Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sex Addiction and boots

Sex addiction is a psychological condition which should not be confused with people who have a strong sex drive. The difference being the former is not satisfied by sex but the latter is. Sex Addiction can involve a wide variety of practices and those afflicted have to deal with several unwanted behaviours. Commonly reported is obsessions with masturbation, pornography, or relationships which over the years progress to become compulsive behaviours that impinge upon normal behaviour. Sex addicts experience extreme shame, pain and self-loathing from their out of control behaviours.

Some sex addicts prefer the fantasy world and fantasy sex similar to fetishism to relational sex with their spouse or partner and hence lose close relationships. Their compulsive behaviour can lead to difficulties with work, ensuing financial troubles, a loss of interest in things not sexual, low self-esteem, despair and many run foul of the law. Abnormal preoccupation with sex takes tremendous physical and mental energy and most sex addicts develop established patterns of behaviour (or rituals). These can be triggered by a diverse range of activities including the more common flirting, or reading pornography, or just meeting people.

The sex addict spends a lot of time in the pursuit of their sexual behaviour/fantasy or they may have a binge of sexual behaviours and despair and shame prevent them from being able to break the pattern. Some authorities believe sex addiction is a way some people cope with stress but so little is known about the disorder that it is likely to involve a combination of conditioning and or bio-psychological causation.

The fantasy/trigger is thought to increase adrenalin and release endorphins and enkephlines into the blood stream which then act on the brain to give a temporary feeling of well being and relief from stress. This theory is based upon a simple stimulus-response reaction. Preoccupation with sex starts earlier than alcohol or drug addictions because it is available to very young children. Coming to terms with the addiction is the first step to overcoming any compulsion and because there is better understanding of the condition many sex addicts and their families can now get help from their doctor or sex therapist.

One main reason why sex addiction is better accepted is due in no short measure to high profile individuals who have declared themselves as working to overcome their compulsive behaviour. Ulrika Johnsson is a self confessed sex addict who has very publically (and not sensationally) shared her desperation which has given many fellow sex addicts greater opportunity to seek help. Ulrika Johnsson (former BBC weather girl), admitted her main attraction to men was their footwear and she was especially partial to strong men in boots.

(Video Courtesy: TEDx Talks by Youtube Channel)

More information
Affirmotive Sex Addiction Australia (ASAA)
Celebrities and Sex Addiction

Reviewed 24/06/2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Thesauromania, Hephephilia and Kleptomania" Abnormal Shoe Preoccupations

Before photographs became available, people would carry relics of their loved ones for luck. In the battlefield, soldiers carried shoe-laces, rings, bracelets of hair, feathers and garters all from their loved ones. Men stopped to kiss these fond keepsakes for luck and used them as lucky talisman. Ellis (1936) reported trinkets were often worn about the genitals.

Many experts believe there is a correlation between sexual dysfunction and stealing and thesauromania describes arousal from collecting articles belonging to females. According to Rossi (1990b) the term kleptolagnia was first used by Kierrnan (1917), a pioneer in sex psychology. Kleptophiles enjoy stealing fetish items and will have an orgasm either while stealing or later whilst fondling them (McGuire, Carlisle and Young, 1965).

Hephephilia described the behaviour of fetishists who had a compulsion to steal the item of their desire and many retifists will steal shoes from displays or more alarmingly from innocent victims they accost in the street and flee with their shoes. These actions are often dismissed as aberrations but there is sufficient evidence available to suggest this behaviour is reasonably common, worldwide.

Parade Magazine (September 9, 1979) reported Japanese police had finally caught up with the notorious shoe thief of Tokyo. Over a period of 3.5 years he had been knocking women down and running off with their shoes. When the police found him they discovered 127 pairs of women's shoes. Not all fetishists steal, but according to Mason (1994), if a fetishist commit crime it is most likely to be theft. These people are otherwise good citizens who steal out of repressed or a complicated sex life. Although fetishism and stealing were noted by van Krafft-Ebing (1886) it rarely brought the fetishist into contact with the law (Grubin, Gudjonsson, Gunn and West, 1993). A general understanding is fetishism is not associated with violence.

Most authorities believe a fetishist who commits a violent criminal act is not driven solely by the desire to express or satisfy his fetishist urges, although expression of the disorder may be a feature in the offence. In cases where lust murderers have foot or shoe fetishisms, they usually suffer co-paraphilias and psychological dysfunctions such as, personality disorders, or psychiatric illness. These are more likely to be the source of the violent act than fetishism, by itself. (Kunjukrishnan, Pawlak, Varan 1988).

