Answers to the questions you were afraid to ask...
or Berg-a-licious Answers to Foot-abulous Questions



What was your inspiration?
I mean, many of us love feet, but how many of us dress them up,
photograph them, and create a website around them?

My two primary sources of inspiration were, first, a highly intellectual discussion about foot porn carried on with fellow artists and scholars at my alma mater, Hollins University, and second, an intriguing presentation by sexologist Annie Sprinkle. The initial foot porn dialogue began casually over lunch in the cafeteria, where I believe I was scarfing a sizable portion of CocoKrispies and chocolate milk. That original spark was fanned to flaming by Annie Sprinkle's pro-sex presentation suggesting that, rather than censoring porn that is degrading to women, feminists ought to put their energy into creating pro-women feminist pornography. She pointed out, furthermore, that what porn is degrading and to which women entirely depends on the viewpoint of the woman you happen to be talking to.

Eventually, I shared my ideas for Berg's Queer Foot Porn with kindred spirit Rinda Karl. We had our first brainstorming session in December 2004, and my pen could barely keep pace with the speed our thoughts were moving. By the time we finally got the camera out in January 2005, we could hardly contain ourselves. From there, the whole thing snow-balled --as fetishes tend to do.

As for how many of us dress up our feet in costumes, stage scenes, photograph them, and give them their own website: I haven't done the research, but I'm certain the data has been gathered somewhere by some crotchety guy who is convinced we live in a matriarchy and who won't look at his own feet even when he takes a shower in the morning. His hard evidence is likely to be skewed anyway. Personally, I'd welcome a stampede!
 



Is that the same foot on every pic? Is it your foot?

My feet are featured in every image on the Homepage and in the Galleries (except Maundy Thursday: it's my hand in that one). In the corporeal sense, I have only two feet, but their collective personae currently total somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,397.



You don't really have a foot fetish, do you?
If not, I think it is wrong of you to mock this minority sexual preference.

What's to "make fun" of? Pleasure is serious business, especially my own pleasure. Prior to developing Berg's Queer Foot Porn, I searched near and far for hot porn on the World Wide Web only to realize that hairless, busty chicks licking bananas and smearing semen in their eyes didn't do it for me. And while some gay male porn is quite appealing, I don't feel that it wholly represents or includes my desire. I've come to the conclusion that women deserve more and better access to their pleasure and desire through technology.

Rinda Karl has responded to the allegation that she does not have a foot fetish by saying, "I adore all kinds of bodies and many of their various parts. Just because I don't specifically and only fetishize feet doesn't mean that I should, by most reasonable standards, be disqualified as being a foot fetishist. The lipstick prints on Berg's foot --I put them there with my own mouth; and I cleaned the toe jam off her feet with my tongue. So I really don't think my participation in a foot porn website is fallacious."

As for me, I was just a passive victim, an innocent bystander: I merely stood there while she "did" my feet. Does that count?


Why are so many of the feet white?

Excellent question. This is a complicated issue, the, our answer is multi-layered.

First, the unavoidable: Almost all of the starring feet in the galleries are mine and, while I don't know that I would describe them as exactly "white," my pale feet are of European descent.

Second, the technical: It turns out "flashing" makes even feet of color blanche, so rookie photoegraphy and/or extremely low-light conditions are to blame for "whitewashing" many of our less-pasty-by-comparison subjects.

Third, the socio-political: We live in a largely segregated and racist world, and building and maintaining a truly diverse social network is a difficult task. Add to that the fact that the only people likely to participate in a project such as this are ones with whom we have relationships of extreme trust. Even many of my nearest and dearest viewed our experiment in cyberspace with suspicion or, at least, serious qualms. The intimacy engendered by working on this site has stretched several relationships right to their boundaries, and then leaned hard. (In truth, Rinda was the only person game to pose with my foot in her crotch --twice!!)

Last, driven by our consciousness regarding the lack of racial and ethnic range in our photoes, Rinda and I have worked tirelessly to compensate for this in the literary balance on the site. Finding quotes by white men was too easy; however, achieving a fairer range of representation necessitated paging through our libraries of poetry, erotica, and feminist theory, scanning for foot print. (A thankless task, but somebody had to do it!) In regard to my "Hot Pix," although these recommended porn links predominantly present Caucasian bodies, I found them preferable to the plethora of "diverse" sites that fetishize and eroticize race in ways which feel questionable to me (e.g., "Naughty Ethnic Girl" and "Latina Pussy Porn Sluts"). That said, BQFP's search for empowering porn representing women-of-color is far from over. As for diversifying the Guest Feet feature, how does one solicit intersex or trans-persons' feet or gather the feet of those founding mothers who don't tread the World Wide Web? And what of our Deaf friends, the immigrant population, and the Jewish community? Can anyone tell who's truly represented on BQFP by looking at pictures of their feet? Despite stumbling blocks, we've tried our best to make this website as welcoming and inclusive as possible from every direction.

It's not long until "people of color" become (as women already are) a "majority minority" in the United States. Right now, if we assembled all the "non-normative" types together, we already have "them" outnumbered. What we need is for all of us to put our collective toes together and kick some status quo!

So, come one, come all. Be our Guest: Step up. Right the balance. Send us your rainbow feet.


Didn't posing for some of those photos hurt?

Well yes, but not everything that's worthwhile is comfortable. In spite of occasional twinges of self-doubt, and a few brief bouts of mortification --physical as well as emotional, making Berg's Queer Foot Porn has been a blast! Aesthetic and/or intellectual gratification often provided both motivation and compensation enough when the production process became arduous and (literally) painstaking. I am willing to suffer for my art and happily go to extremes for the sake of genuine delight.


Seriously, what's the point of Berg's Queer Foot Porn?
Is it really supposed to be educational or is it just for kicks?

BQFP is not-for-profit grassroots porno-political activism designed to promote women's pleasure through humor and sexuality. We are driven by a longing for women to feel at home in our own bodies, to cherish the sound of our own laughter, and to welcome our sensations of desire. We believe that as women gain a better self-knowledge of what turns us on and what makes us laugh, we will become increasingly adept at critiquing sexist humor that is not so funny and questioning depictions of sexuality that are not so fun, and, thereby, become more capable of seeing and shaping our own lives. We declare that women's equality in the bedroom (or in the kitchen or on the living room floor) is as vital as women's equality on the job --and that these twin goals are not in conflict. Our capacity to refuse sexual "opportunities" we don't want is strengthened by our clarity regarding which sexual experiences we wish to embrace.

We also attest that the profound value of "just for kicks" should not be discounted: fun is a legitimate, healthy, and powerful instructor, too often denigrated as being merely frivolous. Women already have plenty of reason to feel angry and victimized; we're entitled to more public opportunities to snicker (or even hoot) and to more ready means of creaming our panties or BVDs.

Our intention is to not just save soles but to shamelessly celebrate them. Being smart, "wet," and happy --Berg's Queer Foot Porn is dedicated to this cause.

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"It is refreshing to be able to express my views without having
to toe a party line. It has gotten me into trouble on the odd
occasion, but I am not going to stop saying what I think."

-Pauline Hanson


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