my uncle was always coming up to me and pretending to ‘take my nose’. You know the old trick where they say “I got your nose” and show you their thumb sticking out between their fingers? And you, as a child who believes that every adult tells the truth at all times, really thinks that your nose has been taken of your face and caught in someone else’s fist. My child’s eye saw a nose in his hand every time, you see? It was magic. But here’s the extra part that he would do before giving me back my nose: He would always say “Now wait a minute Matty, I’ll give it back, let me just clean it up for you real quick” then he would put his thumb in his mouth and pretend to wallow it around in there and then spit it back out and put it back on my face. I was fascinated with the trick and after about a year or so of begging him, he finally taught me the secret. Well, everyone in the house had to suffer through my practicing. But it didn’t take long for that old soothing, calming feeling I got from sucking on my thumb came back every time I put my thumb in my mouth pretending it was a nose. As I got older, I used to fantasize that I really could pluck someone’s nose off their face and put it back on again. Of course, that led to me imagining what having a nose in my mouth would feel like. All of a sudden, the need to know became overwhelming. It was all I could think about. It became a compulsion, at that point, I felt like the only way I could soothe myself was to suck on a nose. Whenever I went out or met people, I found myself fixated on their noses, imagining how it would feel in my mouth. When puberty hits most boys, I suppose they fantasize about a woman’s breasts or buttocks or perhaps find themselves aroused by underwear on a mannequin or in a catalog, I found myself masturbating to daydreams of noses. And not always women’s noses. The nose wasn’t gendered, you see, if I saw a particularly handsome nose, it didn’t matter whose face it was on, I wanted it and I would use it in my fantasies.”
Were you ever able to realize any of these fantasies? I mean, did you ever share these thoughts with a date or friend who agreed to let you try it?
Oh no. No. I knew it was abnormal. I knew I could never tell anyone. I was ashamed of myself. And this was a time before the internet, you see? I couldn’t log on and unanimously search for likeminded individuals. So, I kept it to myself and I struggled with it.”
The Reverend’s revelations are similar to those of other patients. They believe or know that their attraction isn’t normal but rather than seek help, they attempt to conceal it or suppress it. This simply leads to pent up frustrations which in almost all cases leads the individual to take extreme measures to realize their desires. Often this ends in self harm or a criminal act against another. It is not uncommon to find that the individual has committed multiple acts of aggression prior to being caught or confessing. Victims of these crimes are either uncomfortable or embarrassed to tell what happened to them. Some simply believe the person to be “weird” and sever ties not realizing that a sexual crime has been committed against them. Individuals who self-harm will often put themselves in dangerous situations (such as soliciting prostitutes or liaisons with strangers) or take the opposite route and submit themselves to some form of abstinence (joining the military or a religious group). The patient may also attempt to submerse themselves into a hobby or career where they believe they will find an alternate source of satisfaction. Let us return to our subject. Here we discuss his ways of coping with his sexual perversion.
Tell me about high school, dating, and how you came to the decision to become a minister.
