Tag Archive: shoes

So I got the news the other day that one of my workshop proposals has been accepted for this year’s Unholy Harvest.
I will be presenting Soles, Toes, and Heels: An Erotic Introduction to Feet and Shoes.
As implied by the title, this is definitely a 101 workshop. I’ll be talking a little bit about foot and shoe fetishism plus what Midori refers to as “foot hedonism”, as well as what I think of as “the axes of desire” (masculine/feminine, feet/shoes, active/receptive… and how “top” and “bottom” run counter to their more typically assumed dynamics in a lot of foot play). Following that, I’ll be getting into the basics of various types of foot-play (the bare-bones basics of foot-massage, polish, great places to put your tongue, how to go down on a shoe, mixing feet and food, and safe ways to fuck with your feet.
Things I won’t be covering (in this workshop) include bastinado and other foot-focused forms of S/M.
I have to admit I’m excited about doing this. Partly because, duh, I’m into feet, but also because this workshop (I think) has the potential to be offered in more spaces than Unholy Harvest and for audiences that aren’t limited to queer chicks. (Not that the other ones necessarily were, but… this feels more broad-spectrum, I think).
Anyway. That’s my big news. 🙂
See you in October (I’ll be doing a take-off on Barbarella for my costume. How ’bout you?)
Ms Syren.

Okay. Originally, I was going to do a post on polyamoury… but that’s still in the draft stages (and, anyway, I can always do “S is for Sharing” or “P is for Polyamoury” or “L is for Love without Limits” or whatever… I’m not tied to “Frubbly” for this topic). Besides. My partner/servant is competing for the Ottawa Bootblack title in a little less than a month, and I wanted to squee on a related topic before it got too late.

To wit: F is for Footwear.

Now, you all know that I love footwear, and that I’m wanted my Ghost to start making boots for me. Well, my young lady has just moved that much closer to being able to do it.
See… F is also for Fluevogs, of which I have a pair. A pair with-which I am not, in any way, gentle (although I do Mind The Road Salt in Winter). My Ghost says that Leathermen wear boots like they’re show pieces, but leatherdykes? We just live in them. It means that, when my young lady was Blacking at a local fundraiser, she saw pair after pair of pretty-much immaculate boots turning up on her stand but, when she was Blacking at Unholy Harvest over this past Thanksgiving Weekend, she was doing something more along the lines of Emergency Coblery on boots that had last been seen tromping through the woods, or that needed a new heel or a re-treaded sole, or a new dye-job, or all of the above.

I am like my Sisters. I live in my boots.

Consequently, I wore through the inner lining, and destroyed the heel counter in the left one – there was just the outer suede shell left between me and the elements.

So my Ghost made anew heel cup for me. She cut a strip of leather, punched holes, sewed it together, and trimmed it, and then did reconstructive surgery on the inside of my boot. I’m right bloody proud of her. (And also happy to be able to wear my boots again, seeing as it snowed the other day. O.O)

Anyway. That’s my squee. 🙂 See you on November 9-10th for IML and the Ottawa Bootblack competition. 😀

Ms Syren.

Art vs Porn – A Response

So. My friend, Nadine, wrote a post discussing the theoretical difference between “art” and “porn”. And I decided to write a response (that got just long enough that it’s going here instead of in her comments section).

Now, you all know that, once upon a time, I was an anti-porn-feminist, the kind who was all for “possitive expressions of sexuality” but who drew a line between “erotica” (which fit my personal, and fairly narrow, definitions of “possivie expressions of sexuality”) and “porn” (which was evil, exploitive, and generally had to be stricken from the earth). Now, since that time, everything has changed and I tend not to make much of a distinction between “erotica” and “porn”. However I find the (theoretical) distinctions drawan between “art” and “porn” is very much like the ones that get drawn between “erotica” and “porn”. E.G.: semantics and ideas about “legitimacy” (there’s going to be a LOT of quotation marks in this post, by the way).

I find that trying to draw a (real) distinction between porn and art is an exercise in futility and frustration. I can get turned on looking at Fabulous Shoes. Someone else might look at the same pair of stillettos (the kind that come with a “do not chew” warning on the label), though, and just see a danger to their ankles. Likewise, I can look at pictures of Big Gay Bears – fucking, even – and think “ew, chest hair”, while others will get totally hot over the same images.

