Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Pod Erotica (Sensual feet)

For hundreds of years human feet have been considered erotic appendages as the history of foot binding feet will attest (Jackson B, 1997). Both smell (olfactophilic) and or touch (hyphephilic) may play key roles in the attraction to the feet but to date there is no unified agreement on the exact aetiology. Milder forms of paraphilia, such as foot fetishism, have largely escaped attention of scientific enquiry, except for speculative essays or for passing observations appended to a study of some other phenomenon such as violence.

According to William Rossi, author of the toe curlingly funny thesis, Sex life of the foot and shoe (Kreiger Press, 1997), podiatrists are ignorant of the sexlife of feet despite the undoubted role they play in intimate interactions between humans. The subject of shoe fetish (retifism) and foot fetishism are poorly understood by the scientific community and often ignored by the judiciary. It would appear paraphilias and paraphilia-related disorders are more prevalent than most psychiatrists and podiatrists suspect. These behaviours are cloaked in shame and guilt and it is unlikely clients will encourage conversation about their particular preoccupation.

Human beings can be aroused by almost anything (pantophilia), and feet (podophilia) and legs (crurophilia) are no exception. The boundary for sexual deviation is social and largely determined by culture and history albeit in traditional societies there is little reported evidence of paraphilic behaviour (Monroe & Gauvain, 2001). This has led many experts to believe fetishism and retifism are phenomena of post-industrial society.

Jackson B 1997 Splendid Slippers: A thousand years of an erotic tradition Berkley: Ten Speed Press
Munroe RL & Gauvin M 2001 Why the paraphilias? Domesticating strange sex Cross cultural research 35:1 44-64
Rossi W 1997 Sex life of the foot and shoe Kreiger Press

Further Reading
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) American Psychiatric Association
2013 Janssen, D F (2014) "Paraphilia": Acultural or Anti-Anthropological? Sexual Offender Treatment, Volume 9 (2014), Issue 2
Steele V (1996) Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power Oxford University Press, New York

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