Last week I found myself madly lusting over a pair of shoes. They were gorgeous and I NEEDED them – but they were $275. And as a full-time student and part-time blogger, that ain’t a doable price for me. (I ended up buying a similar pair at a way lower price point – that’s me modeling them above!)
I spent some time complaining on Twitter about this problem, and then my mind wandered to all the fetishists who’ve left me lascivious comments on my clothes, shoes, and hosiery over the years. You might remember from my post on how to be a non-douchey fetishist that I’ve been posting outfit photos online for 8+ years and attract a lot of creeps through that venue. These people are getting off on my pictures – so shouldn’t I be getting some kind of compensation for that “service” I’m (nonconsensually) providing?
Okay, hear me out. My idea is this: an online social platform where you can sign up in one of two categories, fetishist or fashionista. (The names could use some workshopping; ideally they’d both be gender-neutral.) The fashionistas build profiles full of as much or as little personal information as they’d like to share and a gallery of photos that are as sexy or sexless as they feel comfortable being. They attach a wishlist to their profile, filled with clothes, shoes, and other cute things they have their eye on. And if a fetishist takes an interest in a particular fashion fan, he can buy her something from her wishlist. (I’m using those pronouns for clarity’s sake; obviously there are fetishists and fashion fans of all genders.)
The wishlist would hide her address, of course; no one wants to put themselves at risk for being stalked. And when the item of choice arrived, she could try it on, pose for pictures or video, and post them publicly or privately for the fetishist who supplied the money.
There could be a way for fetishists and fashionistas to negotiate the terms of the agreement in advance – e.g. “If I buy you these shoes, you’ll model them in tights, in knee-high socks, and barefoot.” There could be an eBay-esque feedback system to avoid scammers and creeps.
I know that systems like this exist already, but in my experience, they’re usually hypersexual and mostly frequented by camgirls and their patrons. While there’s obviously nothing wrong with sex workers (you go, gals and guys!), not all of us feel comfortable being super sexy online. My half-baked dream for this social network conceptualizes it as a space that is as sexy or unsexy as individual users want it to be, so that everyone feels comfortable and safe.
I just think that there are better ways to manage the relationships between fetishists and the subjects of their affection than the way that those relationships usually go right now. The subjects often (in my experience) feel victimized, grossed out, and used. I know that for myself, when I receive a message from a fetishist telling me he loves me in sheer hose or he wants me to wear heels for him, I feel squicked out but I also always send him a link to my Amazon wishlist, because dammit, if I’m going to fulfill someone’s fetish, he’s going to be the one to foot the bill for it, not me. Of course, I’ve never actually had a fetishist buy me anything, because the ones I encounter all seem to be cheapskates who expect me to be their masturbation fodder at no charge, but… I’m sure there are shoe sugar daddies out there somewhere, right?
I don’t have the know-how to build a website or get it off the ground, but if anyone ever takes this idea and runs with it, just know that I would promote the shit out of it, happily beta-test it, and send the link to every fetishist who’s ever given me “helpful suggestions” for what to wear!