“Weird that a pervert like that would ride such a distinctive bike!”

feet
Photo by PoPville flickr user Columbia Heights Climber

“Dear PoPville,

Was walking home on P b/t 15th and 16th just before 7pm tonight [Sunday] when a guy on a bike rode up behind me. Like the other poster mentioned, his bike had a ton of lights on it – was really distinctive. Weird that a pervert like that would ride such a distinctive bike! Thought I might be in his way on the sidewalk but he slowed down and said every week he does a scavenger hunt…there’s $500 at stake, and could I help him with the scavenger hunt. Then he took out his phone and showed me writing on the phone. Read it very quickly but it said something about taking photos of the bottom of a woman’s foot. I said no and walked away and when I turned around he had crossed the street and was talking to some other women with the same shtick.”

Ed. Note: Back in September a reader reported in a rant/revel:

“Rant: I had a really strange experience last night (Sunday) at 8th and Florida. Wondering if anybody else has ever had this happen? A guy was being friendly with my dog. He then asked me for a favor. He was doing a scavenger hunt for charity (“cancer”) and needed pictures of the bottoms of people’s feet. I agreed he could take a quick photo of my foot but was quickly put off when he seemed to take multiple shots (they were “blurry”) and then asked me to point my toes like a ballerina. I put my shoes back on and walked away with no further trouble from the guy. This seems really strange.”

32 Comment

  • the same guy propositioned(?) me at Union Station back in early October with the same MO – riding up on very flashy bike with bright lights, playing with my dog, spiel about charity scavenger hunt, request to take a picture of my feet.

    I guess after living in a city, your perv alert is honed over time. so happy it went off!

  • I’m not sure your application of the word “pervert” is justified here and would caution against its use generally. It’s a word that has long been used to degrade practices not yet deemed okay, e.g., homosexuality for many years. What this guy is looking for isn’t my cup of tea, but it seems that what he did was perfectly harmless: He asked your permission to do something, you said no, and he then turned his attention to someone else. And back in September, he left the poster alone after s/he walked away.

    • Creeper a better term? Seems like he’s certainly making women uncomfortable with his actions.

    • No, he made his request under false pretenses. If he had posted on craigslist that he was looking for women willing to have their feet photographed, without any of the scavenger hunt for charity BS, there would be no name-calling. Craigslist is where people can find willing and informed participants for their fetishes.

    • No. He’s lying to women in order to trick them into gratifying his sexual impulses. Not harmless behavior at all — the women he approaches are rightfully skeeved out by this.

    • It’s not “perfectly harmless” to manipulate someone into sexually gratifying you by lying to them about your motives. I assume some of the women who went along with his request felt skeezed out when it hit them later what he was doing.

    • “Hi, can I take a pic of your boobs? No? Ok.”
      -Not a pervert

      • Not considered a fetish, true. But anyone who walks up to me and asks me that IS a pervert – I (and my boobs) don’t exist for strangers’ gratification.

    • This is more akin to a guy dropping something and asking you to pick it up so you will bend over and he can see down your shirt. Sure, you didn’t *have* to bend over to pick up the pen, but you never would have done it if you knew it was a ploy to get a better view of your boobs. He is tricking women into exposing their bodies for his sexual pleasure. If you’ve ever had something like that happen to you, you know that it feels like a violation even if it was otherwise “harmless.”

  • Comment Artist

    Just wait till Trump takes office. All the people with foot fetishes will almost certainly be locked up along with the homosexuals and abortion lovers.

  • Same guy was in Chinatown/Penn Quarter last night. Girl I know let him take photos of her feet. Seemed really weird. Must be *some* scavenger hunt for him to be dedicated to it night after night after night.

  • ^I’m sorry, anyone invading my space and asking to take a picture of any part of my body is not normal, politely asked/graciously accepting of a no or not. This guy clearly has a foot fetish and aptly deserves to be called a pervert.

  • Tom

    Alternate headline: Area Fetishist Hasn’t Heard of Craigslist

  • Good god. I can’t for the life of me understand why any woman would say yes to a request like this, or give a strange man a second of attention after dark. WTH??

  • Another great example of when it is okay to be rude to a stranger on the street asking weird things.

    • Yuck. Not the toe-sucking, of course. The fact that this sad episode of navel-gazing by a sheltered child of privilege gets inches in the NYT.

      • Apparently you aren’t familiar with the Modern Love column, with which I begin every Sunday morning. Navel gazing is it’s raison d’etre, though — like the quality of it’s tales — the relative privilege of the various authors varies (and is always less than that the suffuses the “Weddings” and “Vows” features also found in the Sunday Styles section).

  • northeazy

    Meh, run of the mill foot fetishist. Doesn’t seem to be doing anything wrong. He is asking after all. For his own sake, he should join FetLife.com and meet women actually interested in having their feet photographed but not sure this rises to the level of a pervert alert.

    • He’s a pervert because he gets off on tricking women into participating in his sexual gratification. As you say, there are plenty of avenues for non-perverts to indulge any kink. No one needs to mislead or lie, unless that is, in itself, the kink.

    • I think sometimes the satisfaction they get is from victimizing someone, whether by false pretenses or whatever. If the women like it and have the same fetish, then he may not like “those” feet anymore.

  • Good choice of accompanying photo for this story.

  • I had a similar discomforting experience on Sunday afternoon that may or may not have been related.

    I was waiting on the platform at Archives station sitting on a bench. After a few minutes, a man I had walked passed before reaching the bench, who previously had not seemed to take any notice of me or anyone else on the platform, suddenly turned to walk towards me. He abruptly stopped in front of me and asked, “Are your feet tired?” I said no.

    He then told me I was wearing nice shoes. I said thank you rather curtly since I wasn’t interested in engaging in further conversation. He then asked whether I had pretty feet. I said pardon me? He asked again whether I had pretty feet. I told him I didn’t know, becoming very uncomfortable. He then looked me square in the eye and said, “Can I see them?” I responded with, “No you may not.”

    He stomped off to the next bench and began the same “are your feet tired” question with another woman within earshot.

    While ultimately harmless, this encounter made me more upset than all previous street harassment I have experienced. I’m still bothered that he could look me right in the eye and make such a weird request.

  • Years ago, a friend was waiting for others while in a convertible and a man approached her and told her to give him her shoes. She felt threatened because she was so exposed in the convertible, even though he didn’t do anything overtly menacing. She gave him the shoes and then he gave her a $100 bill (unsolicited). Many years later, she still had the $100 bill tucked away in a box in a drawer because she just couldn’t spend it — she felt so dirty even years later and was ashamed of the entire incident.
    That kind of thing is only funny on TV and when it doesn’t happen to you. In real life though, it makes women feel dirty and debased.