Foot fetishes are bigger than ever – and mobilising a lucrative supply and demand industry online via social media is easier than ever.
When it comes to kinks, feet adoration – e.g. being excited and deriving sexual pleasure from pretty toes and high arches - count among some of the most popular fetishes online, says Rolling Stone.
Even Bonang Matheba has an Instagram account dedicated to her feet - albeit with less than 300 followers.
And there is currently a booming online sex economy of fetish workers, whether it’s on Instagram running subscription-based sites or pay-per-view cam-girl type platforms providing customised services.
So, here’s my story.
I recently tried to sell a pair of running shoes on Gumtree. The shoes were relatively unworn, in solid condition and I figured I could get around R700 bucks for them.
After posting the ad a “customer” contacted me. He asked me whether the shoes were “well-worn”. I said “no” they were in great condition but they just needed another wash as they were a little bit dusty.
He replied saying that the shoes were for a “client” of his, and that under no circumstances should I wash them. After asking a few general questions, he enquired whether I could go running in the shoes before selling them to him for his “client”.
Also, whether I could go running in them, barefoot. The conversation escalated.
He messaged me with a request from his client: Could the client meet me in person and smell my feet for an hour. He’d pay R1000 or more. (An hour?!)
And that he wanted my feet to be very smelly – his preference.
READ MORE: "I have a foot fetish"
So, a jog without socks before his arrival would be ideal. At this point, I declined and ended the conversation.
But this wasn’t the first time a man asked to, let’s call it “adore” my feet.
“Yoh, you have sexy feet” or “Can I suck your toes?”
Just a few things I’ve been told or asked quite recently in real-life dating situations. On Tinder, a guy once requested I change one of my main pictures to a picture of just my feet as you can’t directly send or receive images on the dating app.
Friends have told me similar stories. One man asked a woman I know whether she likes to “squash snails” under her bare feet.
Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. notes in Psychology Today that a kink like sexualising feet develops in early childhood “imprinting and conditioning experiences (where sexual responses are typically paired with non-sexual objects)”.
Is it weird? Maybe. But I didn’t end the conversation because I found the requests disgusting or disturbing.
Sexual kinks are, if consensual, rather harmless. But an online classifieds environment is as random as you get. Even more random than going on a date with a right-swipe stranger from Tinder.
The idea of an unpredictable situation with a stranger sniffing my feet after a 10km, socks-less run in the muddy Newlands forest, just didn’t tickle my fancy.
My carpets are way too nice. Exchanging money for kinks is part of the digital sex economy, and I am all for that. But, frankly, I’d rather indulge in kinks with a partner I trust, in an environment that’s safe and in a scenario where mutual pleasure can be derived.
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