Sunday, August 2, 2020

Shoes:Fantasy and fetish

(Queen Victoria Image via Pinterest )

By the reign of Queen Victoria well bred women could not be acknowledged as possessing anything as potentially carnal as legs. So the term lower limb was used to describe the leg and the term remains a convention in medicine.

(Crinoline and hoops Image via Pinterest)

Ironically, crinoline was incredibly seductive and the steel hoops that buoyed the skirt kept it in a permanent state of motion The slightest pressure at one point raised it correspondingly at the opposite side, often revealing a titillating and tantalising glimpse of the forbidden flesh. Ankles and feet became a focus for sexual allure and anything and everything which covered them all the more attractive.

(Victorian Boots Image via Pinterest )

Simple court pumps disappeared and were replaced with the ankle boot. Partly worn as a fashion in honour of Wellington and Queen Victoria, the boot complemented the crinoline dresses and provided a foot corset enjoyed by men and understood by women.

(The Empress Image via Pinterest)

As trade and travel took on international dimensions in the 19th century, the prized fabrics of the orient joined the French fashion world. The eastern look was dignified and exotic, symbolic of a sophisticated understanding of the world. Shoes styles had names like the Empress. With the cotton trade came delicate gauze or layers of sheer fabrics for dresses. Shoes needed to match and were decorated with pearl buttons, or bead buttons and rhinestones.

(Hidden ankles Image via Pinterest )

Repression and prudery generated new outlets for sexual expression. The fashion to conceal the female leg under floor length skirts and boots was so successful that the mere glimpse of a women's ankle was a cause for arousal. Women's ankles and by extension their shoes and boots became symbols of more hidden body parts, and lusting after their feet or footwear was deemed strictly taboo.

(Baroness Fanny Pistor Image via Pinterest )

Not surprisingly, by 1850 with the introduction of photography an underground market for pornography and shoes with 6 inch heels flourished in London. Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, from which the word 'masochism' comes, freely wrote of his experiences where he allowed his mistresses to whip and walk on him. He was delighted to kiss the shoes that performed the action.

(Mini Skirts and go go boot Image via Pinterest )

Well over a century later, shoe fetishism flourishes although it remains a social taboo because of its association with cross dressing and Algolagnia or S&M. The fetish shoe often incorporates locks, chains and high heels. The locks represent the idea the feet are precious and owned by the admirer. Chains restrict movement, which reinforce the power game being played out between "slave and master".

(Chains and heels Image via Pinterest )

According to some biomechanists, wearing high heels changes the distribution of mass around the body and, and according to Rossi, tilts the pelvis into a pre-coital position. Fetish shoes are often black or red, made in patent leather, and fit the foot like a corset. Boots are often extended to knee or thigh and have platform soles to extend the length of the leg. In today's society, cross-dressing is still viewed with great suspicion however many people are specifically attracted to style associated with the opposite sex because of their allure. Naturally they wish to explore the full ensemble. As Rossi so eruditely puts it "fashion is the artisan of mascarade."

(Shoe fetish Image by Marina Diakova)

Erotic symbolism is not expressed in all footwear in the same way and the sex appeal features in shoe design must comply with the psycho-social personality of the individual. Eroticism often infers dominance of one partner over another.

(Susan Wayland Image via S&M Photography)

A popular foreplay with foot fetishists and algophiles is tickling. Tramping describes walking over a partner and although a little more uncomfortable than tickling practised moderately it is still relatively harmless. Crushing describes standing on a partner with stiletto heels. Not for the fainthearted and more than likely to cause perforation of the skin, this bazaar practice is more for the discerning s&m user.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Preventing STDs: “Beso los pies” (I kiss your feet)

The syphilis epidemics of the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries caused great consternation across Europe and beyond and may have ensured the foot became sexualised. The foot and shoe in both Occidental and Oriental Societies were used as sex toys in intimate frottage. When the STD epidemic moved from Spain to Italy before engulfing the whole of Europe painters began including the female foot with toe cleavage as an artistic interpretation for seduction. Partially covered feet became a common theme representing a voyeuristic mark of the times. In contemporary literature the foot was idealised and wandering troubadours extolled its virtues in poetry and song.

