Sunday, January 15, 2017

Confidence Leads to Comfort

Alice's confidence in herself has made her ever so comfortable with the fetish.

"The older I got, and when I got to know you, Patrick, the more comfortable I got with the idea of a fetish in general."
- Alice, Wu's Feet Links Interview (Jan. 2016) 

There I am, nose to toes with Alice's size 11 feet and her well worn flats - the ones she wears to work daily. She doesn't care. Nope. She actually thinks it's rather adorable. And knowing her, she probably wore them a little longer just to moisten them up inside. Oh Alice...

Alice is like many of the females I've become friends with over the years. She doesn't find my fetish to be anything out of the ordinary. She fully believes your kinks should be something you embrace. She even said as much in her January 2016 Interview on the Wu's Feet Links Interviews Blog.

"There is nothing to be ashamed of. We like what we like and everyone likes something different. Take pride in what sexually arouses you! Have fun with it!" she encouraged.

I decided to start this blog off with Alice because of the journey she took to get to where she is now modeling. It would have been so easy for Alice to classify me as a "creepy old guy with a foot fetish," and never entertain the idea. Add in the 18 years separating us and her preconceived notion about the fetish prior to shooting for me and it makes for a great example of the purpose of this blog.

"When I was first introduced to foot fetishism, I thought it was a joke, honestly. I was a little judgmental and thought it was weird," she admitted.

So what made her change her mind? What lead her to eagerly want stick her sweaty feet in my face for the photo above? It was my confidence as it pertains to my fetish and ability to make her feel comfortable because of it. That led to her own confidence to grow and her own feelings to change. Now she realizes the beauty and power her large size 11 feet have over many of us out there.

"The older I got, and when I got to know you, Patrick, the more comfortable I got with the idea of a fetish in general," Alice said.

Alice's ever growing confidence has led to her becoming one of the site's most photographed models within just two short years. It just continues to grow and now she's even asking her friends to shoot.

There was once a time, however, where I didn't exude that confidence in my fetish. It's been an awful long time, but my love for women's feet was something I used to be embarrassed about. You'd have to go back to when I was 18 and dating Abby to find that version of me.

All these years later, I'm so lucky to have Abby still modeling her adorable little feet.

Back in 1997 a skinnier me was getting introduced to perhaps still the softest feet I've ever touched. Abby read me like a book. Even back in high school, before we dated, she knew I liked feet. Once we started dating, she went and made a monster out of me. First, however, she had to open the cage door and make me step out. And it didn't take her long to unlock that door and begin that process either.

The very first day we hung out together, she was sticking McDonald's French fries between her toes and encouraging me to eat them. A much more timid me, was hesitant. I had never experienced such a blatant request and yet, there she was, beckoning me with a confidence of her own that started to make me feel more comfortable. Each and every experience afterward would only make my own confidence grow. Still, however, that was only between the two of us.

A few months later, Abby told me that she told a few of her friends that I had a foot fetish. I honestly remember that conversation in her living room and feeling embarrassed. "How would they look at me now?" I thought.

Abby assured me that her friends thought it was awesome. I was still feeling a little unsure of her decision, but I'd eventually see that she was right. I even got to take foot fetish photos of one of those friends, an Asian girl living next door. When I got them both together in a set, I didn't think it could get any better. The monster was officially born.

In her 2006 Wu's Feet Links Fan Interview, Abby shed some light on her feelings all those years ago. She said, "My ex-boyfriend, Patrick, is who got me into the foot fetish world. That was his thing and I supported it. I told him it was a great thing and not to be shy about it."

Fast forward to present day and I guess you can say the shoe is now on the other foot, pun intended. It's my own confidence that has allowed me to have countless female friends shoot for Soles of Silk. I rarely have to convince anyone. I just ask. The only things that generally holds my female friends back from shooting are their partners not being as comfortable with the idea, or things such as jobs. These girls know what I do and have become comfortable enough with me to want to kick their shoes off and show all of you their feet. And as you can see, even after we broke up back in 1999, Abby still actively models her captivating feet for me. I'm glad we've maintained our friendship and that she still loves being in front of my camera making her feet wrinkle up like no other.

If Mindee could shoot every day, I honestly think she would. She loves it.

I'd be lying if I told you that some models didn't need a little convincing though. Even Mindee, the site's most photographed model, wasn't sure about it back in 2004. Once she became comfortable, however, her confidence also began to grow. Now Mindee has over 4,000 photos and counting with no signs of stopping. Another thing she's quick to take advantage of is my foot massage skills. If I haven't grabbed her feet at some point during our get togethers, she's sure to push the issue. Down time is foot rub time! We're actually meeting today for lunch and a foot rub. This is such a far cry from how things were 13 years ago. In her case, I might have created the monster!

"In the beginning I was terrified. The simple fact is you're my friend and you already made me feel comfortable. The truth now is, I absolutely enjoy it!" Mindee said in her 10 for 10 interview conducted during Soles of Silk 10 Year Anniversary celebration.

