>Is that why Japanese have so many strange and (normally considered) appalling fetishes too?
As someone who has many of those fetishes, I think a lot its part of what you said, but also East Asian culture places great emphasis on human idealization.
People are plenty fine going above and beyond reality, at not considering the humanity of what they are fantasizing, as their society compartmentalizes every pleasure and desire and peddles it without remorse. The way I see it, it is more efficient, and you get the best of every one thing, but its much harder to find something which is great and wholesome. From idols, to doujin, to the worker's standards, to the various niche subcultures that seem to spring out of the ether, I think it is just an East Asian thing.
This reminds me, I am looking forward to a new erotic VN by May-Be Soft, in which you can possess girls or partially control them in a comedic fashion. This is pretty much the idealization of my sexual desires, and I crave it to the point where I would buy it if it was not a hassle. This game is the first that the company has released in 3 years, has all the bells and whistles (good graphics, music by IOSYS, etc.) , and it follows a relatively similar theme of their previous games. Its going to be mediocre in every other aspect, but that is unimportant. This small company, by appealing to a small niche (I assume so) and making a quality product every few years, supports itself. Even online, can you imagine many Western companies even trying to pull this off as a full time business model, yet alone succeeding with it?