Doyle P., Foster C. 2014 What Tommy Took to War, 1914-1918 Shire Publications
Ellis H, 1936 The psychology of sex (Vol I & II) New York: Random House
Grubin D, Gudjonsson G, Gunn J, and West D 1993 Disordered and offensive sexual behaviour In Gunn J. and Taylor PJ (eds) Forensic psychiatry: clinical legal and ethical issues Oxford: Butterworth HeinemannKierrnan (1917)
Kunjukrishnan R., Pawlak A., Varan L R 1988 The clinical and forensic psychiatric issues of retifism Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 33 (9) 819-825
McGuire R Carlisle JM and Young BG 1965 Sexual deviations as conditioned behaviour: A hypothesis Behaviour Research and Therapy 2 185-190.
Mason FL 1997 Fetishism psychopathy and theory In Laws DR & O'Donohue WT (eds) Sexual deviation: theory, assessment and treatment 75-91
Rossi WA 1990b Foot and shoe fetishism - Part II Current Podiatric Medicine Vol 39:10Oct 16-20
von Krafft-Ebing E. 1932 Psychopathia Sexualis. NY: Physicians And Surgeons Books

Reviewed 24/04/2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Olfactophillia: The allure of stinky feet and smelly shoes

According to Potter (1999) the odour of fetishistic objects adds to their sexual excitement. Aigremont (cited in Rossi, 1990a) believed the podophile associated the smells of feet with the smell of genitals and retifists preferred the smell of shoes. Pheromones are odourless gases produced naturally by the body and are a series of short chain aliphatic acids. They release chemicals into the body which when the aroma is picked up can sexually excite a partner. These enter the nose and cling to a receptor found in the nasal cavity. The organ is known as Jacobson's organ or the vomeronasal organ. The vomeronasal organ does not respond to any other scents. (Monti-Bloch, Jennings-White, Dolberg, & Berliner, 1994).

Pheromones are diffused directly into the hypothalamus of the brain and have no detectable odour of their own. Exposure to pheromones appears to have a significant effect on skin temperature, skin conductance, and cortical (brain) activity. Some pheromones elicit an immediate response, while others induce long-term changes in behavioural or endocrine state. Pheromones effect the autonomic nervous system, producing a "relaxation response," opposite to the fight or flight reaction. Some pheromones work better for males, while others work only for females. Many authorities believe humans lost their appreciation for pheromones because we evolved with our primary dependence on vision and not smell. However a social custom in Victorian times was for young women to hold a handkerchief under their armpit whilst dancing. The ladies would favour their partner at the end of the evening by gifting them with their sweat soaked, handkerchief.

As reported by Jacob (1999) numerous studies have been carried out suggest axillary odour contains enough chemical differences in the odour profile to allow for discrimination between individuals. The author cites Stern and McClintock (1998) who was able to show that odourless axillary compounds from the armpits of women in the late follicular phase of their menstrual cycles accelerated the preovulatory surge of luteinizing hormone of recipient women and shortened the menstrual cycles. Axillary compounds from the same donors, which were collected later in the menstrual cycle (at ovulation) had the opposite effect: they delayed the luteinizing hormone surge of the recipients and lengthened their menstrual cycle. Studies have also shown women prefer male odours that have Human Leucocyte Antigen types different from their own. This preference was reversed when the same female subjects were asked to repeat their rating whilst taking oral contraceptives.

Bromidrophilia describes arousal from body smell. Mysophilia refers to becoming aroused by smelling, chewing or rubbing against foul smelling objects like socks. It is possible mysophiles have increased sensitivity to pheromones produced in body excretions. Osmolagnia, Osphresiolagnia, & Ozolagnia are terms used to describe arousal from strong smells. The role of smell in linking the development of fetishism with pregenital stages has been used by psychoanalysts to offer explanation for the interest in smells that can accompany or play an important part in fetishism (Balint, 1935; Epstien, 1969, Money, 1984).

