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Step toe and fun: Another look at trampling fetishism

“I’m a guy and I LOVE being walked on by women wearing high heels. It doesn’t hurt. Is this normal to have women step on my guy parts with high heels?” (Question posted on a Yahoo! website).

In a previous blog I briefly looked at ‘trampling fetishism’. According to a relatively new Wikipedia entry on the behaviour:

“Trampling refers to the sexual activity that involves being trampled underfoot by another person or persons. Trampling is common enough to support a sub-genre of trampling pornography. Because trampling can be used to produce pain, the trampling fetish for some adherents is closely linked to sadomasochistic fetishism. A similar fetish is to imagine themselves as being tiny under another’s feet, or being normal size, but being trampled by a giant person. This is known as ‘giant/giantess fetishism’ or macrophilia. It is not the same as trampling. The most common form of trampling is done by a male or female walking on a male or female submissive and is usually done barefooted, in socks, nylons, or shoes. The trampler will predominantly walk, jump and stomp on the person’s back, chest, stomach, genitalia, face and in some rare instances, the neck”.

If you type ‘trampling fetish’ into Google, lots of YouTube video clips appear instantly. Video clips of trampling have been present on the internet since 1997 courtesy of an number of infamous American tramples such as ‘Daddo’ ‘Kingfish’ and ‘LAF’. If you’re not into the visual side, you can read various forms of trampling fan fiction such as the stories at the Trample and Crushing website.

Since writing my previous blog on this topic, I filmed an interview about a trampling fetishist as part of the television program Forbidden (on which I was the resident psychologist). The television program that I participated in followed the story of a man called Frank O’Brien. Frank recalls his fetish developing during early to mid- adolescence. As a 15-year old teenager, he would trick the girls he knew into stepping on him by inventing games that resulted in him being trampled upon. As the show’s production notes reported:

“[Frank would] invent games to race girls to the door of his cubby house and have them wrestle or sit on him in the process. In the backyard pool he’d encourage them to step on him underwater. Ever since he can remember Frank has wanted to get under a girl’s foot…You could say Frank gets a ‘kick’ out of it. And among friends Frank is known simply as ‘Step on Me.’ For Frank, there’s nothing finer than having a woman walk all over him”.

By his early thirties Frank’s trampling fetish began to take up more and more of his time. In his social life he started attending as many sadomasochistic shows that he could and he longed and desired dominant mistresses that would help cater for his trampling fetish. The back-story I received about Frank noted that:

“The mistresses he saw early in life largely turned Frank away from the idea of trampling. They were more prostitutes than professional mistresses with an idea of what he really wanted. Back in those days there was no training for mistresses in trampling and this really has only taken off in Australia since the early 2000s. Now there are mistresses who train specifically in trampling”.

According to Frank, Melbourne is the centre of Australia’s BDSM culture and he introduced the Forbidden film crew to the niche trampling community that exists there. Frank’s favourite club is ‘Provocation’ that hosts a monthly fetish social event.

“But his idea of getting down on the dance floor is a little different to most. When Frank gets down, he literally gets down. He has a special mat that he lies on to make the experience slightly more bearable but comfort is not exactly what Frank is looking for. He’ll bring with him a platform that he’ll set up beside his mat; written across it are the words ‘step up here – girls only’. And that’s exactly what Frank wants. He’ll lie there for hours in the club, enjoying the feeling of women trampling him. Some wear stilettos, some are in platform shoes and others go barefooted – he doesn’t discriminate about what kind of footwear is permitted, but generally sharper and more pointy shoes offer greater satisfaction for [him]”.

Frank describes himself naturally submissive and he now has weekly trampling sessions with ‘Mistress Spanklet’ who is Frank’s long-term friend and a Dom-sub ‘play partner’. Frank describes these weekly sessions as his “drug fix” and something he “couldn’t live without”. Despite having some of his bowel removed (and it being dangerous for him for someone to trample on his stomach), he cannot stop it. He now tries to avoid ‘tummy trampling’ but notes that:

“Trampling can be on any part of the body, including the more sensitive regions of the face, throat and genitalia. [He] enjoys cock and ball trampling on a weekly basis with Spanklet. His face, arms and legs are also prime trampling ground in private and in public”.

