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This is the first complete history of the custom of footbinding, which persisted for a thousand years in China. Drawn from the erotic literature of traditional China and more contemporary sources, this is a detailed portrait of a practice that lay at the heart of the sexual psychology of the Chinese for whom the "golden lotus" or bound foot encased in tiny silken slipper and swaying "willow walk" of bound-footed women were the ultimate expressions of sensuality. But as the author shows, footbinding was more than an erotic custom; it was also central to the sociological position and role of women in Chinese society. The book deals with the origin, presence, and history of foot binding, the techniques associated with it, its place in erotic practices, the pain and pleasure of the custom, and its sociological importance. The work includes many translations from Chinese literature that extol the beauty and sexual attraction of bound feet and reveal the curious fascination which they held for Chinese and Westerners over many centuries. This is essential reading for all those interested in China and the Chinese, eroticism, the anthropology of the body, and sexual psychology.
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