Apparently the long second toe was popular (aka the Greek Foot) and clothed prostitutes paraded before customers unshod. Preference for the small foot in the French and Italian courts meant foot binding European style was openly practiced. Occidental foot binding was less severe and usually restricted to young adults wearing ballet type pumps.

Great interest in the erotic works of the East was also evidenced during the Syphilis Epidemics and the fetish for feet remained popular until the discovery of mercury as a primitive cure for syphilis was found.

During the 18th century a genteel common practice at the time was to give small ornament gifts in the shape of feet or shoes and leather boots. In the nineteenth century a second epidemic of syphilis reappeared this again mirrored a flurry of interest in foot sex.

Brothels began to specialise in foot eroticism on a large scale. This may partly be because the use of the foot was seen as a safe sex alternative to genital intercourse. Victorian schools of painting included the idealised female foot.

The French painter Édouard Manet in 1886 presented a scandalous painting of a reclining nude entitled Olympia. He depicted the shoe as an erogenous zone and this brave metaphor was acknowledged by many art historians as pivotal to the development of modern art.

These reviewed sexual awakenings were also witnessed with the introduction of censorship where the female foot was excluded from respectable photographic tintypes. While contemporary portrayals showed men with their boots exposed, women's feet were covered by dresses or lap shawls or were mechanically cropped from the plate.

The Cinderella fairy tale was revived with fetishistic overtones. George du Maurier's "Trilby" became a bestselling novel (1894) and spurned the fashion for foot shaped objects from ice creams to sausages. At a time when the works of Freud were eagerly read by the same readership that would devour Trilby the swallowing of offal could not be divorced from the symbolism to fallatio.

Foot shaped jewelery became the fashion with men's tobacco pouches and hip flasks all the rage. Isadora Duncan revolutionised ballet by dancing in her bare feet. At this time the idea of a good girl was one which did not become involved in intercourse and the concept of a bad girl was one who did. Either way self abuse in youth would be a common experience albeit never spoken of in polite society. Here the foot and toes could be used to good purpose.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The cult if the Virgin Mary: A celebration of the female form

(The epoch of Baroque Image via Pinterest)

By the end of the Middle Ages, clothes had became important symbols of social status. They supplied a kind of social ritual, acknowledgement of which indicated breeding. France was the capital of fashion and the concept of the sartorial ideal beauty was depicted in art and literature. In Italy, much greater attention was paid to the perfection of the female body.

(Poulaines Image via Pinterest)

Sometime during the 16th century, after the gothic period, there was a European movement which celebrated the Virgin Mary, known as the Cult of the Virgin Mary. Fashion lines changed from sharp peaks to more rounded and softer lines. The shoe fashion for poulaines (long sharp toed shoes) for men was replaced with Duck's Bills. These shoes were broad enough across the foot to accommodate each toe individually and the uppers were made from softest of leather.

(Duckbill shoes with slashes in them Image via Pinterest)

As the fashion spread the breadth got wider and wider until the shoes measured 24’ across the forefoot. Like contemporary sleeves and leggings, shoe uppers were slashed with fine razor cuts to reveal glimpses of fine brightly coloured hose which were worn beneath. Some courtiers had soft fur stitched to the side of the slashed leather to give the outward impression of pubic hair and as the foot changed position during walking the opening and closing of the tears emulated the vulva. Some costume historians believe the fine slashing of clothing was a deliberate attempt to overcome sumptuary laws preventing the wearing rich, colourful and sumptuous clothing, whilst others believe this fashion was originated by followers of the Cult of the Virgin Mary and an outward celebration of the female form. The style lasted for just under a century until it was stopped by the Catholic, (Bloody) Queen Mary I (1516-1558) who issued sumptuary laws in England to restrict the breadth of a shoe.

(Henry VIII Image via Pinterest)

The duck’s bill shoe was a style preferred by her father, Henry VIII who broke away from the Catholic Church to marry his second wife and divorce Mary’s mother. Mary subsequently wanted to marry a catholic and encouraged by Rome (keen to destroy the Cult of the Virgin Mary) she legislated against the Bears Paw as she returned England to Catholicism. Around about the same time the first recorded attempt to outlaw publication about sex was introduced. (Obscenity Bill, 1581).

