I am a terrible coward

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  • valeri_n
    Junior Member
    • Apr 2024
    • 3

    I am a terrible coward

    Hello everyone. I'm new here. I've read many stories from different people about how they came to this fetish, and I won't say that mine will be unique. But my problem is that I just can't fully surrender to it because of my phobia. The contrast is so strong that it makes me feel terrible. Overall, I've always been an anxious person with a lot of phobias, and I've had a fear of balloons since childhood. And suddenly, in my teenage years, I realized that besides the fact that balloons terrify me, they also arouse me terribly.
    I kept this fear inside me for a very long time, not telling anyone about it because I'm not inclined to trust people. One day I told my friend about my phobia, but he found it amusing, so at our next meeting, he suggested to our friends to "joke" about me in one of the most horrifically mocking ways possible. Since then, it seems like my phobia has only grown stronger, but the fetish hasn't gone anywhere. I still enjoy watching some videos with balloons, etc., but it all feels like it's too much on the edge. I feel like I can't cope with this fear alone, and I need help. Even now, I'm terribly ashamed and afraid to write about it here, asking for advice or something else. Perhaps someone has been in a similar situation and can share their experience. And also forgive me for taking up your time.
  • Dust of the Saturn
    Stretched like space-time
    • Feb 2018
    • 327

    #2
    Originally posted by valeri_n
    [...] I realized that besides the fact that balloons terrify me, they also arouse me terribly.
    Even now, I'm terribly ashamed and afraid [...]
    And also forgive me for taking up your time.
    There are 3 emotions that you're going through. You are experiencing Shame, arousal, and fear.

    The best approach here would be a methodological one, going through each emotion one at a time.

    The first step is to get rid of the shame. I don't think anyone will be able to skip through this step and have you overcome your fear before tackling the shame first.

    Quick question, do you feel embarrassed about intercourse in general, or any sexual activity such as masturbation, kissing or sex?

    If you answer yes, then your shame isn't linked to your fetish, but to pleasure. It baffles me how homo sapiens evolved into shaming each other for exploiting their bodies for pleasure. Maybe it was beneficial so we wouldn't be lazy and actually contributed to the species' well-being.

    But I digress.

    Is your shame based around religion or culture? Tell us in here if you need help with that as well.

    meme.jpg

    The big thing about shame is that it is based on selfishness, entitlement, and a superiority complex. Let's make things clear here, you're not special. In fact, you're so irrelevant that if you drop dead right now, an average of 5 people will be grieving (if you live in the united states) . In a couple years, you'll be forgotten. In a couple centuries, your existence is no longer provable.

    Shame only ever starts to show when you're sold the idea that you're somehow special. It could come through religion (you're made in the image of God), or through culture (you'll bring dishonor to your family).

    Long story short, it is up to you to pick and choose whether you want to live your limited life in this universe bound by the physical constants of the universe, or bound by man-made bullshit.

    These ideas clash with each other, so you can't have it both ways.

    Again, if you need further help with shame, feel free to post on here and I will be happy to work through whatever culture or religion you grew up with in order to undo the damages.

    Now onto the phobia.

    First of all, you said that your fear is "extreme". Here's the thing about fear; there are no levels to fear, but only 2 categories. Either rational or irrational. Rational fear can appear to have different intensities based on the level of ignorance, education or pre-assumptions the individual has over the specific entity in question. Irrational fear, on the other hand, is mostly the same accross the board, the only difference being your levels of control over your mind and body.

    Fear is but a concept, an umbrella term for various behaviors joint together. It is only you, who can define your own fears.

    However, what we can do, is instill control, and change behaviors. This can be done in multiple ways. Unfortunately, there are requirements before you could start your own therapy sessions. If you fail to meet the requirements, you will reinforce those behaviors and reactions, in other words, reinforce your fears.

    The requirements are for you to be in control, and for you to be Alone with a capital A. Alone in your physical presence, Alone in your thoughts, and Alone in your worries.

    If you wish to add a partner, then switch the word alone to the word Together.

    The key thing here is that you can't have those sessions if you're worried about neighbors or parents hearing you. This is commonplace in the community. You need to find a place where you can be truly alone. A place where you can shut off your phone and scream into the abyss only for your own echo to answer your screams.

    Once this is achieved, we can move to the next step, which is much less philosophical and much more colorful!