As you can see, both Mindee and Alice have had a similar story. They both came from a place of uncertainty and progressed to a place where they can't wait to find some more time in front of the camera, or with their feet being pampered by yours truly. The same holds true for some of the models I wasn't friends with prior, say someone who was a friend of a friend, for example. 

When those first timers show up to a shoot and and see how laid back I am about the site and fetish, they begin to grow more comfortable. I sometimes even crack jokes about the fetish, or even on myself for having it. I don't care. If it helps relieve any tension that girl may have, I'll do it.

"I just might be the only male photographer you'll have that means your toes when I ask you to, 'spread'em," I will often say to a newbie.

I don't think that has never not elicited a laugh. Then I'll usually tell her that I should look into what the other guys are shooting now that I think about it. Again, that's usually followed by more laughs. Those little things go a long way.

With all this said, I won't sit here and tell you that there isn't the rare exception where a woman is just repulsed by the idea of someone into feet. Not everyone has the same opinions, or are as open minded as likes Abby, Alice, or Mindee. These types of people won't change their mind, no matter what you say. There is no need to try to convince them. Surely, there are some models who you might be able to pay enough money to get in front of your camera, but I'm talking more about those who do it because they have fun with it. The ones you have to overpay won't be fun to shoot and I have no interest in them. To each their own, though.

When it comes to personal friendships, if there is ever a person who ceases being your friend, or treats you with disrespect for simply having a foot fetish, they're not worth your time. Move on and find someone less petty. Life is too short to surround yourself with people like that. No real need to elaborate on this any further. Let them screw off.

It is not impossible have a healthy friendship with someone who will never understand your fetish or kinks pertaining to feet though. I currently work with such a girl who turned me down ASAP when I asked her to shoot a couple of years ago. She hates feet and doesn't get the fetish at all. Even when Kaycee and Reagan tried to talk her into shooting, she flat out refused. Kaycee and Reagan have a blast shooting and thought they might be able to talk her into it - girl to girl. But alas, nope. I did appreciate their effort though.

Regardless of her feelings, I can respect that. It doesn't appeal to her and has never affected our friendship. If over time she should begin to have a change of heart, then maybe we'll shoot. For now though, she's just a friend who doesn't get barefoot in front of my camera. You can have those friends.

The one thing that I've come to find troublesome is when you're in a romantic relationship and your partner is the one who can't accept your fetish. For me, I cannot be with someone who doesn't accept my fetish. If that sounds selfish, I make no apologies. My fetish is a part of me and I know there are enough people out there who would appreciate it. And yes, I've been in a relationship with someone who hated the attention I'd tried to give her feet. That person is Paige Noelle, who'd later model for the site.

I was shocked when Paige offered to model for me after we broke up.

Paige and I only dated for several months, but the entire time we did, she protested my desire to give her a foot rub while we'd watch TV, or relax after a long day at work. Knowing that, I knew other kinks concerning her feet were out of the question. We lasted only a few months and broke things off amicably.

With that knowledge, you can imagine my confusion when Paige offered to shoot for Soles of Silk a couple of years after we broke up. She wanted me to take some standard pictures of her and offered to do mine in trade. She admitted that she still didn't get the whole fetish, and didn't find her feet to be as cute as I claimed. She still thought it could be fun nonetheless and I accepted her offer. As strange as it sounds, loved being back around her feet. It was like they were that forbidden fruit. That shoot was easily the most time I spent before her tender feet, before, during, or after our break up. 

When it comes to other people's relationships, I have been contacted by a number of guys over the years who are in a similar situation as I was with Paige. It's hard for me to give them advice because in some of cases, they've hidden their fetish their entire lives. Ever since Abby, all my subsequent girlfriends have known the deal with my fetish. Minus Paige, all of them adored the attention I gave their feet. They'd throw their feet in my lap for a foot rub without my asking, then eventually have journey elsewhere - both north and south. Whether it was for teasing or pleasing purposes, those girls loved the power their feet had over me and made sure to take advantage of it. That's just what loving couples do.

What really upsets me is when I hear some of these guys tell me that not even their own wife or girlfriend know about their fetish, even though they've been together for a long time. I can't even fathom what that would be like. But it gets worse...  Some even think telling their spouse could potentially tear apart their relationship. That's just not good. How do you even respond to that?

I'm no relationship councilor, so the only thing I can tell people in this situation is basically what I've said above. Accept your fetish. Let go of the fear of that others will think less of you. If you display your confidence, and appreciate a woman above her ankles as well (very important), then more times than not, she'll come around to it.

Ultimately, only you know yourself and those who surround you. No matter what you do in life, never feel bad about having your fetish. Accept it, but don't allow it to consume you. It can be a fun part of who you are, if you allow it to be. You might start off like I did and be weary of the path before you, but just know that some of those twists and turns can lead you to some memorable times.