August 25, 2015

Dr Sexville Is In. Today: What is up with foot fetishes?

Dear Dr Sexville*,

What is up with foot fetishes? How did that become a thing?

Toey
Dear Toey,

When I was 15, I dated a boy who had a foot fetish. Except that I didn't actually 'date' him, I pashed him a few times at the pub (where I shouldn't have been, because I was underage, so let's just say I was 18.) Oh, and except that he didn't call it a foot fetish, because he was only 16 (or 18, if we're still at the pub); he called it a 'foot fallacy'. Clearly, he was either not very well read, or he was prone to constructing elaborate, invalid arguments in which feet played a key role in the flawed logic. But I digress...

The point is, he liked to play with my feet when we kissed. Which means that foot fetishes have been around since at least my teens, which was approximately 70 billion years ago.

Fetishes occur when a persona becomes sexually aroused by any thing or body part that is not specifically genital, like feet, earlobes, bunny costumes, or a really clean living room floor. And fetishes are very common, even if the object of the fetish is not. There are fetishes for elbows, morbid obesity, the Eiffel Tower, even harpsichords. All of the men I've dated have all had fetishes, for objects as diverse as Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris, and Honda motorbikes.

Foot fetishes, or podophilia, are the most common type of fetish, and they can be excellent fun. I slept with a man once who liked sucking my toes, using 'once' in the sense of 'many, many times' and 'toes' in the sense of 'yes, I mean toes' and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

The only thing to remember about foot fetishes is that, like other objects to be sexually enjoyed, they are best experienced clean. So if there's a chance your partner will be want to get dirty with your feet, perhaps a little wash with some nice peppermint foot scrub followed by a pumice and some soothing cocoa butter moisturizer wouldn't go astray. Unless your partner is a purist, and likes that straight-out-of-the-shoe smell, in which case rip off those socks and get into it.

And remember, a foot fallacy is something completely different. But we can talk about that another time.

Dr Sexville

*Note: I am not an actual doctor, though I have performed the occasional minor self surgery, only once with catastrophic results

Leave your questions for Dr Sexville in the comments, or send to k.sack@live.com

August 24, 2015

why no-one will ever truly know you... but that's okay

The other day, I was imagining a scenario in which a mad scientist took my consciousness out my mind, and then offered me several different minds from which to I had to identify my own. (It was late. I'd been drinking. Just go with me here....)

Of course, I'd be able to pick my mind immediately. Any of us would be able to pick our own minds. We would recognise our minds by our thoughts, fears and desires. Your thoughts would look very different to mine, or my mother's, or my friend Mandy's, or my cat's.

Which demonstrates to me that we all know who we are. We may not be able to clearly articulate who we are, because defining our own uniqueness in language is remarkably difficult. But we do, at a very profound level, know ourselves, far more than we may believe.

cristy johnson 'thinking too much'

But how well can other people ever know us?

We define ourselves by our thoughts. Sure, you may be a 'mother' or 'father', a 'son' or 'daughter', a 'writer' or 'accountant' or 'stay at home mum' or 'surgeon', but these are all just indicators of the things you think about all day.

I am a writer, sure, but this is because a lot of my thoughts are about writing. I am a mother, definitely, because my head is filled with thoughts and memories of my kids. But, while these are easy ways to explain who I am, they don't adequately describe what I feel like inside my own head.
I am my thoughts. I am a conglomeration of the thousands of things that cross my mind all day.

"I am worried about..."
"I miss her..."
"I love him..."
"I'm so uncomfortable about...."
"I wish that..."
"I'm scared to..."
"I'm excited about..."

These thoughts are what define me. These thoughts make me who I am.

And these thoughts are the reason that no-one else in this world will ever fully know me. Because no-one else will have access to all my thoughts; others can only know me through my actions and words.

And the same goes for you. You can never be known in your entirety because no-one else can ever get into your head. Unless you walk around offering a running commentary into your most private thoughts - in which case other people will most likely judge you to be psychotic - you can never be fully known by another.

