11 / 2006

India - Spiked wooden "Paduka" toe knob sandal - Late 19th Century

Masochism stands for obtaining gratification or sexual arousal by having pain inflicted upon oneself. Masochistic self-sacrifice is an integral part of almost all organised religions to keep in good with ther assumed gods. This desire for "penance" is guilt-soothing for an individual who allows himself to enjoy life. Humiliation, shame, pain, worship, submission, bowed heads, bent knees, folded hands, covered heads, flagellation, lashing and crucifixion are reflected upon as masochistic necessities and as part of being subjected to the will of a higher power. Some masochistic enjoy a form of aichmophilia or the love of needles and spikes. Once pain has been registered for 20-40 minutes, the body will begin to produce opiate-like chemicals to reduce pain sensation. The release of these chemicals causes anaesthetic, europhoric and trancelike qualities that also enhance sexual sensitivity or experience. Above sandals are worn by Hindu Sadhus or Holy Men for this very purpose.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland