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Table of contents
PREFACE
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-1.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-1.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.4
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-2.5
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.4
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-3.5
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-4.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.1
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.2
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-5.3
EROTIC SYMBOLISM-6
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.3
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-1.4
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.3
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-2.4
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-3.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-3.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.1
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.2
THE MECHANISM OF DETUMESCENCE-4.3
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-1
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-2
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-3
THE PSYCHIC STATE IN PREGNANCY-4
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-1.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-1.2
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-2.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-2.2
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-3-4
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-5.1
HISTORIES OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY-5.2
INDEX OF AUTHORS

little as possible of her feet in walking, and even in some of 

the most characteristic Spanish dances there is little or no 

kicking, and the feet may even be invisible throughout. It is 

noteworthy that in numerous figures of Spanish women (probably 

artists' models) reproduced in Ploss's _Das Weib_ the stockings 

are worn, although the women are otherwise, in most cases, quite 

naked. Max Dessoir mentions ("Psychologie der Vita Sexualis," 

_Zeitschrift fuer Psychiatrie_, 1894, p. 954) that in Spanish 

pornographic photographs women always have their shoes on, and he 

considers this an indication of perversity. I have seen the 

statement (attributed to Gautier's _Voyage en Espagne_, where, 

however, it does not occur) that Spanish prostitutes uncover 

their feet in sign of assent, and Madame d'Aulnoy stated that in 

her time to show her lover her feet was a Spanish woman's final 

favor. 

 

The tendency, which we thus find to be normal at some earlier periods of 

civilization, to insist on the sexual symbolism of the feminine foot or 

its coverings, and to regard them as a special sexual fascination, is not 

without significance for the interpretation of the sporadic manifestations 

of foot-fetichism among ourselves. Eccentric as foot-fetichism may appear 

to us, it is simply the re-emergence, by a pseudo-atavism or arrest of 

development, of a mental or emotional impulse which was probably 

experienced by our forefathers, and is often traceable among young 

children to-day.[19] The occasional reappearance of this bygone impulse 

and the stability which it may acquire are thus conditioned by the 

sensitive reaction of an abnormally nervous and usually precocious 

organism to influences which, among the average and ordinary population of 

Europe to-day, are either never felt, or quickly outgrown, or very 

strictly subordinated in the highly complex crystallizations which the 

course of love and the process of tumescence create within us. 

 

It may be added that this is by no means true of foot-fetichism 

only. In some other fetichisms a seemingly congenital 

predisposition is even more marked. This is not only the case as 

regards hair-fetichism and fur-fetichism (see, e.g., 

Krafft-Ebing, _Psychopathia Sexualis_, English translation of 

tenth edition, pp. 233, 255, 262). In many cases of fetichisms of 

all kinds not only is there no record of any commencement in a 

definite episode (an absence which may be accounted for by the 

supposition that the original incident has been forgotten), but 

it would seem in some cases that the fetichism developed very 

slowly. 

 

In this sense, it will be seen, although it is hazardous to speak of 

foot-fetichism as strictly an atavism, it may certainly be said to arise 

on a congenital basis. It represents the rare development of an inborn 

germ, usually latent among ourselves, which in earlier stages of 

civilization frequently reached a normal and general fruition. 

 

It is of interest to emphasize this congenital element of foot symbolism, 

because more than any other forms of sexual perversion the fetichisms are 

those which are most vaguely conditioned by inborn states of the organism 


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