    Take out your balloons. That's when your knees will shake. It's okay. let them shake. If you feel out of breath, that's okay too.

    Now, I can't give you the specific advice since I don't know what exactly you're comfortable with. So I'll just assume that you are comfortable with inflating the balloons to a small size.

    If this is the case, then you'll have to exploit a concept called exposure. All you need for now is to inflate the balloon to a size you're comfortable with, and then use a clip to close the balloon (or tie it if you like), then let it sit next to you.

    Now the big question comes. Which is more challenging? inflating a bigger balloon, or inflating many smaller ones?

    Go through with whatever is easier for you. I'm assuming it would be easier for you to have many inflated balloons to a size that you are comfortable with. So go for it.

    Inflate around 10 or 20 balloons and use a clip to close them. (this is preferable.)

    Then do something else. Play a video game, or try to read or study. After a while your knees will stop shaking and you'll find yourself accustomed to those balloons. Your irrational mind is slowly rationalizing the fact that balloons aren't going to explode at such a small size, and they also won't hurt you.

    Then the next step comes, but by then, It'd be much more effective if we had input from your side.

    I know it's easy for people to tell you to just pop a small one to get accustomed, but I know the feeling of not even being able to inflate a balloon to a small size without feeling exhausted by all the emotions. I've been there. Now I have a fully necked crystal burgundy 17 inch tuftex sitting right beside me as I'm writing this. It all comes down to exposure.

    Hope you find this useful. Report back if you ever find the time and place to pull something this gargantuan off. Also, after every completed step, you HAVE to celebrate. It's better for your mental health as well. Not everything is pain and suffering. Good luck.
    Stretched like space-time

    Comment

    • UKPOPPER
      Senior Member
      • Feb 2023
      • 268

      #3
      What loonerfun00 says makes a lot of sense. Bear in mind that overcoming these emotions is likely to take some time but it is worth following a methodological approach to reap the benefits. If you take a step back, don't consider it a failure but pick yourself up and try again. You're absolutely not alone in having these feelings either. You'll see from my poll on fear and fetish elsewhere on this forum that the vast majority of looners also have or had a phobia of balloons. I have no doubt many of us also find our fetish embarrassing due to it not being 'normal' or familiar to others but bear in mind that playing with balloons is a fun and innocuous activity that you are perfectly within your right to enjoy. You're an adult and are entitled to do whatever the heck you want "in the bedroom" so long as there is consent. To non-looners the balloon is generally just a non-sexual but fun or silly toy. That's fine. They don't care or think about it like you do.

      On the point about rational and irrational fears. To fear explosions and loud noises is perfectly rational. What's stranger is not having a fear of loud noises. Most fears are driven by centuries of evolution - snakes, spiders, other things that might kill or harm you - visual or auditory warning signs of danger. So, we can know that balloons are quite harmless but it's another matter to try and undo our instinct to run from the fear of something exploding and to try and prevent the anxiety and bodily responses that trigger a fight or flight response.

      Try reframing the shame - many people have fetishes (go search up some stats but bear in mind it will be under reported due to shame) and aren't you lucky that yours is linked to an easy to access, affordable and fun object? Isn't it amazing that you can get intense arousal from the simple sight of such a beautiful object? You are unique and lucky to experience something that others might never experience. Indulge in that joy. You deserve it

      The fear of popping balloons has a rational side. The loud bangs can damage your hearing and shards from a popping balloon could injure your skin or eyes. However, this is only likely from btp and sensible precautions will minimise the risk to your health. Just realising the risk is minimal won't undo hard-wired emotions but it is worth reminding yourself and giving yourself a break for feeling afraid. It's a sensible thing to feel when something might explode. Starting small will help to alleviate your symptoms. Take time. Explore your feelings by yourself or with someone you trust. And enjoy being yourself. Don't worry about what other people might think. They don't need to know

      Good luck! We're here for you. 🎈

      ​​​
      Just one more puff...🎈

      Comment

      • OneTrickPony
        Member
        • Feb 2024
        • 72

        #4
        Wow...

        I entered this topic to help you but I left open-eyed, the tips and info in those comments up there are gold.