Look. I do a lot of nude modeling. Some of it is officially erotic (stuff that plays with fetish themes, for eg). Some of it is officially not (gesture modeling for an animation class). A lot of it is in a blurry place between the two.
In those case, the “difference” between what’s an “art” shoot and what’s a “porn” shoot is, more often than not, in how much I’m getting paid to do it — what you said about there being assumptions that “porn” is less valuable/worth than “art” is true, but there are also assumptions (big ones) about how a porn model is less valuable/worthy as a person than an “art” model… with the result being that “porn models” (whether the porn is “erotic art nudes” or “hard core fisting”) tend to get paid better than “art models” (because, y’know, clearly a model would be ashamed to being doing porn, and so would need the deal to be sweetened a little before she’d agree to do it).
It’s stupid.
But it happens.
Consequently, I think my definition of “porn” – from a photography modeling perspective – is, more than anything: “Does it appear that the photographer find this imagery titillating? If yes, then Porn”.
So I’ve done “porn” that involved me brushing my hair, fully clothed. I’ve done “porn” that was shot only from the ankles down. I’ve done “porn” that involved fake blood and real biting. I’ve done “porn” that involved me standing next to a woman 18″ shorter than me, with both of us in business clothing (yes, really). I’ve done “porn” that involved close-ups of my genitals…. And I’ve done “art” that involves being nude but for stillettos, or nude but for leather boots[1]. I’ve done “art” that involved visible pubic hair and erect nipples.

Gods know that, if you work in the Porn Mines (as a writer friend of mine calls them), you can end up writing explicitly sexual stuff that isn’t actually explicitly sexual for you (like, I dunno, writing a hero with a really hair chest. I might go “ick” at that thought, but it doesn’t mean I couldn’t put such a character in a story and have the Love Interest totally go nuts over him).

And, yes, “art nude” tends to involve more “bodyscaping” – heavier use of light and shadow, basically – while “erotic nude” tends to, um, not… But I’ve done “art nudes” that are based on (and, occasionally, recreations of) the photographer’s favourite fetish shots by a different artist, and I’ve modeled for student photographers who are practicing portraiture lighting… and just happen to want to shoot portraits of hot girls in lingerie.
See what I mean?
I raised my rates for photographers’ modeling (environmental portraiture) about six months ago because the lines between “art nude”, “erotic art nude”, and “erotic nude” are not wide at all and, before, when I charged different rates for “art nude” and “erotic nude”, I often found myself basically getting shortchanged. Now I charge everybody the same rate, and I’m a whole lot happier (and feel less like I need to by hyper-vigilant) about it all. 🙂

There are a lot of ways that you can define porn – or define art (is there a plinth involved? What about cherubs?) for that matter – but I think it pretty-much comes down to the eye of the beholder.

Ms Syren.

[1] That one actually won a local figure-drawing competition, believe it or not.

Boot-Making (Full Steam Ahead!)

My servant is a leather worker by avocation – she’s a boot-black and general leather-footwear repair-woman. She’s kept at least one pair of my boots on life-support for years and her goal (one of them) is to (eventually) make custom boots.
Obviously, she’ll be making custom boots for me (:-D) before she goes Public (and, y’know, after). But that’s a ways off at this point.

The first trick is to learn how to make boots.
So far, I’ve been able to find her one book – a reprint of an Edwardian (iirc) coblery manual (making very boring men’s dress shoes) – on the subject. It’s something, but it’s not actually all that useful, given the kind of footwear I want. (If you’ve ever seek Kinky Boots, you know what I mean).

That said, my Ghost is a smart cookie who knows how to work garment and boot leather (repairs) already and has plenty of experience working with blueprints.
Also, honestly, building a garment for your foot isn’t that hard. Building a Really Good Garment for you foot is probably more difficult, but bulding something functional and wearable? I’ve done it. (Once, but still — I made myself a pair of boots out of fabric one year and stitched them – badly – to a pair of soles that I cut out of a set of boots that were cut All Wrong for my feet[1]).