In fact, Frank claims that he was responsible for the first ever penis trampling photograph on the internet. In 1999, Frank claimed he took the full weight of a woman in sharp red stilettos twisting as hard as she could on his penis. Frank claims the photograph (taken by the woman’s sexual partner) kick-started “the worldwide cock trampling trend”.

There appears to be little academic research on the topic but anecdotal evidence suggests there is (unsurprisingly) an overlap between trampling fetishes and foot fetishes (podophilia) – on which there is quote a lot of academic research given it appears to be the most prevalent type of fetishism. Obviously Frank’s case is extreme and is heavily interwoven into his life. While there appear to be addictive elements to his behaviour, I don’t believe that Frank’s trampling fetish is an addiction. Bizarre and extreme – yes. Addictive – no. But I’m happy to be proved wrong.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Semple, K. (2009). Bartender, make it a stiletto. New York Times, June 10. Located at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/fashion/14carpet.html?_r=2&sq=carpet%20man&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1347984561-aHeCVlJANdIr6KwsZQrfvw

Sexy Tofu (2012). National Fetish Day: Interview with a trampler. January 20. Located at: http://sexytofu.com/tag/trampling/

Wikipedia (2012). Talk: Crush fetish. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ACrush_fetish

Wikipedia (2012). Trampling. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trampling

A step too far: Crush fetishism and ‘animal torture porn’ (revisited)

In previous blogs, I have examined both crush fetishism and zoosadism. A crush fetish is a sexual fetish in which an individual derives sexual arousal from watching (or fantasizing about) someone of the opposite sex crushing items (e.g., toys, cigarettes, mobile phones, laptops), food (e.g., fruit), and (in extreme cases) small animals and insects, and/or being stepped on, sat upon, and/or crushed on by a person. Zoosadism refers to the pleasure – often sexual – that individuals attain by causing sadistic cruelty to animals. These bizarre and (in some cases) depraved behaviours recently made the headlines in America following the arrests of women for appearing in an ‘animal torture porn’ video.

In the first case, 28-year old Sara Zamora, a woman from Florida (USA) was arrested following her appearance in a zoosadistic fetish video entitled ‘SOS Barn’. According to various newspaper reports, Zamora is seen engaged in various sexual acts while crushing and killing rabbits (including ‘karate’ chopping their legs) and decapitating chickens. According to a report in the Miami Herald Newspaper the video was made purely for the “sexual gratification of its viewers”. The Herald report alleges that:

“In one clip of ‘SOS Barn’, Miami-Dade police say, Zamora gropes a man’s genitals with her left hand while ‘repeatedly cutting a chicken’s neck using hedge clippers with her right.’ In others, she posed ‘in a sexy outfit’ after hacking off the head of another screaming bird, or she beat chickens to death with a wooden stick…’It’s certainly horrifying. I mean these are sadistic people inflicting gruesome suffering on innocent and vulnerable and helpless animals’ said [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’] Cruelty Casework Director Stephanie Bell…So-called ‘crush’ animal torture videos aren’t new and have been the target of past legal crackdowns. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that outlawed depictions of animals being ‘intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed’, saying it was too broad and violated the right to free speech”.

The film was made at the house of (and presumably by) Adam Redford. Unfortunately, no-one knows exactly when the video was made and therefore “the statute of limitations may have expired”.

Not long after the arrest of Zamora, a second American woman – 29-year old Stephanie Hird from Arkansas (performing under her stage name ‘Megan Jones’) – was also arrested for her role in the ‘SOS Barn’ video. Described by the New York Daily Times as an “animal snuff film starlet”, Hird allegedly shot animals with an air rifle while tied down or being crushed (at least according to court documents that the newspaper had managed to get hold of. According to her social media profiles, Hird’s sexual fetishes also including foot tickling and bondage, as well as being interested in various aspects of macrophilia and microphilia (which I have covered in previous blogs). The New York Daily News story also reported that:

“Hird also appeared in the [The Learning Channel] show ‘Strange Sex’ to help a man realize his dream of being with a giant woman. The episode uses special effects to make the woman appear as if she were several-hundred-feet tall and towering over cities before manhandling her victim. ‘I love being considered a giantess and a goddess’ a smiling Hird tells the camera behind the scenes of the show. ‘Guys love being overpowered. They like being controlled. They like, you know, a woman being in charge – like she should be”.

