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?


22 Comments

  • Gemma says:

    I remember hearing a story at Uni about a friend of a friend who actually *did* charge money. She sold shoes on eBay and when she was inevitably asked for the photos of her feet to go with them, she said ‘sure, if you pay me X amount for them’ and made a fair profit.

    It’s tempting, isn’t it? If only to pay those ebay fees…
    .-= Gemma´s last blog ..Product review: Designers at Debenhams swimwear =-.

    • Amber says:

      Haha! Well, it IS cheeky that they’d expect you to do it for FREE!

      This is in the same vein as the “well worn” shoes I’m always finding on there. Most of them sell for much more than my “brand new in box” auctions! I guess you could make a killing if you really wanted to…

  • Ursula says:

    I feel a little hurt now. I recently sold SEVEN pairs of shoes on eBay and NO ONE asked for pictures of my feet. ;-)
    Until 5 minutes ago, I also wasn’t aware of the “well worn” phenomenon. Maybe I’ll approach future auctions differently and get much more money??
    .-= Ursula´s last blog ..Fleischeslust: Vegetarische Klößchen =-.

    • Amber says:

      Seriously, if you have the stomach for it, search for “well-worn shoes” on eBay. Or just look at this auction:

      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CLARKS-TRASHED-WELL-WORN-WOMENS-LEATHER-SHOES-/200458271456?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Women_s_Shoes&hash=item2eac3e7ae0

      Ancient pair of Clarks with holes in the toes, Buy It Now for £50. I didn’t even get half that for the last pair I sold, and they were unworn and still in the box!

      • Lucy says:

        She is most definitely playing up to her target market, check out her ‘about me’ page… “I am also looking for a well behaved foot slave to totally worship Me and adore My feet.” Hmmm.

      • Lucy says:

        Hmm, I just Goofbay-ed that seller and they aren’t exactly doing very well.
        They’ve only made £132 over the past 90 days, with £86 shipping…. with £676 of her stuff going unsold!
        So the eBay foot fetish market isn’t the best way to make money it seems.

  • Alex says:

    I had no idea about this well worn thing either! I don’t understand it all! Why on earth would you pay £50 for a pair of shoes ready to be thrown out? You could get 2 or more pairs of brand new shoes from some places for that. Ridiculous!

  • Rock Hyrax says:

    Damn, I threw an old pair of boots away only last week! And I need a way to make a bit of extra cash to help me through my studies… ;-)

  • Kristabella says:

    I had a photo of my feet in high heels from a wedding on Flickr and it got favorited by a lot of creepy dudes.
    .-= Kristabella´s last blog ..Devil Went Down To Georgia … And Came Home With A Sore Throat =-.

  • Lauren says:

    You think well worn shoes are bad…I’ve seen well worn ‘trashed’ (sellers words not mine) stockings on ebay. Why? I don’t think anyone is that desperate for stockings that they would buy a well worn pair on ebay. The seller was even wearing them in the listing.
    Back on topic, I once was selling a pair of thongs (feet thongs for the people from the US) on ebay this person asked for a photo of me wearing them. Weirdly I think it may have been a female. And when I looked at their feedback all they buy are thongs. So odd.

  • Sally says:

    When I post photos on flickr, if there are bare feet anywhere in the pic, I will undoubtedly get besieged by comments about my, or my subject’s, feet. I always thought I had quite chubby little feet but apparently they are “beautiful,” “sexy,” “pretty” and on one shudderingly memorable occasion “delicious.”

    • Amber says:

      Oh, don’t get me started on Flickr – people keep putting me in galleries of redheads or inviting me to submit photos to groups about stockings. And I don’t even WEAR stockings…

      • Apryl says:

        Wow, I had no idea this happened on ebay. Meanwhile I get Flickr fetishists galore – feet, vinyl, smokers, vampires, you name it. Oh being a hot chick on the internet and all the irritations that can entail. I feel for ya girl!
        .-= Apryl´s last blog ..Makeup Monday + A Few Changes =-.

        • Amber says:

          You know, I’d never really had too much of an issue with Flickr, and then just yesterday I got a message from one guy saying he’d like me to “trample him with my sexy feet” and a sleezy feet-obsessed message from another. So annoying! I mean, as I said, I don’t care what they’re into, but what makes them assume it’s appropriate to send a complete stranger a message like that? So rude!

  • Anne says:

    Oh lord, once on Flickr some of my photos were invited to a group “Barefoot redheads”.
    No, just, no…

    That’s like two fetishes in one.

  • That happened to me last year.

    The guy wanted to buy my old shoes and also buy me new shoes.

