Foot in the mouth
Gentleman June 1998

I was in heaven. To my left and right, I was flanked by six other women I had nothing in common with. And yet, all of us wore the same beatific expression of other-world-happiness.

Ankle-deep in soapsuds, we sat there with the warm whirling waters of the foot-bath sending countless happy messages to our brains. We watched with eyes narrowed in sheer delight our sisters go through the rack as they prettied themselves for their men. One yowled as her eyebrows were plucked; another wept as a black-head remover tortured her pores; from behind a curtain came the merciless flat thwack thwack ripping sound as cloth strips pressed down on skin and hair smeared with hot wax were pulled off…

We closed our eyes, sank deeper into the foot-bath and let waves of further pleasure wash over our feet. And, so as I sat there in Madame Liao's heaven, it dawned on me why my great friend M's been sporting that look of supreme content these past few months.

T's everything most women dream of. He's cute. He's artistic. He can drive a nail into the wall without flattening his thumb. He creates marvellous dishes out of very ordinary ingredients and cleans the kitchen when he's finished cooking. He pampers the cat with ice cubes in its drinking water, and in a restaurant if someone as much as darts a lecherous glance at T, he'll pounce on the offender with a growl, "Do you think she's on the menu?" But it is none of these reasons why I'm sure M these days resembles her cat when it's had its fourth consecutive bowl of raw minced meat. Surely it could only be his fetish.

In the medical encyclopedia, fetishism appears between Festination and fetus. It is described as a form of sexual deviation in which the person becomes stimulated by parts of the body, which are not usually regarded as erotogenic, such as the feet. T has a foot fetish. He worships M feet upward. So all that M has to do is flex her toes and he is in seventh heaven.

For a woman graded pretty or ugly all her life based on how big her bosom is, how small her waist is or how rounded her hips are, it is totally gratifying to have a man go into ecstasies over high her arches are or how long her toes are. It makes her feel less as a sex object and more as a human being.

In a world populated with men who consider layers of adipose tissue at vantage points to be the hot spots of sexual action, here is your chance to be different For instance women are aroused by the manipulation of ear lobes. In fact, heavy pendant earrings had a forgotten purpose - constant stimulation! But it is the foot that offers tremendous possibilities. Jam-packed with nerve endings, an inventive foot massage will pull more erotic triggers that glassy eyed fondling of fatty tissue.

Just the other day I read a singularly nondescript book in which singularly nondescript people went about their singularly nondescript lives. I was ready to put down the book when flashed a tiny little paragraph of how the otherwise nondescript middle-aged lover licks the heroine's toes with great relish and then compares the experience to feasting on mango slices: slippery, wet and utterly delicious. Needless to say she falls even more deeply in love with him. And, I continued to read the book till the last page.

However before you dismiss this as a case of British eccentricity, think of that amazing scene from the classic Hindi film 'Pakeezah' where Raaj Kumar is smitten by the sheer beauty of Meena Kumari's feet. I know of steely eyed, hard-as-Gaultier-cones-hearted women turn into romantic wrecks at the mere mention of this sequence.

This anniversary or for that matter why wait that long, this weekend instead of a back rub, try a foot rub. Sit at her feet and gently cup her soles in the palms of your hand. For effect, try reciting with feeling The Song of Solomon. Not the whole thing but just the bit that begins 'How beautiful are thy feet...' [You'll discover it is only as difficult as memorizing multiplication tables]. Don't be surprised if she asks you if you are feeling all right. After all only two other people lavish such attention to her extremities: the minion in the beauty salon and the salesman in a shoe shop.

Massage her feet with the devotion you normally reserve for adipose. Two things are bound to happen. She'll turn to putty in your arms. Or, she'll go off into a paroxysm of giggles. Either way you can be sure it'll be fun. After all, isn't that what sex is meant to be all about?

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