Well, as I said, I knew I couldn’t talk about it and after a couple dates when I was fifteen, I realized that if I let myself get too…uh…amorous I guess is the right word….I found it hard not to try to get the girl’s nose in my mouth. The first time, I just got carried away and lost control, she pulled back and laughed at me, she thought our kissing had simply gotten a little crazy. She tried to redirect my mouth, I guess you could say, but at that point, I’d lost it. I just wasn’t into it. I played it off that I wasn’t ready to go that far. That was the last date with that girl. The next date I went on, I managed to keep my hands to myself. She was too nice a girl to make a move so we said our goodbyes in a purely platonic fashion and it was the last time I went out with her. Not long after that, I started hearing rumors that I was a homosexual. It seems the girls had gotten to talking and maybe to save their own self-esteem they came to that conclusion. Now, you see, in those days, no one “came out” and no one could be seen together, so I realized that that particular rumor would work to my advantage. No girls would flirt with me, boys stayed away from me and I could keep my particular dirty little secret to myself. In order to keep up the image, I joined the drama club and tried out for and got the lead part in a play that one of our teachers had written. It was about a criminal who used hypnotism to commit robberies. It turned out that I was a very good actor—and why not, hiding this secret for so long teaches one to behave like someone else—and I had a natural talent for hypnotism. Several times during practice, I’d accidentally hypnotized my costars. I had to actually step out of character somewhat or “tone it down” as my director would say. You see, I developed this way of speaking that I thought was my character that had this ability to put others in a highly suggestive state. That is what my character was doing after all, it just so happened that I did it well too. Now at the same time this was happening at school, I had started going back to church. It was with the most sincere intentions. I hoped that if I found God again, he would lead me out of my state of depravity. He didn’t, of course, and so I tried harder. My mother was happier than I had ever seen her. She was proud of me. It wasn’t long before I was offered the opportunity to preach at our church when our own pastor was out of town. When I preached, things changed. People got up and spoke in tongues, the shouted ‘A-men’ and ‘Halleluiah’, and some even fell out. You know what I mean? Just fell down basically. Soon, people were calling my mother asking if I could “lay hands” on them—that means heal them by laying my hands on their heads or shoulders and channel God through my body. I was taken aback, but I agreed to try it next time I preached. You can imagine that when word got back to our pastor about what was happening when I preached service, he was upset. He did not believe in or agree with anything I was promoting. I was asked to leave the church.
At this time, how were you handling your unusual sexual desires? Were you still fantasizing and masturbating or had you attempted to leave it all behind for your religious endeavors?
At that time, I had stopped masturbating, but I could not control my fantasies. I still found myself fixated on people’s noses, thinking about them at night. I got erections and felt the urge but at that time, I believed that God was directing me to the faith. I had convinced myself that he hadn’t taken my evil thoughts from me because I had not yet found the path he had prepared for me. In school, I was a loner. I had graduated from the homosexual rumors to Jesus-freak rumors and either way, it was fine with me. People from our church began to reach out to me, saying that if I started my own church, they would follow. My mother encouraged me to drop out of school. She truly believed I had found my calling. I started to believe it too. I dropped out of school and my mom bought a large revival tent for me. When I first started, people brought their own chairs but it wasn’t long before the donations purchased chairs, a large van and audio/visual equipment. I declared myself a Reverend and began traveling the county first preaching, then healing. The money kept pouring in. I started getting requests from neighboring counties and soon I was a Bona Fide Revivalist Preacher. It was around this time, when things were going so well, that I realized I was still having abnormal desires and God wasn’t there with me. In fact, I realized that I was using my uncanny ability to hypnotize people. Basically, when I got up there with the microphone, I was putting my audience in that highly suggestable state. If I suggested they were healed, they felt better, if I suggested that the Lord was speaking through someone, that person started speaking in tongues. I was amazed. Everyone in the tent was under my spell. There was no God working there, it was all me.
How did you progress to using this new found trust to live out your fantasies within your congregation? And how often would you do this?
