Standing on My Own Two Feet: Basics of Foot Torture

by Norische

The human foot is comprised of 26 skeletal bones, held together by 32 muscles and tendons and strengthened by 109 ligaments, the entire weight of an individual is balanced on this delicate weave of bone, and supportive tissue. While the majority of the weight is focused on the heal portion of the foot the entire structure is an intricate association of tissue and nerve endings.

For as far back as the 6th dynasty in Egypt, approximately 2330 B.C. paintings have depicted the therapeutic implications of massage to both the feet and hands. In the ancient Orient it was discovered that the nerve endings in the bottom of the feet are associated to various parts of the body, hence the feet became a major part of both healing and punishment.

During the inquisition there was a common practice called Bastinado. Bastinado consist of striking multiple blows with a light stick or bamboo upon the soles of the feet; although the blows were scarcely more than tapping, a skillful bastinadoist could easily cripple even kill his victim using this version of prolonged torture. Its long constitution is undoubtedly what made this one of the tortures of choice in Turkey, Persia and China, where it is used by some to this day.

Some Asian cultures use small rattan canes on the soles of the feet of children and women, to enforce a submissive nature. If an individual is severely beaten he or she will not be able to put weight on the soles of their feet, forcing them to crawl.

Some cultures extend the practice to go beyond beating the soles of the feet and have progressed to burning, or cutting the feet, also cutting the tendons at the back of the foot and in some extreme cases the amputation of the feet entirely, this is a practice known as hobbling. This was done to enforce a slave mentality on an individual, in many ways forcing a man to crawl was a means of emasculating or removing him from a male status position. Hobbling was common in the early to mid eighteen hundreds in North America as a means of preventing a slave from running away and as a punishment for those that had already ran away. This action did however loose it’s appeal when it became evident that the slave would have extremely limited use and definitely no resale value so it was found better just to hang a run away rather than bother with hobbling.

While the history of foot torture may seem gruesome, even inhuman it has progress to a much more palatable and shall I say civilized version of this unique and interesting concept. There are several things that you can do to the feet that increase the excitement and adventure within a scene.

Tickling, oddly enough tickling has become quite popular within the BDSM sector. While the concept is quite simple most people do not understand it’s unique appeal. When you wish to explore this avenue you first need to find out if someone is indeed ticklish on their feet, next find out how they react to being tickled (remember being kicked in the head is not fun). Once this knowledge is obtained you can now begin to have fun, I have watched and participated in scenes where the submissive is tickled until they quite literally loose control of their bodily functions. One piece of information I would like to caution you about is that while laughing may seem to be completely harmless but there are some things that should be noted. If while laughing an slave/sub begins coughing, gagging, or gets very red in the face you should stop for a moment and allow him or her to catch their breath and recuperate for a moment. When the face becomes red it signifies that airflow is reduced, this may cause dizziness, blurred vision, watery eyes, and if taken to extremes it can lead to loss of consciousness.

Betsy, my submissive, wrote this statement: “I am very ticklish – everywhere. Having my feet tickled when they are restrained (and I can’t move to avoid it) is okay, if it’s not done until I start having breathing problems or loose control of my bladder – I don’t like that at all and it can ruin a scene for me if carried that far. My brother used to straddle my chest and forcibly tickle me under my arms until I would pee – and so if someone tries to tickle under my arms now it brings up VERY bad memories and causes a bad reaction, for me this is a definite trigger, I will start crying and feeling bad. When I am tickled it feels good at first, it makes me laugh, and generally is fun; however, if it continues for a long time I will get angry and frustrated. I have heard about those people that will have and entire scene based on tickling and that the sub/slave may be tickled until he or she passes out, this is definitely not for me.”

Ice, another interesting addition to the foot torture basket is the use of ice cubes. One thing that must be remembered is that the feet, especially the toes are very susceptible to frost bite, therefore do not use direct exposure to the skin for prolong periods of time. Running an ice cube along the arch of the foot, and underneath the toes, even between the toes is a excellent means of cooling off someone and can be very beneficial if the slave/sub is getting too hot. This action also makes the feet more sensitive and can be an interesting beginning to a complete foot torture requiem.

