The sexual attraction of balloons, the desire to become aroused by the inflation, deflation, of balloons.
A fetish, in which some will derive sexual gratification from the use of balloons. This can involve the art of blowing them up, inflating them.
It can involve the smell of the various materials that make up different balloons, their shape as well.
In addition it can be the effect of them exploding, deflating, through outside pressures.
It is credited with being formalized into a group, or community during the late 1970's (about 1976) when a newsgroup was formed, that allowed for communication among those attracted to balloons.
The advent of the Internet in the 90's allowed for a wider reach than the newsgroups or ads in adult magazine, and has seen the awareness of the fetish more noted.
There is no 'official' explanation for this fetish, or of what triggers it.
Conjecture is that it occurs during infancy, and that it lasts beyond those formative years, into adult life as well.
Balloon Fetish (globophilia) is closely related to several other fetishes involving objects, such as shoe fetishism, breast fetish, rubber and latex fetishes.
While this fetish can effect both males and females, it is believed that the vast majority of Balloon Fetishists are male, not necessarily homosexual. In fact many claim it is predominately a heterosexually dominated fetish.
There is NO clear definition of how this fetish occurs, and there are competing theories as to how one develops such a fetish.
Fear is one, in which at infancy one is subjected to a fear of balloons that is also joined by an intense happy period with them, leading to a sexual interpretation, associated with balloons.
Many parents and actual Looners claim that at an early age, the use of balloons for masturbation purposes, or the feel of balloons on their skin, created an arousal, and thus associate balloons with those first intimate reactions. Also the use of two balloons, drawing an obvious reference to the female breast of a nursing / nurturing mother is also part of this theory.
There is also the concept or theory that it is a form of partner substitute, where the more larger balloons are given almost human like qualities, due to their smell, feel, and random actions when touched or hugged.
History (Legend): With the emergence of the Internet, and the AOL Chat Rooms, many credit the visibility of Looner Communities to the ability to communicate with other Looners, who were mostly unknown at the time. It isn't claimed that there are growing numbers, simply that the Internet has helped increase the awareness of Looners and their attraction to Balloons.
There are various stages of balloon worship, or fascination that leads to sexual stimulation and/or gratification.
Most of those who practice this form of fetish, call themselves 'looners'.
However, the basic balloon fetish can be boiled down to two distinct groups, the Popper and the Non Popper.
A 'Popper' is into the stimulation provided by the actual bursting of the balloon, and many have very specific methods of popping that are the trigger, or cause of the stimulation.
In addition, it is the unknown aspect of popping that adds to the stimulation, irrespective of the method of popping.
Some of the more common methods involve pins, cigarettes, or simply inflating them beyond their capacity to retain their form, bursting.
The actual popping can become a climax, a release of the pent up emotions after sexual ejaculation, or as a preliminary jump start to the action, or anything in between.
In some instances, it is the actual sound of the popping that provides the stimulus and/or gratification.
Some who are into the 'popping' claim that the bursting sound, is like a final cherry on the climax they achieved in their sexual relation.
The 'Non Popper' on the other hand is deeply offended by the blatant desire to 'pop' the balloon. They are more concerned with the aesthetics the balloon creates, and take care in their playing, to insure that damage to the object does not happen.
'Non Poppers' enjoy play with the balloons, in a sort of interactive manner. This usually takes the form of riding the object, or using it to caress their genitals, or to view another enjoying a balloon in this fashion.
In many cases, the balloon is given human like qualities, and treated accordingly. To a Non Popper, the burst of a balloon can have a serious 'downer' mood created, and many take great care in insuring their precious partner isn't subjected to unexpected bursting.
There appears to be a definite association with the balloon, in an emotional sense. Many 'non poppers' are proud of how long some of their 'balloons' have been satisfying their needs.
This transference of human qualities is noted in other fetishes, such as in Plushies or Furries.
Practice (Associated Acts): The looner can have different primary focus with a balloon, based on the four stages of a balloon's life cycle.
There is the initial phase, the inflation.
This is where the focus on watching 'the birth' of the object, whether by themselves, or by a partner. It is this 'birth' that can create the stimulus required by the 'looner'.
Attachment to the particular 'balloon' can also occur at this stage.
The Admiration stage or cycle, is where one is stimulated through the visual aspect of the balloon. From its shape, to its smell, it is that which arouses the 'looner'.
This cycle does not involve more than simple arousal from the object itself, not from touching or inflation, or deflation.
Color and sheen are important aspects as well, in this cycle, and Looners can be very particular in their choices. This can be from having just the right pressure within, to form a certain shape, to the actual hue of a color.
Interactive Cycle is where a Looner will become aroused by actually 'playing' with their balloon, in various forms.
This can be from actually 'riding the balloon' to humping it, to bouncing it. It can be interactive method, which is the central requirement for a 'looner's' stimulation.
The final cycle is the 'deflation' which is where the balloon is burst, or no longer able to hold its shape. This is generally done on purpose, whether through over inflation, at the beginning, or through using other devices to cause it to explode, burst.
Rough play can also be a form of deflation, where the purpose is to both come into contact with the balloon in an interactive means, but the ultimate goal is to cause the balloon to fail, to burst.
(** many Non Poppers object strongly to this 'misuse' of balloons, hence the somewhat strained relations between the two camps of this fetish)
How a balloon is burst, is as important to a 'popper' as is the make up of the balloon itself. For some it is simply the use of a pin, for others, it is the over inflation, and everything in between.
While the primary focus is the thrill from the unexpected burst, the method to achieve it, is also a part of the whole experience.
There is also the pleasure many get from laying on a balloon, while it is being inflated, to the point where they actually may be lifted off the ground, or be given the sensation of floating.
This Levitation Aspect is part of the 'Interactive Cycle'
Other related antics, include the rubbing of the balloons over the nipples, over other sensitive body parts, to help in the arousal stage, for a Looner.
Noteworthy: It should be noted, that many who are 'looners' do not actively seek publicity or discuss their 'fetish' in open' surroundings, due to a sense of fear, of being ridiculed for such a turn on.
While many 'balloon fetish' sites exist, under the 'adult designation for sites' they are in fact nothing more than sites showing people with balloons. Many of these sites have no nudity or other criteria that would make one assume there is any sexual connotation.
Looners are very closed, in a sense, of their fetish, though many will share their fantasy with an understanding spouse. The arousal state or stimulation can simply be as a form of foreplay for many, who enjoy otherwise normal sexual interaction with their partners.
In addition, there are specific 'turn ons' in this fetish. That meaning that only certain types, brands, of balloons are triggers. In addition the shape and texture or material used to construct the balloon are other factors, carefully detailed before a 'looner' will be aroused, or satisfied.
How one uses a balloon also has some bearing on which cycle is the main focus for a looner, which also has its own peculiarities. Those seeking the thrill of the unexpected burst are not going to use a durable balloon material for its focus.