Balint M 1936 A contribution on fetishism International Journal of Psycho-Anlaysis 16 481-483.
Epstein A W 1975 The fetish object: Phylogenetic considerations Archives of Sexual Behaviour 4 (3) 303 -308.
Jacob TJC 1999 Human Pheromones School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff
Money J 1984 Paraphilias: Phenomenology & classification American Journal of Psychotherapy 38 164-179
Monti-Bloch L, Jennings-White C. Dolberg D.S. and Berliner, D.L. 1994 The human vomeronasal system. Psychoneuroendocrinology 19, 673-686.
Potter B 1999 Old shoes stolen for sniffing
Rossi WA 1990a Foot and shoe fetishism: Part 1 Current Podiatric Medicine 19-23
Stern, K. and McClintock, M.K. (1998) Regulation of ovulation by human pheromones. Nature 390, 177-179

Friday, April 19, 2019

Retifism (Shoe fetish)

Shoe fetishism i.e. retifism, is similar in principal to foot fetishism but with the shoe the total focal point for arousal. Some retifists need only the shoe to be satisfied. Others will incorporate shoes within their coital habits and to a high level shoe fetishist, complete satisfaction is only possible when a shoe is involved.

Flugel (1930) described the phenomenon where clothes could not only rouse sexual interest but in them self symbolised the sex organs. Because the shoe became an erogenous zone then lovemaking incorporated all that would take place around genitalia with kissing, licking, biting and caressing all common place. To the retifist the shoe resembles female genitalia with even the aroma of the shoe a powerful aphrodisiac. The heel represents the phallus and is an aspect often favoured for frottage and masturbation.

Brame, Brame & Jacobs (1996) believe many foot fetishists are uncomfortable with tastes which appear extreme or kinky. Most foot lovers were repelled by D & S or acts considered unclean, such as sniffing socks or licking shoes. This may be a manifestation of their internal conflict i.e. if foot fetishism was shameful then other kinky desires were even less acceptable.

As a group gay men seem to be the most at ease with foot /shoe fetishism. The belief is since homosexuals men have already come to terms with a momentous social challenge in their sexuality then acceptance of stimuli is no major drama.

Retifists usually collect women's shoes and have exquisite taste for elegant style. Their preference covers the seven basic shoe styles described by Rossi (1993) and materials such as leather and furs often influence their choice. Retifists will personalise their collection by giving names to their favourite shoes. Possession of shoes is important to the retifist and in cases of paraphilia; men may steal the shoes they are attracted to. Kiernan (1917, reported in Rossi, 1990) first described the term kleptolagnia which was used when theft took place when associated with sexual excitement. "Hephephilia" is a term used when there is an uncontrollable urge to steal the objects of specific focus. Many hephephiliacs are ordinary people with no criminal intention other than a compulsion to possess the object of their desire due to a repressed or complicated sex life. Theft from shops is common as is robbery from private property. Many retifists keep copious records of their activities all of which adds to their excitement. Shoe snatching, including foot assaults, have been reported around the world. When these cases do come to court however the behaviour is often dismissed as a trivial deviation. Most medical authorities agree such behaviour signifies power and indicates domination. Richard von Krafft-Ebing considered the majority of shoe fetishists were masochists. Wedeck (1963) described this behaviour as someone who would steal shoes from their victim and tear, slash or burn them to attain a sexual climax. Retifists report higher use of sex services because they find difficulty in trying to convince their partners to comply with their fantasies. The term "bootman" is commonly used within the sex industry to describe retifists. In the majority of cases, shoe fetishism poses no danger to others and individuals pursue their use of the fetish object in private, usually through masturbation.

To the submissive foot fetishist the idea of kissing the masters’ feet relishes his physical, psychological and even social inferiority to the dominant.

Famous retifists include: Publius Ovidius Naso (or Ovid), Omar Kayyam, Retif de La Bretonne, Leo Tolstoy, Feodor Dostoevski, and Oled Cassini.

Brame GG, Brame WD & Jacobs J (1996) Different loving: the world of sexual dominance and submission London: Arrow.
Flugel JC 1930 The psychology of clothes London: International Universities Press.
Rossi WA 1990 Foot and shoe fetishism : part one Journal of Current Podiatric Medicine 39:9 9-23.
Rossi WA 1990 Foot and shoe fetishism : part two Journal of Current Podiatric Medicine 39:10 16-20.
Wedeck H E (ed) 1963 Pictorial History of Morals New York Philosophihical Library.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Pierre Molinier (1900 - 1976)

"Here lies
Born on 13 April 1900 died around 1950
He was a man without morals
He was proud of it and gloried in it
No need to pray for him."

Pierre Molinier was a French artist born in Agen in 1900 the son of a house painter and decorator. At the age of 13, he began working as an apprentice painter to his father and took evening courses in drawing. He was deeply in love with his younger sister and profoundly affected by her premature death. Aged 18 he took photographs of his dead sister and as an artist wrestled with erotic phantasm and androgynous identity, which became recurring themes throughout his life and work.