        Since I can't help you with the fetish side of the post(It's not my working area), I'm available to discuss the phobia if you need a hand to give the first steps or any step of the way.
        ​​​​​Sorry if this sounded intrusive, it's not how I wanted to sound. (I'm not a therapist, but I'm also on the journey of stop being SO afraid of them, and personally, a helping hand is good)
        [ OTP ]
        It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!

        * You obtained x1 BALLOON 🎈 *

        Comment

        • Nopops4me
          Senior Member
          • Jun 2015
          • 540

          #5
          Valeri_n. Not quite sure what sort of friend you thought you had if they mock and joke about you, not a good person at all. I'm glad you've found this forum. As you can see by the as yet few replies, you are among true friends who are here to help you to get to grips with your phobia, which may not truly ever fully disappear but keep it under control for you to enjoy your balloons fully. We are all friends here. I've been helped enormously, to the point my phobia is now just an occasional irritant in the background and my balloon times are pleasurable and I disregard my thought of balloon phobia. Persevere and you'll get there mate.
          ​​​​​

          Comment

          • valeri_n
            Junior Member
            • Apr 2024
            • 3

            #6
            Originally posted by Dust of the Saturn

            There are 3 emotions that you're going through. You are experiencing Shame, arousal, and fear.

            The best approach here would be a methodological one, going through each emotion one at a time.

            The first step is to get rid of the shame. I don't think anyone will be able to skip through this step and have you overcome your fear before tackling the shame first.

            Quick question, do you feel embarrassed about intercourse in general, or any sexual activity such as masturbation, kissing or sex?

            If you answer yes, then your shame isn't linked to your fetish, but to pleasure. It baffles me how homo sapiens evolved into shaming each other for exploiting their bodies for pleasure. Maybe it was beneficial so we wouldn't be lazy and actually contributed to the species' well-being.

            But I digress.

            Is your shame based around religion or culture? Tell us in here if you need help with that as well.

            meme.jpg

            The big thing about shame is that it is based on selfishness, entitlement, and a superiority complex. Let's make things clear here, you're not special. In fact, you're so irrelevant that if you drop dead right now, an average of 5 people will be grieving (if you live in the united states) . In a couple years, you'll be forgotten. In a couple centuries, your existence is no longer provable.

            Shame only ever starts to show when you're sold the idea that you're somehow special. It could come through religion (you're made in the image of God), or through culture (you'll bring dishonor to your family).

            Long story short, it is up to you to pick and choose whether you want to live your limited life in this universe bound by the physical constants of the universe, or bound by man-made bullshit.

            These ideas clash with each other, so you can't have it both ways.

            Again, if you need further help with shame, feel free to post on here and I will be happy to work through whatever culture or religion you grew up with in order to undo the damages.

            Now onto the phobia.

            First of all, you said that your fear is "extreme". Here's the thing about fear; there are no levels to fear, but only 2 categories. Either rational or irrational. Rational fear can appear to have different intensities based on the level of ignorance, education or pre-assumptions the individual has over the specific entity in question. Irrational fear, on the other hand, is mostly the same accross the board, the only difference being your levels of control over your mind and body.

            Fear is but a concept, an umbrella term for various behaviors joint together. It is only you, who can define your own fears.

            However, what we can do, is instill control, and change behaviors. This can be done in multiple ways. Unfortunately, there are requirements before you could start your own therapy sessions. If you fail to meet the requirements, you will reinforce those behaviors and reactions, in other words, reinforce your fears.

            The requirements are for you to be in control, and for you to be Alone with a capital A. Alone in your physical presence, Alone in your thoughts, and Alone in your worries.

            If you wish to add a partner, then switch the word alone to the word Together.

            The key thing here is that you can't have those sessions if you're worried about neighbors or parents hearing you. This is commonplace in the community. You need to find a place where you can be truly alone. A place where you can shut off your phone and scream into the abyss only for your own echo to answer your screams.

            Once this is achieved, we can move to the next step, which is much less philosophical and much more colorful!

            Take out your balloons. That's when your knees will shake. It's okay. let them shake. If you feel out of breath, that's okay too.

            Now, I can't give you the specific advice since I don't know what exactly you're comfortable with. So I'll just assume that you are comfortable with inflating the balloons to a small size.

            If this is the case, then you'll have to exploit a concept called exposure. All you need for now is to inflate the balloon to a size you're comfortable with, and then use a clip to close the balloon (or tie it if you like), then let it sit next to you.