As I noted in my previous blogs, there has been little empirical research on either crush fetishism or zoosadism, and most academically published papers are case reports. Since I published my blog on crush fetishism, some of my readers will be aware of the case study I published on a man (that I gave the pseudonym of ‘Brad’) with eproctophilia (i.e., sexual arousal to flatulence) in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. The reason I mention this is that one of the other sexual fetishes that Brad also had was crush fetishism. Brad claimed he had this fetish “since birth” and went on to explain further:

“[I have another fetish that] am not proud of, but it exists and may help your study. I have a crush fetish, which is essentially arousal from seeing people step on objects or insects. This particular one has had a lot of bad publicity. As for this one, I can’t tell you where it originated. I remember rubbing myself in my crib as a baby to such thoughts, leading me to believe I may have literally been born with it. I could have been no older than 2½ years old. Keep in mind, these are very primal memories which are mostly a blur. All I recall is that around the time of those memories, I would also rub myself to the thought of someone stepping on an insect, or sometimes a machine made to crush up children like myself. Come to think of it, that last one may have been caused by seeing an apple cider press as a toddler. I also seem to recall that, and being afraid of it because of how it ‘hurt’ the apples”.

I also asked Brad if he thought there was any connection between his crush fetish and his eproctophilia. He responded that if there was any connection, it concerned “the idea of the duality” in that he would not expect to see a woman fart in front of him and similarly, he would not expect a woman to kill an insect in front of him for no real reason. In relation to his crush fetish, he also reported:

“It’s my oldest fetish with no known origin, and I like it for about the same reason as eproctophilia. Maybe that I also disliked seeing people kill bugs as a kid, while also finding it arousing. I was quite the pacifist. Also, when I first discovered ejaculation, I made the connection that ejaculating was somewhat like when a bug is stepped on. I thought about a bug squirting under pressure and then I would do the same. May or may not be relevant, but it was a connection I made as a kid”.

While this is only a small insight into the mind of a crush fetishist, the scientific value of case studies includes their utility in highlighting rare phenomena as well as their role in the generation of new research questions and hypotheses (observations made by Dr. Terry Vasey and Dr. Paul Vasey in a case study of feederism in 2011 issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior [ASB]). The case I presented in my own ASB paper hopefully fulfils these values. Clearly, this is just one case study and Brad is unlikely to be representative of the entire eproctophile and/or crush fetish community. Further research is needed to assess the extent to which the case study I reported is representative of eproctophiles and/or crush fetishists more generally, and whether the etiological and developmental pathways are more complex than I initially described in my case study account. I also noted at the end of my paper that Brad “highlights the need for further research into crush fetishism as there are no empirical data on this type of fetish”.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Aggrawal A. (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Biles, J. (2004). I, insect, or Bataille and the crush freaks. Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology and the Arts, 7(1), 115-131.

Huffington Post (2014). Woman tortured, killed animals while filming Brutal Fetish Sex Video: Cops. April 4. Located at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/06/woman-tortured-animals-fetish-video_n_5100535.html

Griffiths, M.D. (2013). Eproctophilia in a young adult male: A case study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 1383-1386.

Intentious (2011). Rabbit crushing outrage – Animal snuff film offends. December 9. Located at: http://intentious.com/2011/12/09/rabbit-crushing-outrage-animal-snuff-film-offends/

Kemp, J. (2014). Second fetish model busted in Miami for role in sickening animal torture porn video. New York Daily News, April 17. Located at: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/fetish-model-busted-miami-role-animal-torture-porn-article-1.1759487

Miami Herald (2014). Miami woman charged with role in animal torture sex fetish porn video. April 4. Located at: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/04/4040007/miami-woman-charged-with-role.html

Terry, L.L. & Vasey, P.L. (2011). Feederism in a woman. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 639-645.