That said, here’s a handy video that shoes the general idea (I think it’s actually an ad for a shoe-making course, but it gives you a bit of a run-down):

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, then there’s the second trick: Which is knowing where/how to obtain soles in my size. I have Very Big Feet. Size 13-14 (or size 45, depending on where you’re at).


Conveniently, my Ghost knows her way around a wood shop (to put it rather mildly).

(Relevant backstory: A couple of weeks ago, I bought a pair of fabulous shoes (which I totally wore to the play party at Spring Fling this past weekend). They have thick, cork soles. This got me Thinking).

Perhaps my Ghost could make me some properly-sized shoe soles out of poplar, tulip poplar, or willow (which, according to this article about clogs, are traditional materials for wooden Dutch clogs).

I feel like, frequently, the upper-and-insole of a shoe or boot can be make almost like a very structured sock – icluding cushioning for the footbed and everything – the whole of which is then glued to a sole like these ones:

Which – one hopes – results in footwear like these (all of which I would wear in a heartbeat, fyi):

Classic yet Contemporary

How fucking awesome is the carved detailing on that sole?

Just the thing to wear with a micro-mini (or, y'know, nothing at all...)

Oh. Oh my. I believe these speak for themselves just fine. 😀

By the looks of things, many wooden-soled shoes have the upper decoratively nailed to the sole, like these ones:

I don’t actually know if that’s decorative trim or if the upper is actually held on (in part) in this fasion. I think it’s partially dependent on whether on not you’re dealing with a sandal. My thought, though, is that if a “decorative” trim like that is also firmly part of the upper, it will help to keep the sole connected to the upper if the nails are more than just deocrative heads.

This video shows how to “make a shoe” (not one you can wear) by covering a pump with plastic wrap and then increasing the structural stability by covering it with packing tape. (Just watch the video, you’ll ge the gist pretty quickly).

As far as making a wearable shoe goes, it’s useless. BUT for making a last? It’s perfect.
After you have your shoe-form made (and well-shored up with duct tape and similar), fill it carefully with plaster of paris and let it harden. You could just as easily do this by shaving your legs and duct-taping over a pair of dollar-store nylons while resting your heels on a block/tealight-holder/cup of the right height.

Since wooden shoe-soles tend – going by the pics I found anyway – to be chunky/platform style, One might use a three-inch heel “slope” (set your heel on a three-inch-high block) if one wanted a 3.5″-4″ (or higher) heel, since the sole under the ball of the foot would be 0.5″-1″ thick.

My thought is that Ghost could make me wooden shoe soles like the various ones pictured above (sticking to a single, easy-to-walk-in heel-height – ~3″ – and pattern, to begin with), afix rubber treads and caps to the parts that come into contact with the ground (possibly by cutting half-soles to fit?) and then glue leather “socks” to the soles, complete with a functional-yet-decorative nail-head (actual nales) trim that would act as a secondary fixitive to keep upper and sole together.

Anyway. That’s my thought. I look forward to helping my Ghost persue her goal and, incidently, to reaping the benefits of (a) have a custom cobler (haute shoe coture for moi! ZOMG!) On Staff and (b) getting to be her spokes model if/when she decides to open for business. 😉

Ms Syren.

[1] The soles were totally fine, but the actual cut of the boot was too shallow across my instep, which meant they cut off the circulation to my foot. Very Bad Situation. So I hacked them up and made something custom-cut. YAY! 😀

I have a bit of a Thing for shoes.
I am what Midori refers to as a “foot hedonist”. But – being a big femme into femmes – I’m also the more traditional kind of foot fetishist and can totally appreciate someone else’s insteps.

Being the kind of lucky individual whose partner’s kinks dove-tail really well with her own (score!!!), and (at last) having a little bit of extra cash lying around, I went out and got us both new shoes.


Leopard-print, d'orsay (I think), pointy-toed 4" stilettos with ankle straps. For my sweetie.

Cherry red (or there-abouts) pointy-toed, d'orsay (I think) 4" stilettos with ankle straps (for me)

Are they not wonderful? 😀

I spent 9 hours yesterday wearing my spiffy new shoes and writing porn. I like them. I like them a lot. 🙂

Ms Syren