Wear you bin? A brief look at trash bag fetishism

Sex and bin liners (plastic trash bags for my North American readers) are probably two things that rarely occur in the same sentence let alone an individual’s sexual behaviour. However, I was surprised to find that fetishistic behaviour concerning trashcans and bin liners is more common than I ever thought. I’ll start with a true story from here in the UK.

Back in February 1993, Karl Watkins, a man who was 20 years old at the time, appeared at Hereford Crown Court charged with five counts of outraging public decency. The first set of charges related to making love to pavements. Although his defence claimed a case of mistaken identity, Watkins was found many times by by-passers face down on the pavement with his underpants and trousers around his ankles, thrusting up and down into the ground. He was sentenced to go to prison and served 18 months. However, in April 1995, Watkins was back in court this time charged with simulating sex with black plastic bin bags in front of adolescent girls. In court he revealed a nine-year fetish with the plastic sacks in which he stated that he loved the “feel and touch of the bin liners”. The court heard how he went out nights and spent his time in rubbish piles. He was also found having simulated sex inside wheelie bins, and the back of dustbin lorries. He admitted that his “ultimate sexual fantasy” was to be in a dustbin lorry as the bin bags were being crushed. Once again he was convicted of outraging public decency, but was put on probation for three years and ordered by the judge to seek psychiatric help for his sexual proclivities.

Obviously, this is an extreme case and is someone that was caught engaging in his preferred sexual behaviour. However, this may be just the tip of the iceberg. To further highlight what I am talking about, here are a few self-confessions that I have found online (from people who have presumably never been caught in public having sex with a bin bag:

  • Extract 1: “I am a 22-year old male from the UK and I was wondering if it is normal to have a fetish for bin bags or what you Americans call ‘Hefty Bags’? I have had this fetish since I was a little boy and have often wondered if this is normal?”
  • Extract 2: For some reason I have always liked the look of black trash bags, of course not ones that actually have trash in them (trash is disgusting). I have always liked how the bags themselves are shiny, soft and I love the sound of the plastic. Is this normal?”
  • Extract 3:I’m a 24-year old guy. I just wondered is my fetish OK. I love the feel of plastic it feels so nice (plastic sheets + wearing plastic bin bags etc) and I like to see girls wearing bin bags as well. Also I like girls having paint poured over them too whether it ruins their clothes or not, and one girl I know says she will get wrapped in a plastic sheet and have paint poured over her. Am I a freak?”
  • Extract 4: “I have a sexual fetish that seems quite unique (I would be pleased if anyone else told me otherwise). I like to put my penis through a bin bag and thrust until I climax. I have no idea where this came from or how it developed. I think it may be the mystery of what my penis is rubbing against (Oh! What’s that broken glass or some ash?)…I have a healthy relationship with my girlfriend who has no idea (an ex girlfriend caught me once but I pretended I was sleepwalking). Sometimes I don’t wash my penis after bin bag sex and then enjoy the thought of my dirty penis entering my girlfriend during sex. I even think of bin bags while having sex with her (she is very pretty). What’s wrong with me?”
  • Extract 5: “I’m a single straight twenty-something-year old guy who loves wearing clean unused plastic garbage/trash/bin bags as shirts in private. I’m even wearing one right now as I write this. I wear them because I like the feel of them on my skin. They’re more comfortable to wear than others think. I also think they turn me on if worn by the opposite gender. I’m totally serious about all of this”.

When I first started looking into this sexual practice, I thought confessions like the ones above would be a rarity, but I was surprised to find quite a number of online sites and discussion forums dedicating to the practice of ‘trashbagging’. For instance, one site that appears to get a lot of traffic is the Trash Can Stories site. There is a helpful FAQ page that includes some operational definitions of their practices including ‘trashbagging’,  ‘bagging’ and ‘trash fetish’:

  • Trashbagging: “This is where people love to enclose themselves; be enclosed or enclose someone else in plastic garbage bags (or several), they love the feel of the smooth, slippery plastic. Sometimes involving breath-play, others more into messy situations with food or garbage thrown in with them. The fantasy may also involve being placed in a trashcan; garbage-bin or dumpster, to await their fate at the hands of the garbage truck”
  • Bagging: “Enclosing either yourself (solo) or being enclosed inside one or more plastic garbage or trash bags. Possibly bound, gagged or made immobile, or just left inside naked and left as trash. This may also involve breathplay, or the moving of the bagged person to another loacation of even to a dumpster for disposal as trash”
  • Trash Fetish: “The appeal of being enclosed inside a trashbag or several, dumped with rubbish or have rubbish dumped in with them, and/or just left sometimes just inside the bags themselves or disposed of inside a dumpster”

Sites such as the Choc Mess website also have pages devoted to “Plastic Trashbag Play” that seem to be closely related to trashbagging. They define ‘trashbag play’ as:

“Using the polyethylene bags you find in a grocery store for fetish clothing and for bondage purposes. Folks with plastic fetishes, folks who love encasement play, and folks who just like to see shiny material on a body get into this a lot. You can find plenty of people wearing trash bags by searching Flickr and DeviantArt websites!”