Step on it: A beginner’s guide to trampling fetishes

While researching a previous blog on crush fetishes, I came across an article by Kirk Semple in the New York Times about ‘trampling fetish’ known simply as ‘trampling’ among those engage in the activity. A Wikipedia entry on ‘trampling’ defines it simply as the sexual activity that involves being trampled underfoot by another person or persons…common enough to support a sub-genre of trampling pornography”. The online Urban Dictionary is a little more specific and defines ‘trampling’ as the act of standing or walking on one’s body and face as part of a submissive foot fetish”. Most online sources that discuss trampling note that because the act of being trampled upon can be very painful, it has close links and associations with sexual sadism and sexual masochism. The Wikipedia entry claims that:

“The most common form of trampling is done by a female walking on a male submissive and is usually done barefooted, in socks, nylons, or shoes. The trampler will predominantly walk, jump and stomp on the person’s back, chest, stomach, genitalia, face and in some rare instances, the neck”.

As far as I am aware, no empirical research has ever been carried out on trampling fetishes so we have no idea how prevalent or widespread the activity is. There are certainly a number of online discussion groups, and if you type ‘trampling fetish’ into YouTube (well, have a look for yourself but be warned!).

The New York Times article highlighted the case of Georgio T., a 48-year old Maltese immigrant who calls himself ‘The Human Carpet’ because he gets his sexual kicks from people walking and trampling all over his body. Typically, he walks into a public meeting place (such as a bar or nightclub) carrying a carpet under his arm. He then proceeds to wrap the carpet around himself, lies down on the ground, and places a nearby sign next to himself with the simple instruction for people to ‘Step on carpet’ (the more the better he claimed in the article with a particular preference for women with stiletto heels). The edges of his customized carpet are sewn together in the shape of a cylinder. This allows Georgio to slip in and out of the carpeted tube easily.

He then stays wrapped up inside the carpet for up to four hours at a time (the longest stint being 11 hours). He is now a regular ‘performer’ at sex fetish parties and charges around $200 a session but insists he does it for pleasure not profit. He knows of only one other person in the New York area (“Kevin Carpet’) who also makes a living from being trampled upon. His largest ‘customer’ was a 390-pound man. He claims he is “motivated by a desire to push his own boundaries and those of others [and] likes intense parties where the flow of body-stompers is constant”.Georgio told Semple that his fascination for being trampled up began in early childhood and became of central part of role-playing games he engaged in as a child:

“I loved to have weights on me…I liked having my cats walk over me. [If] somebody wanted to be the carpenter, and I would want to be the carpet. …It’s my fun [and] people are [now] paying me to have fun. The more people who pile on [me], the better. The higher they jump, the better. There’s hardly any middle ground. [People] are either shocked and don’t want to do it or they’re thrilled to do it”.

Georgio claims the behaviour only becomes a sexual fetish when beautiful women step on him. When men or plain looking women stomp on him he still finds it enjoyable but not sexually stimulating. Semple said:

“[Georgio] spoke rhapsodically about one woman who spent nearly two hours standing on him at Lotus, a club in the meatpacking district, and toying with his face using the heels of her shoes. After she was done, the woman leaned down and thanked him, and said that she never thought she would be able to do something like that…These sort of personal connections are what make it all worth it, he said”

Georgio’s experience is in no way unique as I cam across countless online stories and admissions about the sexual desire to be trampled upon including an interesting interview with a foot trampler at the Sexy Tofu website. Here are a few admissions that I collated:

  • Extract 1: “Ever since I was a small boy I used to fantasize about older girls or women stepping on my stomach. Why? I don’t know! …My baby sitter used to put her foot on my stomach and push down to play with me. I even got her to stand on me once. However this, after some research appears to be a fetish that some people are into, although rare”
  • Extract 2: I wish I knew as to why I like to be trampled, but I have no answer…I have had the intense desire for woman to walk on me longer than I can remember. My desire goes further though. I liked to be wrapped up like a mummy with my arms to the side and have a pretty, sexy, thick ankled women standing barefoot on my chest. I desire her to jump on my chest, stomp my chest, and drive her toes or her heels into the center of my chest. I also like her knees and rear-end on top of my chest”
  • Extract 3: “My fetish originated when I was little. You see, my sister had some older friends over and they used me as a trampoline. That’s when I realized that I loved it. From then on it just took off. I currently have a girl trampling me right now. As much as I like the idea of bare feet, shoes are awesome!”
  • Extract 4: “I like to be trampled, but as part of wanting to be dominated. I like the idea of being literally beneath women, like a doormat. I’ve had a few experiences with bare feet, but with shoes is better, on one occasion high heels”
  • Extract 5: “I have had a foot and trampling fetish along with a fascination for being controlled by a dominant female since early childhood. I was never exposed to any of these ideas and have no idea why I have them…I met my wife in college when I was 23. We dated for two before she discovered my fetishes by surfing my computer and coming across some articles, stories and videos I had saved. She had never even heard of trampling and certainly hadn’t experienced any type of fetish play…Well my secret that I had kept hidden for the past 20 years was now out of the bag…It was very humiliating but in a way it was a relief. Now I didn’t have to hide it…Now, I’m 33. She usually tramples me at least three times a week, sometimes more. She forces me to worship her feet and shoes while she tramples me. She even has me lay under her feet while she sits on the couch watching TV or reading. Sometimes with her high heels on, sometimes barefoot…she decides…My thighs, stomach and chest are covered in bruises and heel marks and I love every minute of it”

These accounts are typical of those I came across and many simply do not know how or why their fetish started. Others relate it back to very specific childhood incidents and suggest the fetish developed as part of a behavioural conditioning process (i.e., classical and/or operant conditioning). The fetish also appears to have behavioural and psychological overlaps with crush fetishism and macrophilia (deriving sexual pleasure and arousal by the the thought of being stepped on by a giant). However, crush fetishists and macrophiles claim their fetishes and paraphilic interests are distinct from trampling fetishes. This appears to be confirmed by potential Wikipedia authors debating the entry on crush fetishes. As one contributor asserts:

“Please make trampling a separate article. It is NOT similar to or derived from the crush fetish. While it may be related, it is CERTAINLY not a subcategory of crush fetish. 99% of crush fetishists do not have a trample fetish, and vice versa. The psychology behind it is fairly different, and trampling should not be considered as a subcategory of crush, but rather its own category or a subcategory of foot fetishism”

More specifically, a (non-scientific) survey carried out on the Mistress Destiny website asked its readers: Are trampling and crush fetish the same?” There were four responses that participants could select from and the results were that they are: (i) ‘absolutely different, shouldn’t even be in the same article’ (26.53%), (ii) ‘a little similar, but different enough to have two separate articles’ (54.04%), (iii) ‘very similar, enough to be in the same article’ (11.22%), and (iv) ‘pretty much the same fetish’ (8.16%). No information was given as to how many people participated but the very precise percentages suggests that hundreds if not thousands of people responded to the survey (although the respondents were self-selected and we have know way of knowing how representative the participants were of either the general public or a particular fetishistic sub-group). I suspect that the only way that trampling fetishes will be studied empirically is part of a wider study on sadomasochistic practices.

Dr Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

Further reading

Semple, K. (2009). Bartender, make it a stiletto. New York Times, June 10. Located at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/fashion/14carpet.html?_r=2&sq=carpet%20man&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1347984561-aHeCVlJANdIr6KwsZQrfvw

Sexy Tofu (2012). National Fetish Day: Interview with a trampler. January 20. Located at: http://sexytofu.com/tag/trampling/

Wikipedia (2012). Talk: Crush fetish. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ACrush_fetish

Wikipedia (2012). Trampling. Located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trampling