Emilie and the Freudian Slipper. Part 1: The Journey begins.
Libraries can be surprisingly exciting places. And I'm not talking about the occasional immature male using the computers to look at porn, but I'm actually talking books. Some of those can send you on Indiana Jones-esque journeys that will take you all over the world and deep into the origins of a quite common fetish.
I've never been into feet a lot myself, but as a ballet dancer one automatically has brushes with foot fetishism. For example, a couple of years ago I decided to start making good use of one of those fancy dating apps that were around. But…I did not want to use a picture of my face, as I utterly disliked the idea of being judged like a piece of meat by all those older men that had profile pictures in the category of "someone insulted my mother just after I had taken my shirt off." So I went for a coincidental photo of my foot (and if you really want to know: planted in the grass next to the hoof of a cow) and it did not even take a minute before I received a message from a man in the category: “wow, such a man has an interest in me of all people!?”
We had a couple of lovely dates and I was starting to develop feelings, but seemingly in my infatuation I had missed a lot of nods, hints, innuendo and what-not. And then somewhere during the umpteenth date “pang” I realised that I was dating a foot fetishist. It didn’t work out, there were other issues and so on, but it still makes a good story. A story well suited to introduce this blog series.
Now years later I was, for reasons not to be digressed upon, looking into databases of 19th century German literature, as always on the lookout for the more obscure works. This time the book that emerged would in turn immerse me into the world of feet and footwear and those that are fascinated by it. This blog is the result of my daring search for the author of this book: a girl called Emilie.
To lift the curtain just a little bit already: in this book Emilie was talking slippers. That seems a quite ordinary subject, typical 19th century small talk for girls maybe. But in the world of literature nothing is without a deeper meaning, so neither are slippers. When one wants to illustrate the murky mire that was gender in the world of yesterday, one cliché image comes to mind: the husband of the house arrives home after a day at work, seats himself in his comfortable chair, and waits for his obedient wife to bring him his trusted pipe…and slippers. Now was that a matter of archaic convenience or is there more behind this? Maybe way more?
To be continued...