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

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