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Feet first

BY DAN SAVAGE

Iím a straight male foot fetishist and, like any other American male, I regularly Google my fetish. Last night I ran across a Web site promoting foot-fetish parties in New York City: www.foot-worship-party.com. Have you heard of this event? Is it legit? Is it legal? For a guy with a foot fetish, it seems almost too good to true, which is why Iím worried. On the other hand, it seems like a great time for someone with my fetish.

Tucson Omits Erotic Services

"Weíre definitely legit," said Jason, the young entrepreneur who hosts the parties you read about, TOES. "We donít offer sex or prostitution. Itís just about worshiping womenís feet. Itís an erotic party, but thereís no sex."

Jason got started in the foot-fetish-party-hosting business four years ago and, like all the best kink entrepreneurs, he shares his clientsí fetish. "Iím 26 now and Iíve been into feet pretty much since I was eight years old. I didnít even know what a foot fetish was, though, until I was 15 and I started to have some experiences with girls. I paid a lot of attention to my girlfriendsí feet, and soon they started asking if I had a foot fetish."

Jason was working in marketing at a health club in Manhattan when he mustered up enough courage to attend his first foot-fetish party. "It was awful," Jason recalled. "The women were not attractive, there were 100 guys to 20 girls, and the people who worked there were really unfriendly. My business mind kicked in, and I thought, ĎWhat if I took this concept and did it right? A better ratio of guys to girls, hot girls with beautiful feet, friendly people?í Boom, I had my first party, and ever since then Iíve been very successful."

Indeed, Jasonís monthly parties were such a success that he decided to open a studio in midtown Manhattan to cater to foot fetishists who couldnít or wouldnít attend his parties. He calls his studio the Foot Worship Palace (www.footworshippalace.com). Private foot-worship sessions at Jasonís studio cost $200 an hour; entrance to Jasonís foot-worship parties is $150.

"Women can attend the parties at no charge," Jason said. "Any woman who wants to drop by and have men worship her feet is more than welcome. But we ask women to send an e-mail first with face shot and clear pictures of the tops and bottoms of their feet."

But why give it away for free, ladies? Attractive women who donít mind having their feet kissed, licked, and massaged can make between $250 and $300 working at one of Jasonís parties. And what should a woman expect when she walks into one of his parties? "Sheís basically going to have men who are mostly submissive at her feet. These are men who like the idea of giving up their power and control and being at a womanís feet, worshiping her feet, massaging her toes." Because heís not asking them to do typical sex-industry work, Jason says, heís able to hire women who wouldnít normally do erotic work. "We get real models and actresses, not prostitutes who claim that theyíre models and actresses, along with good-looking professional women and college students."

Before we got off the phone, I congratulated Jason on his success. "Your parents must be so proud," I said.

"Actually they donít know what I do," Jason replied. "I grew up in a very conservative, very religious family. They still think Iím in the fitness industry."

I recently posted an Internet ad seeking to purchase used panties from women. I got e-mails from women who were interested, but I also got a lot of hurtful e-mail from people telling me Iím sick and perverted. Surely sniffing used panties while masturbating is not that bad, is it? What harm am I inflicting upon anyone or anything?

Violated Panty Lover

Maybe you should post an Internet ad seeking some balls, VPL. When people write in to tell you that youíre sick and twisted, you donít lock yourself in the bathroom and have a good cry, you unbelievable pussy. No! You blast back an e-mail that says, "Youíre damn right Iím sick and perverted ó and Iím loviní every fucking minute of it!"

What do you think of new pronouns for transgender people such as "zim" and "hir"? A transgender friend has asked that we start referring to zim by such pronouns. I donít want to hurt hir feelings, but I question the efficacy of the strategy. Arenít we supposed to be moving toward eliminating gender from pronouns? And isnít simplicity the point of pronouns?

Ambivalent Straight Supportive

I think theyíre ztupid.

My straight boyfriend has a gay "slave." My boyfriend is 35, handsome, tall, muscular ó the total alpha-male type. His "slave" is a skinny twentysomething gay kid who lives in his building. This kid does whatever my boyfriend orders him to: clean his apartment, do his laundry, do his dishes. I think itís sick, and I want it to stop. My boyfriend loves the free cleaning service and wants me to get over it. Thereís nothing sexual about their arrangement, so my boyfriend doesnít see why it bothers me. I think heís exploiting a very messed-up kid. What do you think?

The Masterís Girlfriend

Drop the bullshit compassion, TMG. Your boyfriend isnít exploiting a "messed-up kid." To the contrary, lady, heís delighting a grown man whoís turned on by slaving away for an alpha-male type. You want it to stop because you donít want to share your boyfriend ó not even his dirty dishes ó with anyone else. (And the set-up is sexual; somebody is beating off about those dishes ó hopefully not over them, but definitely about them.) Perhaps youíll feel differently if your boyfriend orders his slave to clean your apartment, too.

You missed an excellent opportunity in a recent column to let your readers know about HPV and its association with anal cancer. Itís 35 times more common in the gay-male population, and isnít being screened for very well. In fact, anal cancer is now more common in gay men than cervical cancer is in women. If anal cancer is caught/diagnosed early, mortality rates are much lower. Researchers in the Bay Area are looking at doing anal Pap smears among the gay-male population. Please let your readers know!

Stanford Med Student

Now they know, SMS.

Please tell the gay guy who didnít know how to tell his sex partner heíd been infected with gonorrhea that he can also send him an anonymous e-card with all the necessary information from the following Web site: www.inspot.org.

Been There Done That

Inspot was developed by Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization "dedicated to developing and using Internet technologies to prevent disease transmission." You go to the Web site, select an e-card, click on an STD, and write a few lines of text. Then you enter the e-mail addresses of the sex partners you would like to notify. Cards can be sent anonymously or you can include a return e-mail address (it doesnít even have to be your own!). I gave the site a whirl and sent anonymous notices to all my co-workers, letting them know that they had been exposed to shigella, molluscum, and nongonococchal urethritis. Based on the gasps and shrieks I heard coming from other cubicles all afternoon, BTDT, Iíd say the service works.

Dan Savage can be reached at mail@savagelove.net


Issue Date: June 10 - 16, 2005
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