            Now the big question comes. Which is more challenging? inflating a bigger balloon, or inflating many smaller ones?

            Go through with whatever is easier for you. I'm assuming it would be easier for you to have many inflated balloons to a size that you are comfortable with. So go for it.

            Inflate around 10 or 20 balloons and use a clip to close them. (this is preferable.)

            Then do something else. Play a video game, or try to read or study. After a while your knees will stop shaking and you'll find yourself accustomed to those balloons. Your irrational mind is slowly rationalizing the fact that balloons aren't going to explode at such a small size, and they also won't hurt you.

            Then the next step comes, but by then, It'd be much more effective if we had input from your side.

            I know it's easy for people to tell you to just pop a small one to get accustomed, but I know the feeling of not even being able to inflate a balloon to a small size without feeling exhausted by all the emotions. I've been there. Now I have a fully necked crystal burgundy 17 inch tuftex sitting right beside me as I'm writing this. It all comes down to exposure.

            Hope you find this useful. Report back if you ever find the time and place to pull something this gargantuan off. Also, after every completed step, you HAVE to celebrate. It's better for your mental health as well. Not everything is pain and suffering. Good luck.
            Thank you very much for such a detailed and elaborate response, it's very kind. As for shame, I don't think it is related to kissing, sex, and the like, rather the fact that I have a fetish, and even more foolishly, that I am terribly afraid of it, making it shameful. Although perhaps I just don't fully realize myself why, I will need to think about it some more.

            As for the rest, I think there won't be any issues with this requirement since I live alone. I also believe there are details worth mentioning about my phobia. I have no problem inflating a small balloon that is soft enough and doesn't scare me just by its appearance. Finding myself among such balloons is also not a problem because I realize they won't pop on their own. However, doing anything further with them becomes very frightening. I experience the same horror when encountering balloons in a social setting. And I think that's where most of my shame stems from.

            Comment

            • valeri_n
              Junior Member
              • Apr 2024
              • 3

              #7
              Originally posted by OneTrickPony
              Wow...

              I entered this topic to help you but I left open-eyed, the tips and info in those comments up there are gold.

              Since I can't help you with the fetish side of the post(It's not my working area), I'm available to discuss the phobia if you need a hand to give the first steps or any step of the way.
              ​​​​Sorry if this sounded intrusive, it's not how I wanted to sound. (I'm not a therapist, but I'm also on the journey of stop being SO afraid of them, and personally, a helping hand is good)
              Yes, to be honest, when I wrote here, I didn't expect to receive so much support. I was very fearful that I might be laughed at or told that I'm just whining (although maybe I am, for which I apologize). I am glad to have been proven wrong and very grateful to everyone for their support. I would also greatly appreciate any help, discussion, or something similar, as I cannot find the courage within myself to take the first step.

              Comment

              • JustPeachy
                Junior Member
                • Feb 2023
                • 16

                #8
                You are definitely not alone with how you are feeling. Personally, I have been in a very similar place. When I first discovered my fetish in my early teens, it was the most confusing thing ever. I was already super embarrassed and shameful about having a phobia, let alone having a fetish for the same thing. Time has definitely helped on both fronts, and the detirmination to want to do something about both of them.

                For me I managed the phobia first as I could ignore and hide the fetish much easier. If you are able to seek professional help for it then you can, you don't need to even mention the fetish. I had CBT which then kickstarted my own, at home, exposure from there. The main things I learnt (which someone else has also touched on) were, that you can't stay anxious forever and avoidance is like a reward for your brain to keep you afraid. You can start with a balloon that you are mildly uncomfortable with (whatever that means to you) and just keep it somewhere in your house. Eventually, your anxiety about it will reduce as your brain realises it's not a threat. Then once you are comfortable you take the next step that makes you more uncomfortable and repeat. Some steps will feel harder than others and sometimes you need to go back a step, but it does get easier. The more comfortable you get with balloons by yourself will make encountering them in public a bit easier too.

                As for the shame around the fetish. Depending on your own level of sexual education when you were younger, I think some level of shame is normal to feel when you are figuring it all out. It's different, and not talked about so harder to accept as socially normal. This forum is super helpful at breaking down that shame. There are loads of good posts about it. Also, you could try learning more about fetishes as a whole, that was something that helped me too. My main advice here is to keep finding ways to enjoy it. Watch your videos, explore with the small balloons you are comfortable with. If you find yourself feeling shameful or critical about it afterwards, try to throw in some thoughts about how good it made you feel (you deserve to feel pleasure in life) and how it didn't cause any harm to anyone else.

