Updated: Jun 15
To celebrate 10 TrampleTalks I was lucky enough to have a chat with HQS (Tom) from Stomp'mania. Those of you who know the trample scene will definitely know the name, the site, or both! I can still vividly remember discovering the site and it's trample content in my late teens, it was one of the best. The sneakers and action were so horny and it was one of the first sites I found that reflected what I liked in pics and video. Still to this day I make reference to it with my own video titles and some of the actions I do within my videos.
Stomp'mania doesn't exist anymore but the legend lives on for many of us. This TrampleTalk is a bit different to the others in that Tom technically doesn't have a trample fetish. However, it was an honour to find out more about him and how the site came to be.
As a bonus, Tom has very kindly offered a free 26 minute Stomp'mania video download for anyone who would like it, to remember (or discover) what their action was like. Read on to find the download link.
You are very famous in the trampling scene, but for those who are new to it and might not have heard of you. Tell us a bit about yourself!
It sounds like I belong in a museum..
No.. maybe the 'Trampling Hall of Fame'..
Ok, my name is Tom, I am now 43 and live in Paris, France. I have had a huge sneaker fetish for as long as I can remember. And it's only sneakers, no other type of shoes or boots. I don't have a gear fetish but I am very cautious about what I wear, what brands, colours, etc. to emphasise and compliment the sneakers. Sneakers are always the focus for me.
I remember you used to wear a lot of skate shoes which I loved, Osiris, DVS, etc. What do you think about the shift from skate shoes to sneakers like Nike, Adidas, etc?
I was a skater myself, and that was the type of sneakers I used to wear a lot when I was a kid. After university, when I started to work, other types of sneakers seemed more appropriate. At this time the fashion was shifting anyway, so going from skate shoes to Nikes was something quite natural.
What are your stats? Sneaker size, height, weight.
Sneaker: US 11 / UK 10 / EUR 45. Height: 185cm or 6'2. Weight 78kg or 171lbs.
Would you say you have a trample fetish, or is this something you just did a lot of?
This is the ironic part, I wasn't much into trampling at first. It was not something that ever crossed my mind before it was suggested to me.
I find this humourous because many people see you as a trampling icon, myself included. Your trampling videos set the stage for many of us in our early trampling days. How did you get into trampling then?
Let me take you back to 1998. This was the year I graduated with a master's degree in Computer Science. At that time, the internet was starting to become something really big. I started to work on my own websites to catch that train. Sneaker websites already existed but they were really basic, and because I had just acquired the knowledge from my studies, I wanted to make 'something better'. One problem was the quality of the pictures. Most websites would use a regular film camera, and use a scanner to turn the printed photo into a digital file to use online.
I can only imagine the poor quality..
With my entire first pay check (yes, it cost the monthly salary of a young engineer at that time), I bought a digital camera. It had an incredible resolution of 1 megapixel, but I mostly used it at 0.5 Megapixel otherwise the memory card could handle only 4 pictures at once. I told you it was going to be a museum talk..
Crazy how much it's changed and developed in only 20 years.
This camera really gave me the possibility to have the best photos on the web (for sneaker sites). I was so proud of that quality, I called my website 'High Quality Sneakers'. HQS in short.
I never even thought to ask what HQS stood for. Amazing.
So I started this website. It was nice, but boring. It would just look like a web order catalogue of shoes. Like most websites at that time, it was on Geocities. Did you know that?
I remember yes. I'm just wondering if it would come up on the internet archive. Sometimes you can find old sites. I found stomp-mania.com today through this.
You mean this one : http://stompmania.chez-alice.fr/
I found that too yes, but no.. the original.
Yes I actually had several domains... stompmania.com / .net, stomp-mania.com / .net. But back to HQS, I found the site a bit boring. In my web exploration I had come across some stomping websites, basically crushing inert things. It wasn't really my thing either but I found that it added a context, a leading theme, and made my photos more interesting. At that time video was not an option over the internet. But everybody knew video was the key, since TV was invented. The stomping, with different steps of destruction of the object in each photo, would bring that sense of video. Like when you're a kid and you're making some drawings on the corner of your books and then you can "play a video" by browsing them. You know what I mean?
Yes I understand.
So I decided to focus my website toward stomping. Because I still had the robust web designing and the good pictures, I stuck with the name 'High Quality Stomping'. The website grew bigger and I had more people contacting me. Then I was contacted by the first tramplers/tramplees, inviting me to use them instead of plastic toys.