And this is fine. It is how it is. But we need to remember that - just like no-one else will fully know us - we can never fully know another. Every single person you know has endless thoughts. They have a secret inner world that matches up only to a degree with the outside persona to which you are privy. And being aware of that reminds us that no-one is better than another, or more valuable, or more worthy.

We are all just thoughts. We are all just minds.

And my mind was clearly feeling a bit profound the other day. Right now, it wants to stop thinking altogether and take a bath.




August 17, 2015

The Seven (Eight?) Steps of An Internet Date

Note: This is not a manual. This is my personal experience. This is probably why I am still single. I know, I know...... 

Stage One

Receive kiss/smile/nudge/message/swipe from person on Internet Dating site. Think, "Oh, he's cute! Thank god! There are still cute people left in my age group!" Respond positively.

Note: If the person is repulsive, terminate here.

Stage Two

Begin messaging the person. Think, "Oh, he's funny and can spell! Thank god! There are still funny people left on the internet who can spell!" Casually ask what the person's job is to check he is not in jail, unemployed or a real estate agent. Breathe sigh of relief. Casually how long the person has been separated/divorced/widowed/single to check he is not married, 'separated but still living together', 'looking for some threesome fun' or needing solace after the sudden death of his wife last week. Breathe sigh of relief.

Note: If the person is illiterate, married, grieving or a real estate agent, terminate here.

Stage Three

Exchange real names. Immediately Google the person to check they are, indeed, who they say they are. When LinkedIn profile matches Internet Dating profile, breathe a sigh of relief.

Note: If the person does not actually exist on the internet, terminate here. Everyone who is a real person has some kind of online footprint. I mean, some people actually don't, but they are to be approached with the utmost suspicion and caution and I ain't got time for that.


Stage Four

Exchange phone numbers. Add person's name to phone with helpful reference details such as 'Phil the Accountant from RSVP', 'Mark the Podiatrist from eHarmony' or 'Simon the Hottie from Tinder'. Commence texting.

Note: You probably wouldn't really save 'Simon the Hottie from Tinder' in your phone as he probably won't be around for long, but I'm trying to be comprehensive here.

Stage Five

Exchange witty texts for a couple of days. Forward the choicest texts to your best friend with captions such as 'He's so funny!' and 'He's so clever!' and 'Look how cute he looks holding a wombat!'

Note: If he can't spell for shit, is boring, or doesn't respond to your texts within an hour, terminate here.

Stage Six

Speak on the phone.

Note: If he sounds like something out of Kingswood Country, if there are massive, awkward silences, or if he has a higher voice than you, terminate here. 

Stage Seven

Meet.

Note: If he looks twenty years older than his pictures, if he is six inches shorter than specified, if he is obnoxious/rude to waitstaff/boring/arrogant/disinterested in you, if he has no sense of humour, if he doesn't get your humour, if he cries when talking about his ex, if he becomes purple with rage when talking about his ex, if he doesn't ask you anything about yourself, if he talks excitedly about your future babies, if he proselytizes about God/clean eating/manifesting your own truth, or if he simply does not resonate with you for whatever reason, terminate here.

Stage Eight

Fucked if I know. I guess you meet again?


August 3, 2015

CAFE DEATH STARE

I love eating out in cafes. I love the coffee, the food, the atmosphere, and the delight the wait staff take in attending to my every need.

Today, however, my lunch time experience was disappointing, to say the least. And, as I am not in the mood to say the least, I will say the most, which was that it was unpleasant, uncomfortable, and, frankly, a little terrifying.

I arrived at the cafe before my friend, Lana, who had asked me to pre-order her a coffee. Sadly, by the time she arrived the waiter had not taken my coffee order, so she joked goodnaturedly with him about the fact that I had let her down.

The waiter didn't get her humour at all, and wandered off in a state of confusion, which I cannot condemn, because Lana's humour can be hard to understand.

I snapped this pic of our waitress mid-stare

But then he took our order, which included a baguette (for me) and poched eggs for Lana. Yes, the menu said 'poched' eggs. Which is fine, really, because I can forgive a typo. A poched egg is an egg by any other name. Except that when Lana ordered her poached eggs, and I muttered 'poched' under my breath, the waiter looked monumentally unimpressed. Perhaps he simply believed the scrambled eggs were a better choice, but either way, it was a loveless moment.

