Many of us do not give them much thought, but did you know it’s one of the most common fetishes? In fact, a 2007 study of fetishes showed that the most common fetish in their sample was feet and objects related to feet, including shoes, pantyhose, and socks. Supporting this study is a thriving market for foot pictures that continues as fetish material becomes more available each year. So, why are so many people sexually fascinated with feet? Is it something to worry about if you find yourself wanting to draw on toes? Or is it more common than we think? Let’s take a look at foot and shoe fetishes and see if we can unpack this.
Who Fantasizes About Fetishes?
According to Dr. Justin Lehmiller of the Kinsey Institute, about 14% of participants in his survey had some sort of sexual fantasy in which feet or toes were involved. Of course, this doesn’t mean they are all foot fetishists, but there’s an interesting breakdown.
First of all, men are more likely to fantasize about feet than women, with the highest percentage, 21%, being gay or bisexual men. And among women, bisexual and lesbian women are more likely to be into feet than straight women, at 11% and 5%, respectively.
Maybe this does map to who wears and doesn’t wear high heels. Or maybe women are just less willing to reveal their fetishes, which might tell us something about …
A fetish, or paraphilia, is a kind of conditioning. Your brain becomes trained to associate a particular object with sexual stimulation. Feet have many, well, complicated associations. Here are some of the reasons people might choose feet:
- Do a Google search on “Sexy shoes,” and you’ll find SexyShoes.com (which sells drag queen shoes, among other things), sinfulshoes.com, and all kinds of other sites that specifically associate shoes with being sexy, which can lead to associating the shoes with arousal. Images of women in languorous positions wearing high heels might well explain why men are more likely to go for shoes.
- Biology. Fetishes share nerves with your genitals, which is why some people are turned on by having their feet licked and sucked. Which then provides a great opportunity for people turned on by, well, doing the licking. Fetishes do have many nerve endings, so you could argue that being attracted to feet is, in fact, perfectly normal.
- Dominance/submission. This is where foot fetishes cross over with kink. Being literally at or under a dominant’s feet is the turn-on for many men, with the subversion of traditional gender roles. The classic “uniform” of the dominatrix includes incredible boots. Shoes thus end up great toys for dominance games.
What makes people foot fetishists?
The tendency to develop a fetish might be hereditary. As kids, we also see and touch feet a lot, which can result in sexual imprinting, especially in a society where we keep our genitals thoroughly covered. One foot fetishist blames his urges on the fact that a girl he had a crush on once left her tennis shoes at his house, allowing him to play with them.
In any case, feet are a common fetish target for biological and social reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Does Fantasizing About Feet or Enjoying a Foot Massage Make You a Fetishist?
Enjoying a foot massage, which can be sexual to some people, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a fetishist. Having your feet “treated” is going to feel great; that’s normal.
Many people have special sexual fantasies. A fetishist requires the involvement of the objects they’re fixated on to achieve stimulation. A foot fetishist is likely to want and need to incorporate feet and shoes in their foreplay in some way.
Experimenting with foot licking also doesn’t make you a fetishist; it might just be an enjoyable thing to try. On the other hand, if you think you have a foot fetish, don’t be afraid to explore it and see where it goes.
Are Foot Fetishes Harmful?
Someone who has a foot fetish might look at foot photos instead of or in addition to regular porn. They might also involve shoes in masturbation and foreplay or buy sex toys that look like feet.
The only time a foot fetish can cause harm is if the person with the fetish seeks a partner who is not into having their feet involved in sex, so it’s best to find that out early.
What Sort of Fetish Play Might You Want to Try?
So, you think you might have a foot fetish? Or you’re dating someone with a foot fetish and want to make them happy. Many, but not all, foot fetishists like to lick, suck, and nibble on feet, but there are a few other things you can explore, like those foot-shaped sex toys.
Some foot fetishists are attracted to decorated feet. They may want their partner to get their toenails done and wear an anklet or foot jewelry. To people like this, nail polish and foot jewelry are similar to getting your partner to wear sexy lingerie.
If you’re into shoes, you could try keeping your shoes on or having your partner keep their shoes on, or ceremonially removing shoes much the same way you might undress your partner.
There’s nothing weird about enjoying feet, and many more people are likely to some degree than admit it. Like most fetishes, podophilia is completely safe. Lots of us have some form of fetish, and there’s nothing strange or abnormal about it.
One 2007 study of fetishes showed that the most common fetish in their sample was feet and objects associated with feet, including shoes, pantyhose, and socks. A foot fetishist is likely to want and need to incorporate feet and shoes in their foreplay in some way.
Someone who has a foot fetish might look at foot photos instead of or in addition to regular porn. Many, but not all, foot fetishists like to lick, suck, and nibble on feet, but there are a few other things you can explore, like the aforementioned foot-shaped sex toys.
Some foot fetishists are attracted to decorated feet.