Sigmund Freud was one of the first to observe this mechanism. Freud considered this defense mechanism the most productive compared to the others that he identified: repression, displacement, denial, reaction formation, intellectualization and projection. In traditional psychoanalytical thinking, all human culture is considered a result of such sublimation.
Ernst Schertel, in the 1930s, observed this phenomenon in particular in sadomasochists and flagellation fetishists, coming to the conclusion that "every fetishist is a (potential) artist" and "every fetishist is a (potential) poet".
In the days of Freud and Schertel, society and technology did not permit most people to share their fetishist amateur/hobbyist works. These works (writing and images) were made typically for personal enjoyment only, were kept hidden in secrecy, and their creators often would rather destroy them themselves than bearing the thought of other - possibly the wrong - people setting their eyes on them. Only in rare cases collections of such works came to the eyes of a selected, typically medical or scientific, audience, and were thus preserved for posteriority, e.g. the works of Helga Bode or Richard Hegemann. Publishing erotic fetishist work was only possible in a few places, such as France from c. 1900 to c. 1935, and only to selected artists and writers who could deliver work that the publishers deemed good enough for print publications.
Today, in the days of the Internet which makes anonymous and pseudonymous sharing of feelings, fantasies, real-life experiences, fiction and images very easy, it becomes clear that there really seems to be something to Schertel's observations. Fetishists of all ages and countries, from teenagers up to old age, channel parts of their erotic, "kinky" energy into creative work, which can then serve as a form of fetishist erotica, to the enjoyment and to the inspiration of other fans.
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