Still, the worst was yet to come. Because when my baguette arrived it was the size of a newborn - like, a proper newborn human, not one of those minuscule newborn kangaroos that look like jelly beans for the first weeks of their lives. Lana's eggs, however, were teeny tiny. I mean, the eggs were regular size - not, like, newborn kangaroo size - but they were perched on one piece on toast, and it was a pretty fucking small piece of toast at that. Seriously. That toast could not have fit a newborn human's handprint, let alone filled an adult sized human's stomach.

So, having a horror for unfairness and adversity, I beckoned to the waiter.

"Can she have another piece of toast?" I asked. "That one is teeny tiny."

Well, he looked shocked. Truly. I might as well have asked him for newborn kangaroo on a plate of mashed yeast. There were some disapproving looks, some rustling in the kitchen, and then a waitress who we had never seen before flounced out, dropped the toast on the table, and issued Lana with a death stare capable of freezing full sized mammals of all description in their tracks and shattering them to pieces. It was like looking into the eyes of a psycho killer. There was just blackness there. Dark pools of anger and revenge.

Lana did not finish her toast. She was too frightened. I finished my baguette, because no mere confrontation with a murderous waitress can dampen my appetite. And, to be honest, it was a delicious baguette. Much, much better than the poched eggs.

All in all, it was an unsettling experience, and I am still recovering. As for Lana, well, the food poisoning hasn't kicked in yet, but we are monitoring her progress by the hour.

Have you ever had a bad restaurant experience? And would you eat poched kanga on rye?

July 31, 2015

Things I Should Have Sorted by 40, But Haven't

I am 46. That is closer to 50 than 40. (And yes, you probably worked that out yourself, but I'm still coming to terms with it.) By now I should probably have worked out this Adulting gig. I've been doing it for a long, long long time.

But there are still things I haven't figured out, despite my advanced age: things I should have sorted by 40, but haven't.

  1. I am still searching for the ideal hair and skin care products. I have not yet accepted the reality that it's not the products that are imperfect, it is my hair and skin.
  2. I still let paperwork pile up in huge mounds around my house. I have tried 758,000 filing systems over the past three decades, and not one of them has eliminated the mounds.
  3. I still sometimes eat my feelings.
  4. I am still a sucker for clothing bargains and am forever purchasing non-returnable items on sale that I hate the minute I bring them home.
  5. I am still incredibly trusting, and get fooled by liars time and time again.
  6. I still bite my nails. Even my acrylic nails.
  7. I still run out of bread and milk all the time.
  8. I still confuse sex with love.
  9. I still don't have a formal exercise regime. Or even a casual exercise regime.
  10. I still lose my temper with the kids and regret it afterwards.
  11. I still don't know the capital cities of many countries in the world, despite really, truly trying to memorise them.
  12. I still don't have a signature dish. I don't even have a signature drink.
  13. I still fret if I don't get enough sleep.
  14. I still assume people are dead or angry with me if they don't text me back straight away.
  15. I still need therapy.
What about you?

July 22, 2015

Why Looks Matter, Though I Wish They Didn't

In a recent post I referenced a woman who had shamed a man who didn't find her attractive because she was fat. Very contentious stuff. And I've been thinking about it a lot since.

Attraction is important. We are not just brains - we are brains walking around in bodies with faces attached. Our bodies and faces are as much a part of who were are as our minds. And our brains have a tremendous influence on our bodies and faces. Think about it. What do you eat? How much do you exercise? How much makeup do you wear? What clothes do you choose? How do you do your hair? Do you have tattoos/piercings/weird feather type things sticking out from odd places? 

All of these decisions come from your brain, and will change your appearance accordingly.

But it works the other way, too. We are all born with a particular body - a body that can be altered to an extent, but not entirely. How tall or short we are, how conventionally attractive our features, our genetic predisposition to being thin or fat, any disabilities or illnesses, will all dramatically affect our personalities.

My last boyfriend.

We are a combination of mind and body. And when we meet other people, we are attracted to their particular combination of mind and body, or we are not. 

I don't really understand the science of attraction. I know that I can find classically good looking men remarkably uninteresting, and can be devastatingly attracted to men who would be more suited to the cover of Horse and Hound magazine than Men's Health. But I also know that I can have a visceral repulsion towards a man who may be perfectly pleasant in personality, but whose appearance triggers something negative in me. It may have nothing whatsover to do with traditional notions of beauty, but rather his appearance doesn't resonate with me for reasons I can't articulate.

Of course, attraction is fluid. We can find someone unattractive on first meeting, get to know them, and decide they're not so bad after all. I remember thinking a friend's husband was the least attractive man in the universe until I became friends with him, and realised he was nice looking after all. As I said, brains and body are inextricably connected.

But what to do when you're dating? And is judging people on their looks something we should feel bad about? Lana and I discussed these issues the other day. Would love to hear your thoughts.


July 9, 2015

Keep Personal Correspondence Out Of The Public Arena - A Very Unpopular Argument

Yesterday I got into a discussion/debate with a number of commenters about a recent post in which a woman shared correspondence between her and a man she met on Tinder. The man wrote her a detailed email explaining that whilst he very much liked her, he wasn't attracted to her body because it was fat. The woman responded to him in her blog in an angry message explaining why he could kiss her arse.

I think (believe, know) the woman had every right to respond with whichever words she chose to the man in question. What alarms me is that she chose to do it publicly.

The woman is not alone. Recently Em Rusciano, a columnist I greatly admire and like personally, published a column about an awful man on Tinder who body shamed a potential date. Again, the correspondence was shared.

And Em is also not alone. This is a huge trend in social media at the moment. When people receive private correspondence that they do not like, or find hurtful or abusive, they share it online. And I'm not stupid. I understand the reasoning. There is an intense desire to shame the person involved, to expose them for the nasty piece of work they are. And there is an empowerment in shaming someone who has hurt you. It feels good to get it out in the open, and receive approbation and affirmation from countless strangers.

But that doesn't make it right. I don't believe it is okay to share personal correspondence online.

For one thing, we all make mistakes. We all hurt people. No, we are not all arseholes, but even arseholes are not arseholes all the time. If you feel it is okay to shame someone else, then you have to be prepared to be shamed yourself. And how would you feel if your own personal correspondence was shared? If you were nasty to a lover, or friend, in an unwise, unguarded moment, and they shared your text or email with the entire world?

And if you answer "I wouldn't care, because I wouldn't do that, and if I did I would deserve it," then ask yourself carefully: have you really never written anything of which you have been ashamed? Have you really never made fun of someone behind their back, or shot off an angry text, or been cruel? Have you really never done anything to which someone else could take offence?


And even if you answer no, think about this. Do we want a world where people jump online every time they are disgruntled? Where we no longer deal with personal issues between ourselves, but take them into the public arena for the world to referee? We try to teach our children to work through their differences without running to their parents or teachers, and yet what are we teaching them by racing to the internet every time when we have a dispute with another person?

If a person offends you, deal with them. Tell them how you feel. And if they continue to upset you, block them. Delete their messages. When you block someone they don't exist anymore. They are gone. It is a very powerful tool.

And obviously if they are threatening or harassing you, go to the police. Take out a restraining order. Threaten them with legal action. If a person is dangerous, you're certainly not going to protect yourself by shaming them publicly.

There are undoubtedly some situations in which disclosure is in the best interests of the public, for example when they involve authority figures or criminal activities or threats to public safety. But to have 'running to social media' as the default position for issues between two individuals creates all sorts of problems. We will become a society in which the morality is held externally, in the Greek chorus of the online world. And we will lose our personal resilience, to be able to deal with interpersonal difficulties without the assistance and intervention of a thousand strangers.

I know most people will disagree with me. But you can also rest assured that any personal correspondence sent to me will remain private. And I bet that even those who disagree with me will find that
reassuring.

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