He started exhibiting his works of figurative or fauve landscapes and portraits in 1927. Circa 1936 the artist experimented with abstract but by the end of the Second World War turned towards esoterism and then fetishistic eroticism. His preoccupation with androgyny took the unusual form of himself adorned in female clothing as he identified himself with his elder sister, his daughter and a few other emblematic women.

Molinier worked with green and reddish tones ("glacis" made of pigments symbolically mixed with his own sperm) in his painstaking technical and ideological compositions giving a unique and rare visual experience.

In 1956 and now very much in the surrealist school AndrĂ© Breton organised a Paris exhibition of Molinier’s works. The artist’s preoccupation with sexual matters and blasphemy shocked the art world. By now the Bordeaux based artist had switched to photography he used self-made props (dolls, prosthetic limbs, high heels, black-net stockings, masks, and dildos etc.) to build a fantasy world. His photographs and photomontages were often portraits of himself as a woman. By cutting and reassembling body elements, he invented new fantastic creatures and gave them movement, although he had very primitive photographic equipment (bellows camera, wooden frames, no enlarger, home kitchen as a darkroom).

He was essentially a leg fetishist but considered himself as a shaman, facetious and provocative, anti-bourgeois and anti-religious. His bazaar but fascinating photographs were an inspiration for many other European and North American body artists in the early 70s. Pierre Molinier committed suicide aged 76.

Reviewed 15/04/2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Foot Sadism and Masochism: The whole 50 shades

Relatively few sadomasochists are exclusively sadists or exclusively masochists there is generally a mixture with one aspect more predominant than the other. The masochist playing the sadist may fantasise about receiving the pain he/she is inflicting. Sadists are rarer than masochists and female sadists all the more uncommon in the general population.

Sadomasochistic sessions are usually planned punishment with bondage and contain both sadistic and masochistic elements. Sexual arousal may be gained by pain (algophilia) and this appears to take two forms i.e. sadism or the ecstasy associated with the infliction or witnessing pain; and masochism, the eroticism induced by the suffering of pain or persecution. In both the pleasure principle is limited to or intimately associated with sexual excitation. It may be accompanied by or it may form a substitute for coitus.

Pain is on a continuum that runs from very mild sensations such as tickling (knismolagnia and titillagnia) to extreme levels that are produced in mutilation. People who use pain during sex will set limits to how much, and in what manner, the pain will be administered. The level of pain is chosen according to the desired effect.

Evidence exists to support the theory the immune system is stimulated when a person is exposed to other peoples suffering with the resulting euphoria due to the release of b-endorphins. In sadism, people are capable of achieving relief of free floating anxiety by transferring their fight-flight sex response onto another person or object. Unlike the true sadist, who is not concerned with whether their victims have a pleasurable response, people who play consensual S/M are extremely concerned with this event. Leptosadism describes a mild form of sadism and a sapphosadist is a lesbian sadist.

Masochists involved in heavy pain are thought to use it to either produce opiates in the brain for a euphoric effect or to reach altered states of consciousness. The masochist may face fear; pain or humiliation but will survive it with an organism or love as a reward. Odynophilic pleasures derived from pain trigger a reaction from the autonomic nervous system causing an increase rate of breathing heart rate and blood pressure. In the masochist this may enhance sexual sensitivity or experience.

Some sadomasochists enjoy a form of aichmophilia (love of needles) and will encourage needles to be inserted into their toenails. According to Gebhard (1969) fetishism and sado-masochism frequently intermingle. Sado-masochism incorporates fetishistic elements with the sight and touch of fetishistic objects the source of sexual arousal. These occur in both hetro and homosexual behaviour. What makes a person sado masochistic remains unknown albeit many report pain associated with early childhood sexual pleasure.

Flagellation is the oldest form of punishment and many masochists will become aroused by being caned or flagellated (e.g. rhabdophilia) Canning is sometimes accompanied with humiliation or fear in a fantasy scenario. In order for pain or injury to produce the desired euphoric effects it must be anticipated, threatening, or part of a scene that includes a person to whom they are sexually attracted.

Foot flagellation is very common both for pleasure as well as punishment. Boot or shoe licking may be a way of expressing a footwear fetish and is a popular activity in domination games.

There is very little in the literature about the hygiene aspects of bootlicking. Whilst ingestion of small quantities of boot polish maybe harmless boot lickers do run a small risk of contracting amoebic bacterial and possibly other infections from street dirt. This is increased when the soles are licked (Rossi, 1990 b).