(Mary Tudor Image via Wikipedia)

In the affluent city states of sixteenth century Florence and Venice the ladies became infatuated with the exotic bath shoes of the Middle East as well as the Moorish influenced elevated footwear of Spain. The fashion fusion brought into existence the chopine or original platform shoe. Styles for higher and higher platforms up to 24 inches from the ground made walking unaided impossible and so many falls were reported and miscarriages recorded in women wearing chopines, laws were passed to ban them. To attract clients sex workers of the time took to wearing platforms in the street long after they were fashionable.

(Chopines Image via Pinterest)

Clever shoemakers were encouraged by their patrons to device a safer shoe for ladies and hollowed out the chopine at the ball of the foot thus creating the first high heeled shoes for women. The new style gave women of small stature height as well as safely.

(Heeled slipper Image via Pinterest)

Catherine de' Medici (1519-1589) is credited with being the first women to make this style fashionable and the style remained in vogue throughout her life time before becoming passé.

(Catherine de' Medici Image via Pinterest)

Catherine married the King of France and took the style with her where ironically men in the French Court began to wear high heeled shoes and continued to do so for another two centuries until after the French Revolution (1789-1799). By which time heeled shoes were a sign of affluence and a sure fire way to lose your head. Mens' style became conservative and high fashion women wore heelless pumps leaving only prostitutes wearing heeled footwear.

Reviewed 8/07/2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Foot Sculpture and Apotemnophilia

The term foot sculpture describes self amputation of the toes and relates to the practice of body modification, common among modern primitives. There are several sites on the World Wide Web where authors claim to be multiple toe amputees. Whilst there is no way to confirm their claims there is are photographs available. Amputations are reportedly undertaken under the strictest conditions with big toes or smaller digits amputated.

(Kritios Boy Image via Pinterest)

Apotemnophilia describes a psychological pre-occupation, not necessarily sexual driven, where a person wants one less limb to become complete. Apotemnophilia was first described in 1977 by psychologist John Money who published the first modern case history of "apotemnophilia". The condition was referred to as a paraphilia of the stigmatic/eligibilic type in which sexual-erotic arousal and facilitation or attainment of orgasm is dependent upon being an amputee, or an attraction to the idea of being an amputee. He distinguished apotemnophilia from "acrotomophilia", a sexual attraction to amputees. Apotemnophilia relates not to a sadistic nor masochistic intention instead to the idea of self-fulfilment brought about by being an amputee. Apotemnophilia is now classified as a Body integrity identity disorder (BIID), often referred to as amputee identity disorder. The compulsion to have an amputation is similar to the angst suffered by transgender people who may be relieved only when their transgender relocation is complete by surgical intervention.

The cause of ampotemnophilia remains a mystery but no treatment involving counselling and or pharmacy has been found to reduce the anxiety. Many apotemnophiliacs go undiagnosed and more importantly untreated. Frustration and desperation drives many to self-amputation with tragic consequences. There are cases cited where orthopaedic surgeons have amputated healthy limbs at the request of their patients. Although small in number and obviously controversial the procedures are only conducted once all other forms of treatment have been exhausted. Like gender relocation surgery the protocols are strict and patients screened very carefully. Opposition to this type of cosmetic surgery is fierce and centres where these procedures are undertaken are few and far between.

(Toenail fungus code Image via Pinterest)

Many experts believe the increase of apotemnophilia is due at least in part to the internet and networks of would-be self-amputators sharing their experiences combined with a growing number of sympathetic medical professionals willing to perform amputations for them. On a lesser but no less significant scale a number of people attend podiatry services, convinced they have a misshapen, smelly, or otherwise defective foot and will submit to all manner of cosmetic and surgical programs with the practitioner unaware the person is suffering a form of body dysmorphic disorder. Following a reported increase in requests to have healthy limbs, or parts there off, amputated the subject has become an interest to medical and social research. Findings are complex with the motivation to have an amputation surprisingly varied.

( Video Courtesy: truly Published by Youtube Channel)

The above is not intended as actual medical advice and has been posted only in the interest of information sharing. If you experience any of the above or are generally concerned with your well-being please consult your health physician.

