The Margaret Mead of the North American Weirdo: Pedal Pumping Porno

PUMP THAT PEDAL???One of the familiar-looking strangers in my shared writing studio thinks I enjoy watching videos of barefoot women pumping gas pedals with dildos attached to them. I can’t blame her since said video was on my monitor when she walked by this morning. I contemplated telling her I was researching a weird phenomenon known as pedal pumping, but realized this would sound about as plausible as suggesting that men read Black Tail for the articles-which incidentally are excellent.

Truth be told, I generally feel pretty conventional when it comes to fetishes since, well, I don’t have any. (Unless they’re buried in some dark, pervy recesses of my mind that will one day awaken and compel me to dress like a plushy squirrel in a cop’s hat.)

But when it comes to pedal pumping, sometimes referred to as cranking or revving, I just feel confused. In case you’re not familiar, pedal pumping is a car/foot fetish for men who enjoy watching women pump the gas, generally in vintage cars, until they strand themselves by flooding the engine or draining the battery. Um, what? Countless variations on this scenario exist-girls getting cars stuck in mud, Asians revving mopeds in the desert, stranded pedal pumpers with “stinky work shoes.” According to The Daily Beast, Michelle McGee even confesses to making a few pedal pump videos. So evidently there’s a market for painted hags who look like Skeletor pumping the gas with swastikas on their toes too. Most of the videos make up for their poor production values with sophisticated dialogue like “start, godammit,” “no, I don’t wanna be stuck here,” and “fuck this Mustang.”

A search for the fetish yields over 200,000 Google returns and thousands of YouTube videos. There are hundreds of websites that cater to the fetish including pedaltube.com, asianpedalpumpers.com, pedalteens.com and carstuckgirls.com. [All sort of/not really/but kind of Not Safe For Work?]

As informative as you’d expect them to be, leadfootimports.com provides a compelling exegesis of the fetish by outlining the six different styles of pedal pumping: “Slow & Soft, Sensual, Seductive, Sexy (hence sexual), and Savage.” I especially enjoyed their explanation of savage pumping:

Savage pedal pumping is pretty much the same as sexy pumping, but with a really mad and crazed eager attitude. When you pump the gas pedal, savagely, you go to Pedal to the Metal all out war with your car. You want to make it down-right, absolute that it is YOU who is boss, queen, and Goddess. YOU are the one that’s total control of the car and you treat it like the most horrendous bitch you despise off the face of the earth…. Stomp, and smash the flying fuck outta that gas pedal.

Another popular site, pedalmall.com, has some well-crafted blurbs adjacent to their downloadable videos that pedal pumping aficionados are sure to find irresistible:

[Dolly] is a fast learner watch her sexy snow white virgin foot press the gas pedal harder and harder as she finds her new addiction. Engine Revving…. This clip was created to show you how sexy a young girl looks revving a car that has never sat in the drivers seat before. True First time. The audio levels of the engine are mind blowing as her foot takes control of the pedal.

And my personal favorite:

Hot blonde pumps her pedals for you in her hot pink pumps. Get a peek at her white panties as her skirt rides up. She revs her engine loudly before leaving for a drive. See the big puddle of brake fluid she leaves behind.

Brake fluid?

It doesn’t take a genius to surmise that the gas pedal is a phallic symbol. Dr. Susan Block-she’s been on those creepy Real Sex and Cathouse shows-says this:

The basic kinetic movement is a masturbatory motion: the muscles releasing and contracting as the foot rubs repetitively against a phallic symbol, which is the gas pedal. Men think of themselves as cars. The ‘vroom’ of the engine reminds them of their own libidos being revved up by this hot woman.

But there’s clearly more at play here. Pedal pumping appeals to men who enjoy fantasizing about rescuing stranded damsels in distress, which introduces some potentially bizarre power issues. (Not to mention a few trite jokes my grandpa would love about women being terrible drivers.) Also, I find it interesting that in most of the videos, the cars remain stuck, unable to “perform.” Erectile dysfunction anyone? The whole scenario could be interpreted as a metaphor for a man’s feelings of inadequacy.

Clearly I’m in the wrong business, because I talked to several insiders who are pedal-pumping their way to decent money selling videos online. Evidently, there’s a big market for pervs who want custom videos that they script themselves. In fact, there are dozens of websites that allow users to submit their own car-stuck fantasies, most of which allow users to select a girl, shoe type, clothing, and of course the type of car they’d like to see featured. Pedalpulse for instance, has a rather diverse selection of cars available including a 1979 Corvette, a 1970 Trans Am, a 1969 T-Bird and a 1997 Nissan Maxima. This of course begs the question, who the fuck is requesting the Nissan Maxima?

SCARLET!“Scarlet,” a redheaded pedal-pumper who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, has been making custom videos with her boyfriend “ShisHKbob” since 2004.

“This started out as a way to make some side money and now it’s our full-time job,” she told me in an email. “We have the wonderful opportunity to work from home, having been fully self-employed since July 2006.”

On her site, Pump That Pedal, Scarlet invites users to write their own scenarios to be filmed. “No rambling or gibberish please!” she instructs beside an online form where custom screenplays can be submitted. Surprisingly, pedal pumping fetishists sometimes need to be reminded to behave.

There is nothing overtly pornographic about the videos Scarlet produces-“we have one exception in which one of our models was in lingerie,” she wrote-but I asked her if fantasizing about airheaded damsels in distress could be interpreted as being misogynistic.

“I don’t see how anyone could think there’s a hatred for women regarding pedal pumping,” Scarlet said. “Categories like revving don’t have anything to do with distress. It’s more about the power of the vehicle. However, if you’ve heard these statements from those who have no clue about what pedal pumping is, then there ya go… This was an odd question since I’ve never heard anyone suggest misogyny in pedal pumping.”

Rico, co-owner of the German website PedalTube, says he first heard about the fetish about eight years ago. He launched his site back in 2004 and has made hundreds of custom movies since. (Pedaltube also features work from producers in the United States.) Rico agrees that there’s nothing misogynistic about the fetish. His clients “love women” and enjoy “role playing the hero,” he says. A majority of the requests Rico receives involve vintage cars being revved by barefooted women. When asked about the strangest video he ever filmed, one stood out above the rest.

“I remember one special scene,” said Rico. “The girl is in a hurry because she has to pee, but the gearshift makes some trouble, so she has to drive backwards very fast to reach her house right in time.”

As I said, I don’t understand.

A Typical Pedal Pumping Video.

I still don’t understand.

YouTube’s Most Watched Pedal Pump Video (Does Not Actually Contain Pedal Pumping!)

Similar to traditional porn where multiple positions are filmed, this one features a girl stuck in mud, stuck in sand, and stuck in snow.

For Some Time, YouTube’s Highest Rated Pedal Pump Video Was a Crocs Video, Not Unlike This One

Why the Fetish Primarily Appeals to Straight Men

In an apparent attempt at tenderness, frequent man-pumping YouTube poster “Reebocks Man” refers to his truck as “Jimmy.” Still, you just know those nasty-ass Reeboks smell like Satan’s armpit.



Previously: Winterband


Robert Lanham is the author of the beach-towel classic The Emerald Beach Trilogy, which includes the titles Pre-Coitus, Coitus, and Afterglow. More recent works include The Hipster Handbook and The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right. He is the founder and editor of FREEwilliamsburg.com.