Friday, January 23, 2009
The original medical definition of a fetish tended to be something like this, from Merriam-Webster: "an object or bodily part whose real or fantasized presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression." These days we tend to recognise that a fetish is not normally absolutely necessary or disruptive, in fact most people have certain things that they think are sexy--but which are not innately/biologically connected to sexual acts. (Ain't Pavlov grand?).
I think one thing to realise is that a rare fetish is not more "kinky" than a common one. What makes a fetish more intense is the response, whether the person can be aroused without it, and perhaps whether the use if it is in any way harmful to themselves of others. There are certainly fetishes that blend in because they are currently very common, even though they are quite clearly fetishistic. It's the old "I'm sexy, your kinky, she's a pervert" effect.
Shoes. Seriously. Women's shoes. It's insane.
I spent most of my childhood running around with the bare minimum of shoe-age. In summer I had soles like tanned leather; I could walk glass. Actually, as a graduate student living in a city I sometimes did (firewalkers don't impress me). Once I moved to the US things changed a bit. Legal liability issues meant my first trip to a US supermarket was a complete failure--they wouldn't let me in barefoot and I wasn't carrying any footwear (mutual incomprehension ensued).
Recently I had to start engaging in the wearing of 'office clothing'. And while I am a habitual cultural skeptic I do know what is expected of me and sometimes I even do it (if paid well and asked nicely). But high heeled shoes turned out to be a bigger ask than I expected. I had worn them maybe a dozen times in my life and my average-sized feet come in barefoot proportions---that is to say my toes spread out and don't like to point in at the best of times, let alone when propelled downwards by 'heeled' heels.
I asked for advice and various women pointed me to their favorites shoes. Shoes that were all fascinating shapes, lovely colors and textures, expensive as all hell and clearly not only fetishistic sexual objects but an expression of masochistic tendencies to boot (literally). I don't do paid posts on this blog (there are ads on the side columns, but not so much as an affiliate link in any post) so you can believe me when I say: thank you Aerosole. They are literally the only heels I can wear.
But on the whole, I'd rather be bare.