Wax, the inclusion of wax is again an interesting addition when it comes to foot play. I suggest the use of paraffin, or low temp wax; you can get wax that has a melting point between 120 and 125 degrees and this is perfect for this type of activity. This type of wax is what is primary found in jar candles, pillar candles tend to have a melting point that is between 140 and 145, bee wax candles may have a melting point up to 160 degrees. Normally the melting point of paraffin is between 120 and 145 degrees, make sure you check and see what the melting point is before you use any wax or paraffin in your play. Heat related burns can be very painful and can cause permanent scarring. If you plan on using a higher temperature wax, make sure that use raise the candle a higher distance from the skin, to allow additional cooling time…if done properly you can use almost any form of candle or wax. I do however wish to warn against the use of the jar candles made out of a gelatinous substance, these candles will have a melting point of between 145 and 170 degrees and can cause severe burns if used improperly.

Food substances, the inclusion of food substances such as chocolate syrup, ice cream toppings or even caramel can be interesting in foot play as well. Although this type of play can be very messy, and as betsy would like to call it “icky”, I personally find the addition of different eatables to be rather interesting. The only question to this type of activity is the mess, what do you do to keep everything from making a big mess? Well the solutions are rather simple, you can either put a plastic bag over each foot and then have the slave/sub walk into the bathroom and take a shower. Or you can lick the yummy substances off the victims feet, this I find to be interesting because not only can it be fun for the Dominant but it can also be very sensuous and add an additional level of torture to the slave’s/sub’s already mounting sexual frustration, if done properly you will have them literally quivering with passion. The true nature of torture would be to get them so aroused that they are begging for more and then leave them laying there whimpering for a while. Taste great and less filling, what a combination….

Canning or flogging the soles of the feet can be done in such a way as not to do any true physical harm but also to add to the total feel of a scene. When using a can or rattan to the soles of the feet there are two methods that I have used, first very light, multiple, quick hits that produce almost a massaging effect. Or a few sharp strikes positioned across the arch of the foot or on the heel of the foot. I normally try to avoid the toes and the ball of the foot due to the delicate nature and the fact that accidents do happen. The harder strikes should be about the strength one would use on the breast or the inner thigh, not too hard, yet hard enough to get a reaction. One thing I would recommend with the harder strikes is to space them out, and do not strike more than four or five times at any given period, you want to leave a sting not a bruise or cause injury. Flogging the soles of the feet is actually quite difficult to do, especially if you use a flogger with long tails. Getting good aim and landing an adequate strike without rapping the tails or having stray strikes requires precision and experience. If you want to use a flogger use one that the tails are no more than 8 inches in length, the shorter the tails the more control you have, also the same goes for the number of tails involved. I use a flogger especially made for the feet, it consist of 8 tails and they are 6 inches in length. I can cover most of the foot with one strike but not have an uncontrollable hit either. Another flogger I have seen used is a horsehair flogger, this may make several tiny cuts on the feet if used improperly, however if used properly it definitely causes some interesting reactions.

Sharps, the inclusion of a knife, quill, or other sharp may create an additional avenue of exploration to this little adventure. I love running a nail along the edge of my victims foot, cause them to jump and wiggle. I may place the flat of a blade against the sole of the foot and rake it slowly across, one thing to remember is to make sure that the slave/sub is secured well, even a dull blade can cut if an unexpected movement is presented. I have found a good substitute for a blade is an African porcupine quill, they are normally about 10 to 16 inches in length and rather sharp, with skill you can make a blindfolded victim believe that what they are feeling is the sharp point of a very dangerous knife.

Torture is such an interesting thing and the feet have been excluded from this adventure for far too long. Everyone reacts to foot play in a different manner, exploration is the only way to learn and taking the time to get to know your partner can make all the difference in the world.

Like with all my articles this is my opinion, please take what you wish and leave the rest. If you wish to contact me, my email address is

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