                These are the things that have helped me, it might be slightly different for you, so just take away from this what helps. It might take time but I hope you find the balance you are looking for 😊

                Comment

                • Dust of the Saturn
                  Stretched like space-time
                  • Feb 2018
                  • 327

                  #9
                  Originally posted by valeri_n

                  Thank you very much for such a detailed and elaborate response, it's very kind. As for shame, I don't think it is related to kissing, sex, and the like, rather the fact that I have a fetish, and even more foolishly, that I am terribly afraid of it, making it shameful.

                  I experience the same horror when encountering balloons in a social setting. And I think that's where most of my shame stems from.
                  This sounds more like embarrassment rather than shame.

                  According to Babcock, M.K. and Sabini, J. (1990), On differentiating embarrassment from shame. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 20: 151-169. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2420200206, Here is the difference between embarrassment and shame

                  Originally posted by Babcock
                  Embarrassment results from violating one's particular persona; shame results from violating a shared, objective ideal.
                  There is a huge difference between the two. If you feel like you're inferior to other people, or feel a lack of confidence in yourself as a result of being afraid of balloons, then your feelings are more likely to be feelings of embarrassment.

                  If you feel like you're actively doing something wrong, and that you should stop or else some form of consequences are going to magically smite you down, then you're feeling shame.

                  Either way, being afraid of balloons is definitely something to be rightfully embarrassed about. There is no sugar coating it. However, that doesn't mean that you should take on that path.

                  It is also kind of expected to feel disgusted at watching other people having sex, am I correct? Then how and why are people actively doing it in their bedroom through their screens? What we collectively agree upon is but a common path to be taken by the ignorant, not the wise.

                  A new born will eventually come across balloons for the first time. Society tells the newborn not to be afraid of balloons. This is the shared path I'm talking about. In the face of the unknown, you open the books of far gone lives whose experiences we value. We learn from other people.

                  You, on the other hand, like many in this forum, are no longer ignorant of balloons. Your experiences with balloons have been nothing but traumatizing. Unfortunately, the paved path isn't one you'll ever walk. Your mind have paved its own path. A path of fear and excitement. A flooded path, where careless wanderers drown in a sea of overflowing emotions.

                  -----------

                  Alright, back to topic.

                  You have a place for yourself. Good. Any neighbors? Any kind of worry that might arise if balloons were to be popped?

                  I'll assume the answer to this question is a big fat NO. Otherwise, you should seek a different locale for your sessions. A car will be handy.

                  Step one is to get high quality balloons, the ones form the supermarket are way too unpredictable and will render your sessions into a horror movie. Skip those.

                  The budget shouldn't be that high. 30 bucks will get you quite far, especially if you're afraid to pop them.

                  Tuftex crystal burgundy is one of the strongest balloons I've ever had the luxury to play with. Since this is strictly a therapy session, we just need the basics. Order a couple of tuftex crystal burgundy, and maybe some in standard yellow and red. You could also get some other colors but the main ones should be the ones I mentioned.

                  Also, get yourself some belbal 14 inch balloons for necking purposes. And that's it. You don't need more than 50 balloons total. the average price is somewhere around 0.5$/loon which brings the total to around 25$, with some room for shipping costs.

                  If you've never had balloons these sizes, you'll have to play with some of them and get yourself comfortable. You need some experience here. Get it. Play around, blow them up. Test their firmness, see how far you're willing to push them. After you've played around for long enough and explored your own limits regarding these balloons, it is now time to use the whole speedometer. You bought 17 inch balloons, you're gonna get them to 17 inches.

                  Here is a nice tip, search for videos of people specifically inflating these balloons of the same brand and the same colors all the way until they explode (I'm assuming you're not afraid of watching that). Watch carefully and notice if the balloon has been prestretched. If the balloon was prestretched, skip the video.

                  There are some on youtube and instagram and even some vids produced by our fellow members here in the forum. These videos are gold. Save them, you're going to need them.

