Everything You Need to Know About Foot Fetishes

Everything You Need to Know About Foot Fetishes

Do Feet Turn You On? You’re Not Alone

One of the most spectacular – and most frustrating! – wonders of the human body is that no two people are created exactly the same. Even identical twins have varying idiosyncrasies that set them apart from their mirror image. That is why, when it comes to turning on a new partner or finding a way to become aroused yourself, there is no one-touch-fits-all methodology that works. Instead, discovering your own fetishes – no matter how seemingly harmless and simple or outlandish – is essential for having a healthy, indulgent and fulfilling sex life.

RELATED: AskMen’s List of Kinks: Top 10 Fetishes

One fetish that is widely talked about and rarely understood is a foot fetish. In fact, mention anything about a big toe or a seductive ankle and you would probably get an eyebrow raise from anyone you go on a date with. That being said, there’s nothing wrong or sinful about being attracted to feet. Just like some men prefer a woman’s back end to her breasts, and others go crazy over long legs or a lush, full head of hair, other men find feet to be alluring.

If you find yourself having these fantasies, do not worry. The more you can learn about your foot fetish, the more empowered you will be to act on it. Here’s everything you need to know about getting into your urges:

1. What Is a Foot Fetish, Exactly?

Though references in comedies or some poorly-created pornos might suggest that a foot fetish is only for the freaks-and-geeks of the world, foot fetishes are actually pretty common and rather simple. As sex expert Coleen Singer defines it, “Foot fetishism, also referred to as podophilia, is a heightened and specific sexual interest in feet and/or footwear. It is the most common form of sexual fetishism for otherwise non-sexual objects or body parts, and is more prevalent in men than women.”

Not only is it a very common fetish, but it is one that doesn’t require another object and is not potentially dangerous to participate it. It just means that normal sexual activities — hand jobs, oral sex, intercourse – have an element of feet added into them.

2. What a Sex Life With a Foot Fetish Looks Like

For someone who has a foot fetish, bare feet can feel way more erotic and intense than seeing a woman naked. That is because that specific part of her body has the same power over you that other men might find less hot than, say, the curve of her back. When you are part of a relationship where your girlfriend accepts your foot fetish, it means that you both make an effort to incorporate foot play into your routine. “A person who has a foot fetish also may get sexually excited by licking the feet, smelling the feet and toes, having a person step on them, using the feet to stimulate their penis and balls, or rubbing feet. With foot worship, it can be the man at the woman’s feet, literally,” explains sexologist Jess O’Reilly. “It can also involve anything that touches the feet, like shoes, socks, or dressing the feet up or binding them.”

3. What Are Some Causes of Foot Fetishes?

Just like with anything else that turns you on more than other parts, a foot fetish can come from a variety of different places and sex experts agree there are many theories on what could cause this specific desire.

Early Experience With a Foot

“One theory suggests that we develop fetishes in response to erotic associations. If you had an early erotic experience that involved feet, your brain and body may have created a lasting erotic association. This may be considered a Pavlovian response,” O’Reilly explains.

The Desire to Be Submissive

“For men with a foot fetish it may be the only thing that gets them aroused – either touching the feet, fantasizing about it or talking about it. Some men have said that they want to be submissive to a woman’s foot, lay at her feet, rub, touch and smell her feet and toes, and lick them,” explains Dr. Dawn Michael, a clinical sexologist.

The Disgust of Feet

“Another theory suggests that your foot fetish may have more to do with disgust. As arousal levels heighten, your disgust instincts become less sharp and you no longer respond as strongly to disgust. This altered state of perception allows you to engage sexually with objects that you might normally find off-putting – like feet,” O’Reilly explains. “The taboo element of this theory falls in line with dominant cultural messages about sex: it is naughty, dirty and shameful; a foot fetish may be one outlet through which we reconcile the conflict between our experience of sexual pleasure and negative sexual messages.”

There Might Not Be a Specific Cause

And lastly — all experts agree that having a foot fetish might just be part of who you are and part of what makes you tick, with no special reasoning behind it. After all, as O’Reilly points out, one of the most beloved children’s fairy tales revolves around an obsession with a single slipper that fits on the most perfect foot: Cinderella. “The foot has a long history of romantic/erotic associations. The Cinderella story refers to her perfect, small foot fitting into the glass slipper. Several cultures have histories of emphasizing foot size as a sign of feminine/masculine attraction,” she says.

4. What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Foot Fetishes?

Though it is the most common fetish, there are still some unjust misconceptions and stigmas around being attracted to that part of the body. But breaking through those stereotypes is important – that way more people will feel empowered to be exactly who they are and have the type of sexual experience they justly desire. As Singer notes, a person with a foot fetish isn’t classified as “perverted” – instead, it is that they have a preference like anyone else that happens to be less common than the traditional choices. “As with any fetish, it is tied to a trigger that sparks the libido, just like any other sort of ‘non-fetish’ sexual activity, like having your erogenous zones stimulated by your partner,” she says.

