'Looners' Substitute Balloons for Love, Sex and Intimacy


Strange Sex: Balloons, Rubber Duckies and More

One of her patients fell in love with an inflatable duckie he found on the beach as a child. By the time he reached puberty it became sexual. "Some imprinting goes on and hard wiring and it's extra difficult to change it," she said of those with fetishes.

As for Christopher, he demonstrates his erotic love of balloons. "All I want to do is pop it," he says of his favorite orange-colored balloon. "This is going to be epic. As it gets bigger, I get a little anxious and a little nervous, you know, then really excited."

With a loud bang, he exclaims in the TLC episode, "I guess pretty much all balloons deserve to die."

His favorite trick is "necking" the balloon. When it gets to 14 or 15 inches in length, Christopher holds the balloon and stretches out the neck.

As a child he remembers coming home from school and pleasuring himself with a balloon.

"When it finally popped, I found I was most attracted to the balloon itself," he says. "I think it's calming, and it's important in my life."

What Christopher really wants is to share his love of balloons with a woman.

And that, says psychologist Beaton, is exactly the point. Attractions to objects like balloons are often just "coping mechanisms."

"They are using the balloons to fill the need for intimacy," she said. "We try to help them find other ways of getting those intimacy needs met and helping them to realize that they can self-soothe and gradually start to change."

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