                  Get comfortable with how big the balloon gets before exploding. The easiest thing to do is look at the neck. Also, notice if the person in the video stretches the neck or not, and notice at what point does the neck stay stretched, instead of retracting back inside the body.

                  After watching these videos, take the same exact balloon and start blowing. You will reach the familiar point of doom. The point of uncharted waters. You're not use to feel such a resistance from a balloon before. You're not used to strong balloons. That's completely fine. The way I overcame this feeling was by blowing them right to a size where I thought they were very big and about to burst, then I clipped them shut and left them sitting around. Then, you can try sexually stimulating yourself. Or alcohol, or illegal substances if you have access to them. <--- this is a joke.

                  Avoid any substances for now. If you feel aroused, bring yourself to a place where you're pretty much relaxed and on edge, but never orgasm. This is optional, but if you're going to go with it, do NOT orgasm under any circumstances. Now the problem is that I'm a man, so I can't really know what goes on in your body assuming you're female. When I orgasm, I usually have moments of complete insanity where I lose my fetish and start to get really afraid, everything goes into overdrive, for like 10 seconds. Probably a glitch or something, hopefully fixed in later updates.

                  If you go through the same bullshit after you orgasm, then don't orgasm. Stay focused on your task and try to keep adding more air inside the balloon.
                  Get yourself some earplugs from the dollar store. The foam ones. Any will do. Don't worry, you won't be popping any balloons, and it's just for safety and fake courage.

                  As for ear protection, here's a nice summary of the whole industry so you don't waste your time:

                  - foam earplugs are the best
                  - foam earplugs are cheapest
                  - ear defenders are WORSE then foam earplugs
                  - combining both gives diminishing returns
                  - a balloon pop is high pitched, which means the foam earplugs will work extra well.
                  - low frequency sounds have stronger travel. High frequency sounds are weak.
                  - balloon popping is high frequency

                  That's basically everything you need to know about noise reduction. Also, there is a rating on foam earplugs. Don't even bother reading the ratings, all lies. The only companies who use trusted numbers are well known for industrial stuff. Foam earplugs are almost all identical, stick with the ones with good reviews.

                  Back to balloons. At this point, just freestyle. You can come up with your own steps and stuff. I don't really like telling you exactly what to do. Experiment.

                  Here is a list of tips that I gathered throughout my years trying to pop balloons like another fellow coward:

                  - wearing sunglasses can trick you into feeling safer from shrapnel
                  - wearing thick hoodie and long pants will give the same effect of safety
                  - earplugs wore for a while will make you accustomed to the new environment and you won't hear the squeaks or how rough you are with balloons.
                  - popping balloons under the blanket of the bed will almost completely change how the pop sounds. From a BAaaaNG to a light "poom" With earplugs, you won't hear a thing
                  - Don't prestretch balloons. Fresh balloons on first inflation are the strongest.
                  - Avoid leaving balloons next to open windows. Don't ventilate them, they'll oxidise.
                  - A tip, if you're planning on opening some windows, put the balloons under the blanket of your bed, and make sure to cover them and wrap entirely, they won't oxidise.
                  - if you plan on sitting on a balloon, put it on your bed, the bed will deform alongside the balloon and keep the balloon actually round and spherical. Doing it against a hard surface will deform the balloon only from one side (the side of your ass), placing an unbalanced amount of pressure on 1 side of the balloon, leading to bursts,
                  - stomp to pops, blow to pops, and sit to pops are loudest.
                  - pin pops are sharper sounding but lower in volume.
                  - if you plan on necking balloons, most balloons are "neck it or lose it", meaning if you don't neck the balloon, then the body will weaken so much so that the neck won't form. If you force the neck, the body will succumb to the pressure and pop.
                  - Crystal balloons always appear to be weaker. They're often stronger than their standard counterpart.
                  - Set goals and remember that your first step is to overinflate a balloon, not to pop it.
                  - you don't really need to blow to pop or deliberately pop balloons. I play with my balloons in a non-popping fashion, and if they pop, so be it. I am less afraid of it now, which is the goal. I can be rougher with my balloons and can better know their limits now.
                  - not all weakspots are weakspots. Transparent circles are often nothing to worry about. It is the "seams" that are what you should be worried about. If you see transparent seams in a straight line where the body and neck meet, then your balloon is a little bit weaker than average. You can get away with a rated size inflation, but don't push it.
                  - weakspots often come in batches, if you see something weird on multiple balloons, that doesn't mean that this is "normal" sometimes, multiple batches have identical quirks.
                  - for storage, keep them in dark container that is in a dry environment. Use silica packets if you live in florida or under the sea. They'll absorb the moisture.
                  - If you plan on reusing balloons, then please, be careful. Avoid more than 3 full inflations and always smell balloons for oxidation first. Unless you're comfortable with popping, the risk isn't worth it. Remember, balloons are less than a dollar each. But don't throw it away either! The day will come where you will pop them.
                  - speaking of which, use "used" balloons for popping practice, and use fresh balloons for necking practice.
                  - do not be afraid of reaching out in this forum for anything. Anything related to your fears, advice, pleasure, literally anything. Don't be shy. We've all masturbated and we've all looked silly with giant balloons in our mouths.





                  ............... And finally, and most importantly, Have fun.
                  Last edited by Dust of the Saturn; 27-04-2024, 09:05.
                  Stretched like space-time

                  Comment

                  • Scooter
                    Senior Member
                    • May 2022
                    • 264

                    #10
                    I won't give as detailed a response, but here's my two cents as a fellow phobic.

                    The contrast is so strong that it makes me feel terrible.
                    Yeah, the contrast is pretty odd, huh? There's no reason to feel terrible for it though. You aren't a "worse" person for being afraid of balloons or being aroused by them. It's also not contradictory. I really like roller coasters. But I like them because they give me some level of thrill. If I weren't scared of them at all they wouldn't be fun, and I'm sure that's the case for most people who like coasters. Think of balloons the same way.

                    Overall, I've always been an anxious person
                    Ditto.

                    Since then, it seems like my phobia has only grown stronger,
                    Of course it would. Someone you trusted betrayed that trust. That was a cruel action by them and your supposed "friends." Don't try to downplay it by saying "Oh, my fear is silly anyway, I see why they made fun of it." The fear doesn't matter. I'm very sorry this happened to you. I'm not going to say "They seem like bad friends", because it's possible they misjudged exactly how strong the fear is and thought it was still in the "Okay to joke about zone", but if you did make it clear how much balloons distress you and they still did it, that's really shitty. At the very least they owe you an apology.

                    I still enjoy watching some videos with balloons, etc., but it all feels like it's too much on the edge.
                    Quick question - Have you actually gone and played with balloons by yourself before, or have you only watched videos? Were you comfortable playing with balloons by yourself and this event made you unable to do so, so you stick to videos?

                    Even now, I'm terribly ashamed and afraid to write about it here,
                    But I'm glad you did. And I hope this thread makes you feel better about yourself as well.

                    So, um, here's my advice. First thing is actually to think about what it is about balloons exactly you like. Think about what you want to be able to do with balloons that the fear is holding you back from. That's what you're building towards.

                    With that goal in mind, you actually will need to buy some balloons if you don't have some already. This forum has links to sites where you can buy reputable brands. Try to get some bigger than usual. 16-18 inches is a good safe zone. Once you have them, just open them up. Smell them. Lay them out in front of you. For me, even this got my heart rate up, but it shouldn't be scary because nothing's inflated yet. You can just bask in the feeling of having balloons for yourself.

                    Now it's time to actually blow one up. Do anything that makes you more comfortable with this. Put on something comfy, maybe play music, or wear ear protection if that's what you need. Once you're ready (and only then), pick one up and start blowing. Put 1-2 breaths in. Hold it out in front of you, and feel it. Still very soft, right? It's not going to pop. You have control, and you know you aren't going to pop it. Slowly keep adding breaths until you're too scared to go further. It may be way underinflated, it may not be that big, but that's perfectly alright. I could only get a couple breaths into a balloon at first too. Clip it and hold it. Feel the firmness or softness. Again, this balloon is yours and you have control over it. It will not pop unless you want it to. You have to have faith in that. You can gently cuddle with it or you can leave it in the room and go about your day, whatever you want as long as you don't immediately put it away.

                    Over time, you will get used to the feeling of blowing one up, gaining confidence over that it isn't going to pop. Your "limit" will keep getting higher and higher. Eventually, your balloons will actually be of rated size or maybe you'll be gutsy and start blowing them past rated. Maybe you'll want to pop one, in which case the advice above can help (I'd personally recommend getting used to seeing/hearing popping through videos first to get more used to sudden, loud noises in general.) The key is really to experience balloons for yourself away from the environment of "balloon = pop". Which, speaking of...