Another myth that Michael points out is that a foot fetish is usually not temporary and isn’t something you outgrow: “As with most fetishes, once locked in the brain it becomes the stimulus for arousal,” she explains. Singer also adds that, especially with a fetish that is traditionally ingrained in your mind and body at a young age, a foot fetish is likely to stick with you for life. “People with sexual fetishes, including feet and shoes, often remember the fetish as beginning very early in their lives. In the case of the foot fetish, this can often be traced to an event or situation in which the seeing or touching of feet or shoes became paired with sexual arousal. Although there is very little consensus by psychologists and psychiatrists of the exact ‘wiring’ of this or any other sexual fetish, it is a powerful and often lifelong phenomenon,” she explains.

5. How Do You Talk to Your Partner About Your Foot Fetish?

If you are interested in someone for the long haul and potentially even marriage, it is essential that you are upfront about who you are – emotionally, personally, physically and yes, sexually. It might be incredibly difficult to bring up this conversation and maybe even more so with someone you have been with for a long time but you haven’t yet confided in. That is why it is important to be detailed, specific and honest. But take it slow and keep things simple, Singer advises.

“In the case of men wanting to let their partner know that they are really into feet, it is best to tread gently at first on the topic. Many women are simply creeped out by the thought of someone kissing their feet or sucking their toes. One fun way to kick off the topic is to get the movie Kinky Boots, a hilarious 2005 British comedy which touches on the whole topic of sexualizing feet and footwear in a wildly entertaining manner,” Singer advises. “That can then lead to a lighthearted session of foreplay in which the man gives his partner a foot massage and then moves on to  some foot kissing and toe sucking. He will know pretty quickly what her reaction is to this and act accordingly.”

O’Reilly also says that paying compliments and starting small with sexual acts is an easy way to start.

“Compliment their feet! Offer a foot massage. Let them know that their feet are beautiful and exciting and that touching them makes you feel relaxed and aroused. And then tell them exactly what you want to do to their feet,” she suggests. “Even if they’re not into it and even if they’re a bit uncomfortable, a partner with whom you are sexually compatible won’t judge you. They’ll try to understand your needs and together you can negotiate ways in which to work your desires, if only in part, into your sexual repertoire.”

6. How to Incorporate Your Foot Fetish Into Your Sex Life

The first and most important step is to come to terms, as a person, with your fetish. This might mean talking to a therapist or interacting with other men who have a foot fetish to become more comfortable with your sexual desires. “Own it. Do not apologize. Do not be embarrassed. You are perfectly normal. You shouldn’t have to apologize for your natural inclinations and desires,” O’Reilly says.” And get online! There are supportive communities and sharing sites designed just for you. Indulge and let your mind wander.”

Another step? Being very selective about who you date. As O’Reilly explains, “Sexual compatibility is about being similarly open-minded; it is not about having the same desires, but respecting one another’s desires. If your partner judges you and isn’t willing to work through this judgment (this is their job – not yours), you are not sexually compatible.”

That being said, you must be respectful of your partner’s boundaries and be willing to take it slow. It is going to be a learning process, especially if she’s never been with someone who shares your same fantasies. “If she enjoys you worshiping her feet, you are all set. If she is reluctant, you may need to take a gentler and more long term approach. If you have a very strong foot fetish, this is something that will need to be explored and negotiated early on in the relationship and it may just become the deal breaker. If you do not see eye to eye on this, it will result in you going ‘toe-to-toe’ with each other in the relationship, so you may need to move on,” she says.

Another fun way – that will also be great for you! – is to shower her with gifts. And for you that isn’t lacy, seductive lingerie or a nightgown … but it is shoes. Or a pedicure. “Give her a treat from time to time, in this regard, like new shoes! For many women, shoe collecting is the ultimate porn for women and she will probably appreciate your thoughtfulness,” Singer says.

The biggest goal is to make the foot fetish seem less all-encompassing and more a part of a healthy sex life that turns you on, while also focusing on all of the things that get her going, too. After all, your intimate relationship should never be one-sided. “Work it into the sex play so that it is fun and do not make it the object of the sexual encounter. This can be worked into foreplay by kissing from top to bottom, ending with the foot. You can also massage the foot with warm soy oil and giving her a foot massage, which is great for her and part of the foreplay for you,” Michael explains. “If you are into submissive foot play, be her pet for the day, laying at her feet, offering her massages, smelling, licking, touching – and if she wants to, have her step on you from time to time. I would recommend this type of play with a woman you know and are comfortable exploring different ideas with.”

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