I can’t wait to see the Google hits this one gets me…

Foot fetishists. They’re everywhere, aren’t they? And by “everywhere” I mean “they’re on eBay”. In large numbers, apparently.

Last week I decided to sell some shoes, you see. (I know! Me getting RID of shoes rather than acquiring them: who’da thunk it?) And as with every other time I’ve ever tried to sell shoes on eBay, this brought the foot fetishists out in droves.

It always happens the same way. A question floods in. The question is from a man. First of all, the man comments on how “sexy” the shoes I’m selling are (Note: always “sexy”. Never “cute” or “beautiful”or “stylish”, or any other of the dozens of words you could use to describe a pair of shoes. Just “sexy”.) Sometimes he’ll say that he wants to buy them for his “girlfriend”, but other times he’ll just miss out this part and leave me to conjecture what someone named “Jim” or “Pete” or “Brian”, or whatever, wants with a pair of size 4 ladies shoes. Then comes the kicker:

“If it’s not too much trouble,” Brian will say (for he is a polite young man at heart),  “could you take some photos of your feet inside the shoes? It’s, um, so I can see how high the heel is, because there’s no other way to know that than by looking at a strange woman’s feet.”

Now, you could argue that this is a perfectly reasonable question for Brian to be asking. But in response, I would argue that Brian is a foot fetishist. He is only interested in seeing photos of my feet in high heels. It’s just a feeling I get. A sixth sense, if you will. There’s always just something a little bit off about these messages. Something that triggers my “this is a foot fetishist” alarm. Also:  women never ask these questions. I mean, I’ve been using eBay for years. In that time, I’ve sold a lot of shoes. NEVER have I received a question from a woman who’s asked me to take some photos of my feet in the sexy, sexy shoes. And in all the time I’ve been buying shoes (which is… a while) I’ve never emailed a complete stranger and said, “Oh, hai, could you send me some photos of your feet, please?” It’s just not done, is it? OK, sure: sometimes a shoe looks different on the foot than it does in the image. Sometimes you really do need to see it being worn to know what you think of it. But, I dunno, something about asking a stranger to photograph their feet for you just strikes me as odd. Maybe it’s just me?

The final clue that all is not what it purports to be on Planet Brian/Steve/Tony is the final line of the message which always, without exception, says something like, “By the way, could you please not publish this question on the auction listing? Just send the photos to my private email instead.”

Uh-huh. FOOT. FETISH.

I should add here that I have nothing against people with foot fetishes. I really don’t. I honestly couldn’t care less what people do in the privacy of their own homes, or what turns them on. Each to their own, after all. It’s only when they try to involve ME in their little fantasies by, say, trying to trick me into sending them photos of my body parts, that it starts to bother me. I know it’s not actually harming anyone (although it IS wasting my time, given that these people have no intention whatsoever of bidding on the shoes), but even so, it’s still devious and underhand, and, you know, some women charge good money for those kinds of “services”.

(That was a joke.)

With that in mind, I’m afraid to say the latest “can you send me photos of your feet” message was the one that tipped me over the edge. In fact, I was so annoyed to be receiving this request AGAIN that a red mist of anger descended over my eyes, and in my haste to send my “Actually, no, I won’t be emailing photos of my feet to strange men on the Internet,” response, I may have accidentally checked the box that says “publish this question and my response on the listing”. Whoops. My bad.

Still, I guess there’s no harm done. If it WAS a genuine, reasonable request, people will see it as that and think no ill of my high heel lovin’ correspondent. And if it turns out that Brian IS actually the kind of man who tries to get women to send him photos of their feet for his own, er, use, well, so be it. After all, if you don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking people to send you photos of their feet, then there’s no reason to be embarrassed, is there?