    The latter sounded interesting until he noted that he wanted me to show them off on the blog and talk about WHY I was doing so. And when I asked him more about my second-hand shoes (at first I thought he was a seller) he said “the more used and dirtier the better” and then straight-up said “I have a foot fetish.”

    I thanked him for his honesty and says that pretty much goes against my morals but good luck elsewhere. Never heard from him again. Just makes me feel especially gross because I have deformed feet…. like EW. If I had normal, pretty feet then I might understand but….*shudder*

    PS I know you changed your comment moderation because you were sick of dealing with negative creeps. I’m doing the same now and also having the possibility that my bf may he to moderate them for me just so I don’t have to read any of them (cuz I think they will get worse for a while) – and on that note, do you feel better not having to deal with them? I’m trying to be more positive on my blog and that includes weeding out the Bitter Bettys as well!
    .-= Wanderlusting´s last blog ..Coachella Festival – Day Two =-.

    • Amber says:

      Urgh, that’s horrible! I guess at least he was honest, though, if that’s any comfort at all!

      As for the comments, yes, it was a big help for me. I had actually reached the point where every time a comment notification came in from this blog, my stomach would lurch at the thought of what nastiness I’d have to read next. I had Terry moderate the comments for a long time – I had a couple of trolls who would try to leave comments even although they’d been banned, knowing that although the comment wouldn’t be published, I would still have to read it, and having him do that for me meant I just didn’t even have to think about it. (I also operate a system on my other blogs whereby if I start to read a comment and it becomes apparent it’s from a troll, I don’t even bother to read any further – I just hit delete, and then I immendiately delete the notification from my inbox, and clear the deleted items, so there’s no temptation to go back and re-read it, or to reply to the person. It’s the only way to stay sane for me, and it gives me a certain amount of pleasure to think of the effort the troll has gone to to write screeds of vitriol, only for me to read a couple of sentences and hit delete. Hee!)

      I actually removed the comment moderation from here a couple of weeks ago, though, just as a trial. The comments have really gone down recently, and I wasn’t sure whether it was because people weren’t reading, or whether they were just put off by the moderation, so it’s currently un-moderated, but I wouldn’t hesitate to put it back if things got rocky again. I think your comment about the Bitter Bettys is so true – sometimes it just takes a couple of commenters being negagtive all the time to totally change the tone of a site!

  • Sarah says:

    Oh no! I never knew such nasty messages were left for you! I’m glad you have found a coping system but it still isn’t right.

    I’m on a long-hair forum and there are a lot of people who surf the internet one handed looking at photos of the backs of our heads; there’s a market for everything. Ew.

    I can see the benefit of seeing the shoes being worn if you can’t tell whether or not they’ll give you toe cleavage or something, but I’d be inclined to ask the seller and get a response in words not pictures. Also, I try and imagine that they were never worn or even tried on because I’m the opposite to a foot fetishist.

    • Amber says:

      Eek! I read this literally minutes after hitting “save” on tomorrow’s post for Hey, Dollface!, which features a bunch of photos of the back of my head – lol!

      As for the nasty comments, it was quite a few months ago now, thankfully, but I did go through a bit of a stage with this site where every time I posted a photo of myself, people would take it as invitation to tell me all the things that are wrong with my face, which was pretty unpleasant, as there’s not a whole lot I can do about my face! (And it’s not like I’ve never seen it before, and don’t know what my flaws are!) Or people would assume that because they read my blog, they know every aspect of my life and personality and are therefore qualified to write long comments tearing me apart and telling me how awful I am – lovely! Luckily it all seemed to die down after I switched on the comment moderation, so hopefully it was just a small group who got bored! For the most part, I think I’m pretty lucky in that most of the people who read my sites are lovely 

      • Sarah says:

        Oops! It’s not a very large group of odd-bods, compared to foot fetishists. And your hair looks lovely in those photos btw.

        I’m glad the mean/envious/lonely people stopped posting.

  • Selina says:

    This post reminds me of a friend of mine who worked for a while in a lingerie store at a local mall. One day when she was on her own in the store she received a phone call from a man enquiring about stockings (supposedly because he wanted to buy them for his lady: YEAH RIGHT!). Anyway as the conversation went on and his stocking-related questions became more and more intimate my friend noticed that his breathing was becoming a little, shall we say, “laboured”. So she hung up. And suppressed the desire to scrub herself with a brillo pad, probably. *shudder* Each to his or her own, there’s nothing wrong with having a fetish, what is wrong is bringing unknowing and unwilling people into it without their prior consent.

    Also: “well worn shoes”? This is a new one on me and EEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!
    .-= Selina´s last blog ..Your daily dose of pretty: Office Giggle Strap Mint Patent Leather Shoes =-.

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