As fetish outfit material, Choc Mess assert that trashbags are “glossy and thin, clinging to curves and sensual on the skin”. For encasement play, the trashbags “provide a wonderful sense of confinement, one that has a certain feel of permanence to it even when it really won’t be”. They also make the point that trash bags have the advantage of being cheap and disposable, and that little is lost if one is cut or torn.

The descriptions of trashbagging suggest overlaps with other fetishistic and/or paraphilic behaviour such as salirophilia (in which individuals experience sexual arousal from soiling or disheveling the object of their desire). Another obvious overlap is with hypoxyphilia (in which individuals experience sexual pleasure from having their oxygen supply restricted which heightens their sexual arousal). Both the high profile autoerotic asphyxiation deaths in the UK of journalist and Tory politician Stephen Milligan (in 1994), and television presenter Kristian Digby (in 2010) involved plastic bin liners being found over their heads at the scene of death. Whether trash bag fetishism ever becomes the topic of serious scientific investigation remains to be seen. There are certainly no academic studies on the topic that I am aware of.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Choc Mess (2012). Trashbag Play FAQ. Located at: http://chocmess.com/trashbag/trashfaq.htm

Daily Mail (2010). Millionaire BBC TV presenter Kristian Digby suffocated to death accidentally ‘when sex game went wrong’. December 29. Located at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1327843/BBC-TV-presenter-Kristian-Digby-died-accidentally-sex-game.html

Montgomery, R. (undated). True weird sex stories. Located at: http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/download/weirdsex.htm

Trash Can Stories (2012). FAQ papge. Located at: http://www.trashcanstories.net/trashcanstories_faq.html

About drmarkgriffiths

Professor MARK GRIFFITHS, BSc, PhD, CPsychol, PGDipHE, FBPsS, FRSA, AcSS. Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He is internationally known for his work into gambling and gaming addictions and has won many awards including the American 1994 John Rosecrance Research Prize for “outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of gambling research”, the 1998 European CELEJ Prize for best paper on gambling, the 2003 Canadian International Excellence Award for “outstanding contributions to the prevention of problem gambling and the practice of responsible gambling” and a North American 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions To The Field Of Youth Gambling “in recognition of his dedication, leadership, and pioneering contributions to the field of youth gambling”. His most recent award is the 2013 Lifetime Research Award from the US National Council on Problem Gambling. He has published over 600 research papers, four books, over 130 book chapters, and over 1000 other articles. He has served on numerous national and international committees (e.g. BPS Council, BPS Social Psychology Section, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling etc.) and is a former National Chair of Gamcare. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2000 radio and television programmes since 1988. In 2004 he was awarded the Joseph Lister Prize for Social Sciences by the British Association for the Advancement of Science for being one of the UK’s “outstanding scientific communicators”. His awards also include the 2006 Excellence in the Teaching of Psychology Award by the British Psychological Society and the British Psychological Society Fellowship Award for “exceptional contributions to psychology”.

Posted on November 23, 2012, in Case Studies, Compulsion, Crime, Mania, Obsession, Paraphilia, Psychiatry, Psychology, Sex, Sex addiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love wearing trash bags and i love wearing baby diapers to in size six in luvs im wearing a trash bag now im also wear girl clothes so i call my self samantha i would love to ha e som budy how also loves wearing trasb bags to text me i would love that alot

  2. I definitely have a trash fetish or trash paraphilia, whichever word is deemed most appropriate. I love newspapers, spreading them out all over me, or stuffing them into a trash bag that I wear as a leotard until that bag is good and packed. Then I will RP as a bag of trash. I also love sleeping with/humping a slick trash bag full of (clean) plastic waste, supermarket food trays and the like. I have also been in office dumpsters just to be among the bags of trash there. I am not into really rancid garbage (food waste), but I love the ‘dry’ stuff: papers, cans, even glass (though I’m always careful around that). Not fond of recycling, bags full of lots of recyclable materials but treated as regular rubbish to be taken to landfill turn me on the most.

    • Yep I have been wearing thin ,glossy bags every way u can since I was about ten. I even sometimes blow up a bunch of them and tie them all together,lube myself up and thrust away at the pile….its the best orgasm I’ve ever had

  3. Wearing XL clear plastic bin bags pinned on like a diaper and wearing them under my jeans. Love the crinkling sound as I go about my day. really gets me turned on.

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