Reviewed 1/07/2020

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Partialism, Paraphilia and papraphilia related disorders

The likelihood paraphilias and paraphilia related disorders are more prevalent in the population than has previously been acknowledged is high. These disorders are cloaked in shame and guilt and until recently most people were too embarrassed to discuss their particular partialisms. The appearance of the World Wide Web has changed this somewhat with many websites and bulletin boards dedicated to fetishism and fetishistic behaviours. Definitions of sexual normality and abnormality are difficult to establish and diagnostic classification is frequently based upon arbitrary or subjective criteria.

Paraphilias involve sexual arousal in response to non-normative or deviant stimuli. They are described as either victimless or as involving harm or victimisation of a non-consenting partner. Fetishism and retifism are considered victimless whereas exhibitionism would involve an innocent party. Because physical or psychological harm may result these types of paraphilia are referred to as sex crimes and perpetrators, if caught, are legally prosecuted. Little is known about the epidemiology of paraphilias since few individuals with these disorders voluntarily disclose their interests. Paraphilias are almost exclusively male disorders although some women do have tendencies these do not always meet DSM-IV criteria for paraphilias.

Fetishist behaviour is unlikely to be reported and often goes untreated; its prevalence is unknown. Fetishistic behaviours usually begin early in life and once established, tend to be life long. Partialism is a form of fetishism involving intense erotic attraction to specific parts of the body. Frotteurism typically begins during adolescence and declines in frequency after age 25 (Abel & Osborn, 1992). This maybe associated with a withdrawn, immature or socially avoidance personality style. Many sadists can become aroused in the masochistic role, and vice versa although some are one or the other (Spengler, 1977). There is general agreement conditioning factors play an important role in the development and maintenance of deviant behaviour. Early sexually arousing experiences have an enormous influence in shaping subsequent sexual desires and fantasies. First erotic experiences seem to imprint or program the person's love map sometimes to the exclusion of any other subsequent input. The effects of early imprinting are then maintained and reinforced through fantasy arousal during masturbation ( Laws & Marshall, 1990).

From the 19th century onwards western societies found difficulty with parents communicating with their children about sex and were unlikely to encourage their adolescents in intercourse (Frayser, 1985). Throughout this time greater emphasis has been placed on the number of sexual images being used. These are primarily images of females and males are more interested in visual erotic stimulation. The technical capacity to deliver these images has improved and this may account for why now there is an explosion of web materials on the subject of foot sex. Maybe as suggest by Gianni et al. (1998) the increased incidence of sexually transmitted diseases within contemporary society has also encouraged foot sex as safe sex. In any event many experts believe the only way to achieve greater understanding of human beings sexual attraction to foot sex will depend on an increased relaxation in society's attitudes to sexual matters in general.

Abel GG & Osborn C 1992 The parphilias: The extent and nature of sexually deviant and criminal behaviour Psychiatric Cinics of North America 15 675-687.
Frayser, S. 1985 Varieties of sexual experience: An anthropological perspective. New Haven, CT: HRAF Press.
Gianni AJ, Colapietro G Slaby A Melemis SM Bowman RK 1998 Sexualization of the female foot as a response to sexually transmitted epidemics: a preliminary study Psychological Reports 83 491-498.
Laws DR & Marshall WL 1990 A conditioning theory of the etiology and maintenance od deviant sexual preference and behaviour In Marshall WL Laws DR & Barbaree (eds) Handbook of sexual assault:Issues, theories and treatment of the offender NY:Plenum Press 209-230.
Spengler A 1977 Manifest sadomasochism of males: Results of an empirical study Archives of Sexual Behaviour 6 441-456

Reviewed 25/06/2020

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Foot Beating: Falanga (or Bastinado)

(Image via Pinterest)

Falanga describes a form of foot torture where victims are bound with their feet raised and their soles beaten with sticks. In more recent times cables or metal implements might be used. It is thought falanga had its origins in Turkey but was also recorded in the Far East. Persians (now Iran) favoured bastinado, where the victim was gently and rhythmically beaten with a lightweight stick or bamboo on the soles of the feet. Continued bastinado resulted in uncontrollable hysteria and eventual mental collapse. At one time or another many types of whips rods and cudgels were used to beat the soles of the feet and during the Middle Ages, falanga was a punishment used on dishonest traders.

