It’s the end of the day, and this is upsetting, so let’s just right to it: Earlier today, Gawker’s Andy Cush published an interesting article that asks a question you probably never considered: “Why Are Young Men Masturbating to Pudding-Filled Sneakers?”

While there’s no evidence of actual masturbation, the story does detail a rather odd fetish: Taking your brand-new, expensive sneakers, covering them in pudding or other foods, then putting them on in a bizarrely sexual manner—all for the benefit of YouTube, of course. (Honestly, we’d rather just have sex with a Hot Pocket.)

If you’re thinking what in the actual f**k, check out these pristine kicks getting wrecked by highly processed chocolate treats.

Most of these videos are several years old, but if you’re lucky, you’ve been sheltered from this bizarre fetish. But why? Cush ventures an explanation:

[pullquote]If so-called “unboxing” videos, in which omniscient offscreen narrators slowly and sensually open sealed boxes containing pristine new products, are the late-night Cinemax to society’s collective tumescence over consumer goods, [these] videos are something like BDSM. To the young man (unsurprisingly, based on anecdotal observation, this proclivity belongs almost exclusively to young men) who destroys a pair of Dunks with a host of viscous foodstuffs and then uploads the video to YouTube, expensive new shoes are objects to be idolized, but also dominated, microwaved, humiliated, slashed with a kitchen knife, willed into submission. Yes, like virtually every other seemingly inexplicable thing on this great big internet, pudding sneakers are about sex.[/pullquote]

Shoe culture’s particularly ripe for this sort of sexualized off-shoot—its most-committed members will go to any number of lengths to obtain the latest pairs of Jordans and designer-branded kicks, paying and doing almost anything to make the purchase. Still, that doesn’t fully explain the desire to then take said sneakers and submit them to some sploshing.

Cush got a little deeper into the sneaker-pudding underworld by interviewing YouTube user lovinsneax1:

[pullquote]His intention isn’t so subversive. “It’s because it’s despiteous to [destroy] an expensive, fresh sneaker,” he said, sounding more like Instagram rich-kid Param Sharma than Barbara Kruger or Ed Ruscha. “There are lots of people who would love to wear such a pair but can’t afford. Maybe it’s this objection which makes it that horny to use a sneaker for something completely different than just wearing.” He doesn’t continue his passion through the lens of art, he added, but he would be open-minded if a gallery came calling.[/pullquote]

Like lighting a pair of Red Octobers on fire, it’s all about the gratification of destruction—but with a little pudding to sweeten the deal.

Leave it to the Internet to come up with this shit. What a beautiful thing.

[via Gawker]