About a couple months into my preaching, a woman and her teenage daughter approached me. The woman was convinced that her daughter was possessed by a demon. The girl was doing all the sort of things normal teenage girls do, but her mother was convinced that she was possessed. I suppose that’s what happens when you put suggestions into people’s heads about demons and their evil-doings. I, of course, didn’t believe a word of it but this girl’s nose was simply perfect. A slight upturn, not too wide. I wanted it, I was completely obsessed with it. I couldn’t concentrate on what her mother was saying. So, I agreed to attempt an exorcism at the next revival. By the next service, several others were lined up for an exorcism as well. Word got around fast, you see? I brought the girl up first and began to speak to her directly, soon she was under my spell and I was in a frenzy. That nose, that exquisitely beautiful nose. As I spoke to her, the urge overcame me and I had my mouth on it before I could stop myself. I was sucking on it and was rock hard. In the back ground I could hear the gasps and murmurs. I forced myself off her and in a moment of genius inspiration, I spit. I spit and I yelled “be gone Demon!” The crowd cheered. No one thought anything of it. The girl had fallen out, so I had my assistants take her to the back, in my personal tent and place her on my bed. I went on with the hardest erection of my life, exorcising demons by sucking them through the nose of the poor victim. The congregation cheered me on. Unknowingly becoming voyeurs in a reality that surpassed any fantasy I could ever have conjured up on my own. So, you ask me how often I did this, I did it every time I “exorcised” demons. It was my way of doing it. They expected it. Like sucking on someone’s nose would pull a demon out like sucking out poison from a snake bite victim. Anyways, by the end of the service, I had so much pent up sexual energy I needed to go out back and masturbate, I had to. But I had forgotten that the girl was back there. When I got to my tent, there she was. I went to her, initially planning to wake her up and send her out, but then I realized, I had her all to myself. I bent over to her and whispered to her demons. I am ashamed to admit that I used my hypnosis to subdue her and when she relaxed back into her suggestive state, I took advantage of her and for the first time in my life, I experienced sexual release. I had no idea it could be that way. In that moment, perhaps I did suck her demons out, but I swallowed them and took them inside my soul. At that moment, I changed. God had no place in my decision at that point, I became a sexual fiend. When I was through with the girl, I wiped her memory clean and walked her out to her anxiously awaiting mother. I told her we had prayed together and the girl had confessed her sins. I told her I believed things would improve and I sent them on their way, having planted the suggestion that things would indeed improve in the mother’s mind, I became so popular with parents troubled by their teenagers’ behaviors that my congregation grew. We were renting stadiums, we were televised, and I was making millions doing what I had tried my whole life to suppress. Life, for me, was pure success. I forgot that what I was doing was abnormal and had convinced myself that it wasn’t wrong.
So what brought you here, Reverend? How did you go from millionaire revivalist to convicted sexual predator?
You see, the thing about money, is that it makes you believe you are invincible. I believed that what I was doing was helping people. I believed that by spreading the word of God, I was helping others to live happier lives and in exchange I was able to satisfy my sexual perversities. Eventually, I was—well, I was sexually assaulting at least one person per day, and on weekends when I had morning and evening revivals, it was two per day. I tried to be cautious, but when a young woman became pregnant, and she had been a virgin planning to enter a convent, well, a simple back tracking followed by a paternity test confirmed that I was the father. The girl’s life was ruined and I was sued. I of course lied, saying it was consensual and paid heartily for the abortion and the girl’s college tuition since she was no longer welcome in the convent. I should have stopped, but again, the money blinds you. It had shown me that money could get you out of everything. I believed I was untouchable. What I did not know was that several girls and I’m ashamed to admit, boys, began having nightmares and flashbacks of their time with me in my tent. The school counselor began to see a pattern in complaints and contacted authorities. Several undercover police officers were planted in the audience, after a few revivals, they caught on to what was going on, a specialist in hypnotism was brought in by the FBI who was now involved and within a weekend, I was arrested and charged with multiple crimes. From there, you know the story. You were doing research for this book, I believe and sent me a letter requesting this interview for your sexual fetish chapter. In exchange, you have agreed to treat me and should I successfully complete treatment, testify on my behalf at my first parole hearing.
As you can see, Rev. Stoddard was chosen for this chapter because he exemplifies many of the ways a subject will deal with their deviant sexual fetishes. I believe his story is an excellent introduction and overview of the patient with a sexual fetish. Now we will go into detail on the proper treatment techniques and the efficacy of current recommended medications for treatment. We will end the chapter with a discussion of my own personal experience with some more unusual and off label treatments that I have found to be most successful and finally an update on the Reverend’s current response to these treatments.