The Columbia Foot Fetish Connection
ere's something they don't tell you in FACETS. Columbia has a deep-rooted connection to the New York City gay male foot-worshipping scene. Recently, three freshmen discovered that they weren't the first members of our University community to, er, tread into this underworld.
Let's just call them Alfred Lerner, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, (to protect the not-so-innocent), three normal, average, inconspicuous students you've probably seen walking around campus and never thought twice about. Out of curiosity, boredom and the desire to make a quick buck, they answered a classified ad in the COLUMBIA SPECTATOR for "Foot Models Wanted" and, a few days later, headed out for their interview.
"I was pretty nervous," said John Jay. "We were downstairs ringing the doorbell and I was like 'guys, are you sure you want to do this? Let's run away right now.'" Alan, their interviewer, answered the door to his apartment wearing a whistle and wielding a can of Mace, unsure if the boys were for real or playing some kind of fraternity practical joke. The head - or shall I say foot - honcho of Foot Friends, "the premiere men's foot and footwear organization in New York", Alan coordinates parties at downtown clubs for guys into guys' feet.
After a series of preliminary questions, he asked them to take off their shoes. Upon viewing Alexander's feet, Alan remarked, "You have fucking marvelous feet." Maybe it was his high arches, calluses, sandal tan or hairiness; he was a natural. "The whole time he was just staring at Alexander's feet. He was just focused on Alexander." It just goes to show you that we are all special in our own unique way.
But this job is about more than just sitting there and looking pretty. Next it was time for the tickling test. The more ticklish you are, the better, and you have the opportunity to earn more money. One by one, each boy lay down on his stomach, while Alan straddled his legs ("That's when I got a little nervous," said Alfred) and proceeded to tickle, first with a vibrator and then with his hands. The other two looked on, trying to hold in their laughter. "Alexander's tickling session was at least three times longer than ours," said Alfred.
After passing Alan's thorough exam, the boys were told the deal. For one night of modeling, they would be paid 75 dollars each or 100 for "extra stuff". Extra cash could also be made if they came to the club early and learned a choreographed "foot strip tease". They could also come in costume if they wanted, as one former model, also from Columbia, did. (He wore his baseball uniform.) Alan also proposed that the three model together; since they were all of different ethnicity, he "thought they made a nice rainbow".
That Monday, the boys were on. If anyone asked, they were 21. The theme of the evening was romantic and imaginative, "three college kids having a slumber party in their dorm." They were told to bring books and "look like they were studying." The occasion was also a birthday party for Foot Friend Adam, a Columbia alum and the organization's webmaster.
They were given a tour of The Lure, a club in the meatpacking district ("It was kind of smelly") which hosts the Foot Friends parties. "The whole time I was like, Oh my God what the hell am I doing here?" said John.
Besides the main party room, the club also had many back rooms, with themes like "dungeon" and "shoe shine". Cartoons and pictures of foot-play decorated the walls, foot porn videos played on monitors throughout the club and it was completely dark, save a few red lights. The bartender was dressed all in leather straps ("I don't think he had any clothes on.")
"Make sure to get your socks back, because some people like to steal socks," Alan told them as they mounted the platform. Alexander was placed in the middle ("Everybody was staring at him."), they were introduced to the crowd as "foot virgins", and the fun began. It started out slowly, limited to massaging, tickling and some photographing. "Suddenly I felt this warm, slimy thing on my toe," giggled John, "I jumped and I was like WHOA... this guy was like licking it, all around..." After awhile, they all got used to it.
Each man had his own style. One man simply grabbed Alfred's feet and plastered them against his face, holding them there for a very long time. Some took many pictures. At one point, John and Alexander massaged each other's feet, and mugged for the cameras. The highlight of the night came when Adam, the birthday boy, ate a piece of carrot cake off of John's feet.
Adam talked with the boys about Columbia memories. All three made it quite clear that they were straight. Adam then showed the boys the secret Columbia foot fetishist handshake, rubbing Alfred's feet against his genitals.
At the end of the night the boys were paid and told that they'd be called again in a few months. On the way out, a man asked Alexander if he could "come up to his dorm sometime and massage his feet." He politely declined.
Although the boys said they would do it again for the money, they didn’t particularly enjoy the experience. They felt weirded out by many aspects of the evening, but admitted to having a lot of fun and coming back with lots of stories to tell. "It was a quick buck," said Alexander. "I didn’t feel powerful or anything." So much for Columbia’s job training program.
Maybe our school should include its affinity to the New York City foot-worshipping scene in its viewbook, since it needs to beef up admissions. Maybe Homer was into feet, and what about Plato (everyone knows he was a kink)? Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac, they probably had a bit o’ foot lovin’ going on in their dorm rooms. Who knows, maybe even George Rupp gets off on having his toes sucked.