                    You may be tempted at some point to try to face your fears in public, such as going to a party with them. DON'T DO THIS. While there's every chance there may not be any popping, there's just as much chance there will be at least one that will pop within hearing distance of you, and you cannot control that. You've already mentioned being an anxious person with trust issues. Really, the only public experience you'll need is being able to pass some that are tied to a shop sign or maybe a vendor handing them out. But you don't need to seek them out. If a situation arises, take a deep breath and try to handle it the best you can. Don't use it to grow more, but show how much you've grown already.

                    That's about all the advice I have. You've read stories from other people on this board, so you KNOW how many people here were once in a similar boat to you. Do what makes you happy, even if you're scared to.
                    Last edited by Scooter; 27-04-2024, 14:20.

                    Comment

                    • Nopops4me
                      Senior Member
                      • Jun 2015
                      • 540

                      #11
                      There's been getting on for about a dozen replies to your original post about your phobia and fetish. All have been encouraging and helpful. We are all friends here. I've found Sempertex 12" balloons are good quality and strong. There are other makes just as good. I've learnt that good quality balloons are tougher than we think and will take quite a lot play/action than one realises when first starting to overcome a balloon phobia. Do try and start to trust them more than having the mindset that the slightest touch of a balloon and it's going to burst, that's not the case.
                      Ask here anything that you're still not sure about and there will be someone here who will be able to answer your question.
                      Onwards an upwards.

                      Comment

                      • srob2
                        Senior Member
                        • Dec 2017
                        • 371

                        #12
                        You shouldn't be ashamed or worried about people's time for posting here - this is exactly the sort of post this forum was made for.

                        The fetish side is only worth exploring if it brings you pleasure. If you can't enjoy it, don't worry about it.

                        I wouldn't worry about hearing or eye protection yet. You really only need this for intentional b2ps. For some people, it makes them less scared. For me, it makes me more scared.

                        You said you have no problem inflating a small balloon that is soft enough and doesn't scare you. Can you pin pop it? It won't make much noise, and if you are scared, you can even blow it up less.

                        What I like to do, both for dealing with fear and for fun, is to buy a bag of 144 12 inch unique balloons. Here are my rules:
                        1) If you tie a balloon, you eventually have to pop it. Not always right away or before blowing the next one, and it can be as easy as with a pin if you are too scared to do it any other way.
                        2) Every balloon you blow up must be at least as big as the previous one, and ideally a little bigger.

                        For me, this usually ends in b2ps but it is great for easing my way back into popping if I am really scared. I can set up 10 underinflated balloons, and popping the first one is easy and then the rest are easy and then normally sized balloons are easy. At that point, I am usually just excited and want to see something go Bang!

                        Comment

                        • blnppr
                          Member
                          • Jan 2016
                          • 67

                          #13
                          You're not a coward. You enjoy balloons. You don't need to pop them. Just make yourself happy. Nobody cares if you are afraid to pop them. It's nobody's business. Just enjoy the.
                          I was once terrified to pop them. Just enjoy yourself!

                          Comment

                          • Kitten
                            Senior Member
                            • Jul 2023
                            • 245

                            #14
                            I was absolutely terrified of balloon pops. Now I intentionally blow them so big they burst. The fear never goes, but it becomes managible, and more importantly, more fun. Its the fear that keeps it interesting I think. I continue to push myself into scarier situations and love the thrill. It wasn't always like that though.

                            Comment

                            • UKPOPPER
                              Senior Member
                              • Feb 2023
                              • 268

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Kitten
                              I was absolutely terrified of balloon pops. Now I intentionally blow them so big they burst. The fear never goes, but it becomes managible, and more importantly, more fun. Its the fear that keeps it interesting I think. I continue to push myself into scarier situations and love the thrill. It wasn't always like that though.
                              I agree. It's taken me years of experimentation to enjoy popping balloons and the fear hasn't left entirely, which is good because otherwise it wouldn't be so exciting. I think it is mood dependent too - sometimes I jump straight in but other times I am a bit more hesitant.
                              Just one more puff...🎈

                              Comment

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