Gebhard P 1969 Fetishism and sado-masochism Science and Psychoanalysis 15 71-80
Rossi WA 1990b Foot and shoe fetishism - Part II Current Podiatric Medicine Vol 39:10Oct 16-20

Reviewed 12/04/2019

Friday, January 4, 2019

Shoes and sex: What is the connection?

The foot and shoe are inexorably linked to sex. In ancient Greece for example sex workers would write 'Follow me' backwards on their sandals so clients could recognise and discreetly engage their services out of public view. A common practice in Spain in the past was to finish a letter with “Que besa su peis" or may she (he) kiss your feet.

In more recent times the advent of seamless stockings without a heel reinforcement brought the sling back to fashion and coupled with the stiletto heel gave the world its sexiest fetishist icon since the Victorian corset.

Fetishism may be defined as a form of behaviour wherein sexual activity or sexual fantasy focuses to an unusual extent upon a body part or an inanimate object rather than a person as a whole. The fetish object as in this case the foot or shoe does not have to give gratification in any genital sense but may merely provide the means to appreciate an attractive object with all the senses. Fetishist behaviours lie on a continuum and most would pass for normal, if not, for slightly unusual behaviour. To that extent we are all fetishist.

High level fetishism is where specific stimuli take the place of a sex partner and pathological fetishism arises where the person suffers excessive guilt feelings from their behaviour. More common in males than females many experts believe foot fetishism is not the result of conditioning alone but may be found in individuals with a predilection in their left brain. Society preconditions us into accepting normal (usually heterosexual) sexual behaviour, alienating all other others. Hence much of what passes as deviant behaviours such as fetishism and cross dressing (although commonly practiced) is seldom spoken off.

Performance anxiety is a male fear that is hard to conceal, one theory about fetishism is that it allows the male to concentrate on an inanimate object rather than their feared partner. The Roman poet Ovid was devoted to the charms of the foot and in Norse mythology Kormak when he saw Steinberg’s ankles became infatuated with that part of the female anatomy. The choice of fetish objects are far from random however and although they may like feet, legs or buttocks. Many favour toes, arches, heels, ankles, calves, knees or thighs. Large or small feet, shapely well formed feet or rough peculiar ones as well as ones in shoes or bare feet, all have their attractions.

To understand fetishism requires the analysis of the object into three elements i.e. the sensory attributes; association elements; and symbolism. High heeled boots may for example present visually a strong female image imprinted from early childhood. The infant crawling across the carpet will see and judge people by their feet and shoes. In some with the appropriate predilection this may have sexual connotations in later life. High heeled footwear may have strong associations with adult women or sophisticated and sexually aware individuals. To men with certain communication difficulties, especially relating to sexual relations, the sight of high heels may allow them to relax and ease tensions. The shoes may also have strong symbolic meaning such as representing an authority ready to meet out discipline. Any one or all three may prove stimulating to the foot/shoe fetishist.

Many authorities consider fetishism and transvestism as having similar characteristics but distinctly are two separate sets of behaviour. Dressing for pleasure does make some people feel different and although most foot fetishists participate in normal relations their arousal is often contingent upon fantasies of feet or the actual wearing of the shoes. Informed commentators consider men with foot fetishism are sometimes unable to deal with the complete women. Understanding partners once aware of the harmless fetish will oblige by displaying or wearing the object of desire. Some well known men of letters have privately been foot fetishists: Restif de La Bretonne (1734-1806) in his diaries revels himself as a shoe voyeur, stealer and collector. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, dramatist, novelist, and scientist. Affectionately known as "Mr Bigfoot" by his lover, Christine Vulpius, it was documented he wrote her begging for her dancing shoes, so that he could have them to press against his heart. Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French poet, dramatist, novelist enjoyed foot fetishism as did Feodor Mikkhailovich Dostoyevski (1821-1881) Russian novelist. Author of Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov his works were often preoccupied with guilt and religious faith.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) the Anglo-Irish poet and critic was reputed to be a celebrated foot fetishist and lived for sometime in a London Square overlooking the London Foot Hospital. He coined the immortal words 'If you rebel against high heeled shoes, take care to do so in a very smart hat'. US novelist F Scott Fitzgerald (1896- 1940) was also a fellow foot fetishist and very attracted to female feet. He did however hate the sight of his own feet and tried never to let anyone see them naked. Some men have fantasies about being crushed and view women as huge giants crushing insignificant men underfoot. Shoes provide tactile stimuli for women but although many women are retifists (collect shoes) seldom does their obsession parallel male fetishists.

Reviewed 5/01/2018