And a star was born!
In 1999, several guys offered help with producing content, or web design, or hosting. I started to work with a few of these guys but had to come up with a name. I couldn't be named after my website if others guys were helping out. So I changed the website name HQS to my own nickname, renaming the website to Stomp'mania. With the help of another web designer the website was also completely changed. The audience grew and more guys were asking for trampling pics. I wasn't into it, but I wasn't into stomping either and yet I was receiving praises for it. It was gratifying, so I thought to myself why not do another thing that I may not be into, but possibly still good at it? At first it was not so easy. Finding a plastic toy is a bit easier than meeting a total stranger to jump on. Stomp'mania (under this name) started in 1999 but the trampling section was added only around 2002 from memory.
I'm curious to know what wasn't so easy about it? Was it an issue of schedules not lining up, or something else?
I was contacted by people from all over the world. However, even in a big city like Paris, guys who were into trampling, connected to the internet, who knew and contacted me, and were willing to appear in content on the website.. there were maybe only 2 or 3 of them.
Ah yes, still a problem today sometimes.
I wasn't into trampling and was only doing material for my website. If the guy didn't want to be in photos (and later videos) and published on my website, I would not meet him. But it eventually grew bigger, and most of the guys I met were one time travellers to Paris. Having a unique occasion made them more focused and willing to participate. Where a real trampling addict would join a session just for the fun of it, I was not having fun. I was working. Porn actors don't really love their partners..
So you didn't come to enjoy trampling at all?
With time, yes. I was definitely not born with it. But meeting nice guys, getting to understand them, having some cool sessions and some quality time.. finally got me into the scene and enjoying it. Some of the guys became good friends and I started to trample them just to please them.
And I guess if you were involving sneakers that you really loved in the action, this would have helped.
Yes, I'm into sneaker licking and worshipping the most. This can easily fit into a trampling session.
Tell us about the very first time you trampled a guy. Who was it with, what happened, what sneakers etc.
I will illustrate this with a photo, as the guy appears a lot in my content. As I said, the internet was a new thing, and appearing on a site like mine was a bit like appearing on a major porn website today. It wasn't easy to convince people. I had set this as a condition for meeting me. One guy answered that he would be honoured to appear and really wanted to do it. What would normally be a time wasting negotiation with each message was cut short and we met that same evening. I think I was a terrible trampler that evening, mostly concerned by the danger of my acts. But I met him several times and quickly learned the anatomy and resistance of the human body.
He was living in Paris also?
So all this started the engine. I gained confidence in trampling, and I had my first photos to publish and start the trampling section of the website. And then the number of contacts for trampling skyrocketed. It also proved that I was not lying, the photos were published with a mosaic on his face to hide his identity. It was no longer a promise but a fact from the internet. From here more guys accepted my condition, the content grew, and I found I had many more options for tramplees.
Are you still in touch with this guy today?
He was important to the website and we stayed in contact until the end in 2010. But since stopping all activities we have not kept in touch.
Why did you stop the website?
From the beginning, my goal was always the video. Today, with Netflix or YouTube, it is hard to understand how difficult it was to reach this goal back then. Technology was fast though and from 2003-2004 I was able to publish short clips. The costs of hosting were high at that time, and unfortunately it went higher with the videos. I believed in a free site, and since its launch, the website had always been free. This became impossible with the videos. So I had to find a balance. I did this by splitting the galleries: half free, half premium (paid) memberships. Memberships would cover the cost of the hosting. When the technology permitted, I was very happy to introduce full length movies. These would generate lots of bandwith though and increase the running costs even further, so they had to be paid for individually. I wasn't naive though, it's a niche scene and people knew each other. For one access to a video sold, I had downloads with this access from all over the world some hours later. As long as I could keep a balance, I didn't mind. What killed the website was credit card fraud. It happened from time to time ex-Russia or China but it became a mass problem from 2008. For every chargeback, not only did I have to refund the money, but I would pay a fine to the bank, and my insurance would rise. If a sale would make me $10, a fraud would cost me $100. I needed 10 sales for each fraud just not to loose money. And then, I still needed more sales to pay for hosting.
That is so frustrating, I had no idea.
By 2010 the fraud was too much and I had to stop taking payments. With no payments, I couldn't pay for hosting. So I closed the website. It was also a good time because in 2010, alternatives like YouTube or social networks had started, and the old way of web browsing had a limited future.
I have heard about chargebacks, but never really encountered this issue.. the likes of bentbox and other sites deal with all of that. In these situations, are people using others cards to buy your videos? Or they are buying them, downloading them.. and then saying they didn't buy them?
You have all sorts of reasons. Real hackers who get their hands on CC information by hacking online shops and then they sell these numbers for $1. You can make a one time purchase before the card is blocked. But I was this one time purchase. Of course the bank reimburses the CC holder, but they were charging me outrageous fees. Banks never loose. Also teenagers who have discreetly used Mommy's credit card to buy the video and haven't thought that Mommy would call the bank and state she doesn't recognise the purchase. Today would be a different story. Hosting is not a problem anymore, video streaming is evidence of that, and banks have learnt the tricks of e-commerce.
Let's talk a little about some of the sessions you had. Thinking about the videos on the site, was there one that was by far the most popular?
I checked the database, the most popular video was 'Nineties Buddies II' with 7,480 downloads. In general, something new would be popular. I remember a guy asked me to use candle and drop hot wax on him during the session. Basically, this had no link with trampling but it was previously unseen. The video was a success even though I was addressing an audience who were into sneakers or trampling or stomping.
Nineties Buddies II is the free download. You can get it on my BentBox page here.
I remember that! The wax would 'set' on his skin quite fast and it was really hot when you used to scrape the it off his skin with your sneakers.
A different example was TN Gang.
That was my favourite.
It was very popular as a new thing (the first group trampling), but was so popular that people asked for more of it. I was convinced that a 'TN Gang 2' would never work because like every movie, the remake never is as good as the original. I also didn't think it would bring anything new. I was so wrong. TN Gang 2 was a huge success.
Did you have a favourite session?
The people make the session for me. I got along very well with 2 other tramplers, and the sessions we did together were the best. No words necessary, we were on the same page and had fun. With the tramplee, it's the other way round. It's better if I don't know them or even better if I don't appreciate them. When I started to appreciate a tramplee, it was becoming difficult for me to be rough. Even if I wanted to be a good friend and help them out or if I knew that they preferred it rough.
I agree with that. If the tramplee is a little annoying you sometimes care less about them. What was your roughest session? Did the tramplee get hurt?
Nobody ever got hurt on my roughest sessions. All the bad things happened on light sessions. Also, I was a careful trampler. I knew the body and the signs. I knew my tramplees (never a very rough session on a first meeting) and I didn't allow any drugs / poppers that would reduce pain or sensitivity.
That is a good way to approach the sessions. What bad things happened on the light ones?
A rib broke when I did nothing. I was simply stepping down from the chest. No kicks, no jumps, nothing.. just a step down and the rib broke. Another time with a new tramplee, I was doing a very soft trampling but he was scared. He wanted to go on, but he was so scared. Suddenly he had a panic attack and stopped breathing. I got scared too. But that's about it, very few problems.
Oh wow. Well the ribs can happen easily, I have done it myself also and heard of others doing it too. The panic attack though, I have never heard of this before. What happened afterwards?
He calmed down. I got him off the floor and sat him down, back to a normal situation.
I wonder if he went on to do more tramples.. seems very unusual.
He may have, but it wasn't with me.
I am trying to recall properly, and I think I have asked you this years ago, but I believe there was a guy called Fred who you trampled a couple of times. I had a crush on him for a while and wanted to trample him for so long. He was young and looked to be quite attractive. Does this ring any bells?
Sure. He was one of the early tramplees, as he was living in Paris (later the circle extended, but at the beginning, all my contacts were in Paris) and yes he was very young. When I first met him, he was 16, so of course I refused to do anything with him. Then he tricked me, contacted me again a year or so later saying, "Now I'm 18, you asked me to contact you then". I hadn't kept track and he was actually only 17. He was very strong and wanted very rough. Lying about his age could have gotten me into trouble, as his parents started to investigate why he would come home all bruised and beaten sometimes.
Of course they thought something was wrong at high school, but they couldn't imagine what was really happening. In the end he showed them what he liked.
What! Did they end up talking to you? What happened next?
He never really told me.. I know the parents wanted contact with the tramplers but he kept silent. I don't know if they wanted to charge us (I was not the only trampler in Paris) or they wanted help to understand.
That is a crazy story! I was not expecting that.
I have tons of crazy stories. His real name was Pierre and he was nicknamed Fred on Stomp'mania. His boyfriend was Rom.. they made a website called Rom & Fred (www.sket4skate.ue.st). Rom was a fellow trampler. They actually met at my place at a session I had organized. They became a couple but split, it's not the guy he has since married.
What sort of rough stuff would you do to Fred? Full weight on head? Hard jumps?
He liked pain. For instance, he would rather a kick with the toes than a jump where you land with flat soles. Although on video the jump may seem more impressive than the kick.
I totally understand. Sometimes hard action does not appear all that hard on video, which is a shame. You mentioned you had lots of crazy stories.. what's another one that comes to mind?
I trampled a famous german TV Showman and marked his face just before he went live.. the make up artists had to make it disappear.
I wish I could have witnessed that. The action, but also him trying to explain the cause of the marks!
Let's talk about Tom from SF (TrampleTalks 1), I know you have met him a few times. I hear there is a good story from the first time you met?
There was a "SALE" section on my website, where you could buy my used shoes. Either because you liked used sneakers (lots of sneakers guys do) or you wanted a piece of the website or an 'artifact' of the video/pictures you liked. Tom, like many other anonymous guys who I would never meet because they live on a different continent, bought a pair from me. For convenience, he wanted me to ship it to his workplace rather than his home place. It was in San Francisco, CA but his business was named after a French region. I believe that's why it stayed somewhere in my mind. I never had contact with him after the shipment and two years later, I had certainly forgotten about this sale. We decided with some (non-fetish related) friends to go on vacation to San Francisco. After a good day out and about, we head to a restaurant, and then we all agree to finish the day in a bar with some cold beers. It's past midnight when we go out and opposite the bar, I see the building with the name of the French region on it. It strikes me and reminds me immediately of that shipment. It's past midnight and I would normally just skip it but the beers made their effect and I'm in for some fun, so I cross the street and ask the night guard if there is a Mr Tom working there. Yes there was, but of course not on duty at that hour. I write a message on a piece paper explaining that I'm in San Jose, CA for the week and sign it "Stomp'mania", leaving it with the guard for Tom. Then I left. The message worked. He wrote me an email and we agreed to meet the day after. He later told me that he checked the band of video surveillance to spot me that night.
That is also a crazy story, which I love. You must have trampled him right?
Yes, but it was difficult to have a place for a session. I was staying in a large house shared by a group of friends (some visiting like me, some working in Silicon Valley) and although it was empty during the day, it wasn't easy. We had the session there, but of course, one friend had to come back during the day and we had to interrupt the trampling. That's how we both agreed that this was also not an option. We couldn't be at Tom's place because he was also sharing a house. Left with nowhere to go, Tom told me that if I didn't mind meeting another guy, we could go to the place of a fellow tramplee he knew in the Bay Area. Why not! And that's how I met Smashman.
That was my next question.. sounds like you met Smashman several times?
So yes, introduced by Tom. I met Smashman a few more times in the Bay Area during my holidays. Following that, the next few times were all in Europe as Smashman visited, either in Paris where I was or in Germany where the trampling scene was much more developed and where I would also go to meet.
That is awesome, I am jealous. Have you met any other 'famous' people in the trample scene?
I cannot say because I cannot judge their fame. As I said, I would not even call me famous, this fetish being a niche. But in a niche, everybody knows everybody and everybody is famous. And as a community, we created links that were above trampling. Olie & Sven became good friends.
Ah yes, they are great. I was a big fan of their sites back in the early 2000's also. Actually, I have met them before. They came to New Zealand when I lived there, with Smashman. I met them all with Josh from squishysquishy, and we did some trampling. It was fun. Maybe around 2008/9.
I remember discussing with Christian Felten (the owner of Sk8erboy) how we should extend our websites. Back in 2000, he was also starting sk8erboy.de with just some pics and trying to include payments and videos and facing the same problems. I guess he has proven to be a much better entrepreneur.
With the site now gone and no need to create new content for it, I guess you are trampling much less these days. Do you still trample much?
I meet very few people now but still meet a couple of guys, but usually like once a year. That was pre pandemic though.
Last question, as I'm sure I may get asked this: Is there a way for people to buy Stomp'mania videos now, or not possible? From a quick search I can find a couple of videos here and there online that other people have posted to their accounts.
No, there is no way to buy them. If someone is selling them, it is not me.
A big thanks to Tom for his time and help with this post. I could have kept going for many more hours. I think Stomp'mania should have a revival, just saying.
You can see pics of Tom's sneakers and gear here: