Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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.