Fingers and Toes

This is one topic that I drew blanks on for the first few attempts at putting something to paper. The James Broughton poem “Nipples and Cocks” kept running through my head for some reason. Fingers and toes – nipples and cocks – fingers and toes – nipples and cocks.

Once I was able to get over that hump I did in a bit of desperation Google the phrase and what pops up at the top of that search is a nail salon here in Denver on South University Boulevard with the name Fingers and Toes. This search result reminded me of a fairly recent foot massage I was gifted at a salon in San Francisco’s Chinatown by a dear friend who went with me. If you’ve never had one in any Chinatown put it on your bucket list to get one and go for the deluxe one-hour session. This of course does not involve painting your toenails nor was this one of the salons that has you put your feet in a tub of water with dozens of some sort of little fish species that eat all the dead skin off your feet.

One of the things I have learned and practiced over the years is giving, and if it’s a good day receiving, a foot massage. This of course involves both fingers and toes. My last two lovers combined spanned about 27 years total and long after the sex had lost its sheen the foot massages persisted and were actually amazing forms of loving intimacy most often of an evening and on the couch watching TV. With my last lover we always seemed to engage in this behavior while watching Project Runway. Perhaps it was some form of sympathetic connection to the models and their extreme toe-killing footwear.

Gay men as is our habit seem to have a niche for erotizing all body parts and toes, fingers and actually the entire foot, hand and at times forearm are no exception. If you are bored one day you might go to X-tube or any gay porn site and put feet, fingers or fists in the search. I will say nothing further on that. You are on your own.

 I must though confess to having been in a short scene in a James Broughton film back in 1983 called Devotions which consisted of several dozen vignettes usually with gay male couples relating in often humorous but at the same time unexpected and loving scenarios. My scene involved total nudity, James’ dining room table, my anus and my lovers right great toe. Enough said about that. I am I must admit slightly nervous about the movie of James’ live coming out this fall and wondering what snippets of his movies will make the cut. Why I should worry though is rather silly when I think about how my ass looked then and looks now. Very few will make the connection I am afraid.

Though I currently have rather significant neuropathy in my feet and toes in particular and massaging my feet has become at times quite uncomfortable if done right it can still be wonderful. The most common cause of such neuropathy is diabetes but in my case it is related to too many decades of HIV and the medicines to treat it a few of which can be very neurotoxic. This reminds of the line from a famous Grateful Dead song: If the thunder doesn’t get you the lightening will”

In what seems as my endless life as a nurse I have in the past year added foot exams to my repertoire of nursing skills.  Having engaged in many forms of intrusive nursing care that at times can be considered little less than assault I must say having people take their socks and shoes off for a foot exam is rather civilized really. Folks really seem to open up when you are attending to their feet in a caring manner.

I’ll close by advising everyone to pay close attention to your fingers and toes. They can really be the canaries in the coalmine when it comes to a whole host of impeding health problems. Keep track of your toes and their health and do it with your own fingers and in the best of all worlds someone else’s fingers.

Radical Gay Politics Index