Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Sex Life of the Shoe

Of all the forms of erotic symbolism the most frequent, according to Rossi in his book the Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe, is that which idealises the foot and shoe. Even to the most pedestrian, the foot is one of the most attractive parts of the body. Feet seem to provide valuable clues to people's mood. During interviews for example people feel more comfortable behind a desk. Fashion is the universal artisan of masquerade. Shoe design is not some esoteric or whimsical phenomenon. but a specialised art form.

According to Rossi, all shoe styles have sexual roots. There are eight basic styles all designed by men and for men’s' pleasure. The Boot originated 4,500 years ago and has developed into very sophisticated fashion accessories with strong S&M and psycho-sexual overtones.

The Oxford Shoe started as a foot corset in 1640. Inspired by the corset, the shoe style to make the foot smaller and more curvaceous. It was eagerly taken up by the Dandies and Flops of that era.

The Sandal is considered by experts to be the sexiest of shoes designs, introduced 6000 years ago the addition of thongs and straps has tantalised all since.

The Moccasin was known 1500 years old and decorated to draw attention and had many risqué features, including tassles.

The Pump is in modern times the most enduring foot style, developed from slippers with an added heel.

The Mule or half shoe design was luxurious footwear for the boudoire and designed on the same principle as the see through blouse or dress.

The Monkstrap is a low cut slip-on shoe with a wide strap across the instep. Designed for the clerics but not without a hint of impertinence

The Clog or sabot added height and therefore importance to the wearer. This was the forerunner to the platform shoe.

Rossi W (1993) The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe Krieger Publishing Company

Reviewed 10/05/2018

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