(Medieval Times Food Image via Cambridge Alert Network)

Bakers were particularly singled for this treatment and to avoid official scrutiny bakers made a good will gesture to their customers by supplying a thirteenth roll (bread bap) with every dozen purchased. This is thought to be the origins of the bakers dozen. A common misunderstanding is the thirteen rolls represented the twelve disciples plus Jesus.

Falanga is still used today as torture, partly because the effects are difficult to identify medically. Blows are sometimes direct to bare feet or through shoes. In severe cases, casualties may be forced to walk on glass; or jump on the spot carrying a heavy weight.

(Image via Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology)

The immediate effect is excruciating pains, with bleeding and tissue swelling but permanent damaged is dependent on post traumatic oedema (swelling). Torturers will often limit this, as part of the ordeal, by cooling the feet or forcing the victim to put their shoes on after a beating. Smashing the heel and ball of the foot destroys the natural fatty-fibro padding which protects the feet from high impact contact with the ground. Depending on the severity of damage this would leave the victim unable to walk without pain. Skin wounds heal by second intention, leaving painful scars. Detachment of the skin at its deeper levels results in damage to proprioception adding considerably to pathological gait. Many victims report aponeuritis where the whole sole of the foot has become painful. Changes in pressure within muscle compartments necessitate a radical change in walking style.

The feet are reported as hot and cold and there is an increase in the rate of perspiration. Stability and balance may also be adversely affected due to falanga. In many regions of the world falanga is still practised as a form of corporal punishment in bringing up children.

Bastinado has now become more associated with sex play and describes the use of small whips with soft leather applied with light strokes to the soles of the feet. The systematic foot beating (mastigophilia) is consensual and the subject will have a pre-arranged signal when they want it stopped.

Reviewed 18/06/2020

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Feet in early and classical art

In Antiquity men of the middle east found corpulent women very sexy, but the Greeks (from about 2000BC) were less enamored and praised instead a more youthful, agile, lighter and graceful body. Their classic beauty was typified by the Egyptian dancing girl with broad shoulders delicate, bud type breasts, and a straight, over slender body springing from the cups of the thighs, without bulges or protuberances like a half opened blossom. She represented a more asexual and a general ideal of human beauty which related more to the spirit than desires of the flesh.

According to Lewinsohn (1958) even in the classical period when art was aiming at grandeur and pathos, the sexual element was neutralised to vanishing point. The representation of human beings, or gods in human form were not purposefully de-sexualised although elements were there, instead the idea was not to over excite the viewer in a vulgar manner. Bearing in mind art then was not held in public galleries but by private collectors. This style came later and was compensated for in the Middle Ages when images were purposefully de-sexualised. Distinction was placed in the pleasure of certain proportions, in the rhythm and movement all of which form a small part of what would generally be termed the laws of aesthetics.

As a metaphor for femininity, the foot was invariably depicted in Grecko art as small and curved. The perfect Christian foot was curved with arches. Small and delicate yet strong enough to bare weight a true miracle of engineering. Later artists experimented by elongating the female nude. Although divergent from the dominant classical convention, these proportions represented a kind of erotic ideal.

Throughout the Middle Ages artists and sculptors painted figures which were sexually ambiguous, this was in part because the "boy like figure" was considered pure and free from sin. Most of the major works of art depicted biblical scenes or the Holy Scriptures in one form or the other. So to depict figures displaying overtly primarily and secondary sexual characteristics would, at that time, have been considered tasteless. The foot became the key to sex the models. The female foot was small and curved and the male larger but with the same characteristics. This is described in the laws of art as the aesthetics of proportion. Often for the sake of decency the naked foot had to be covered and some believe the reason why angels were sometimes depicted with long wings to hide their secondary erogenous zone, their feet from uninvited gaze.

Lewinsohn R., Mayce A (translation) 1958 A history of sexual customs London: Longmans Green

Reviewed 11/06/2020