Amanda Chatel is a lifestyle writer for Bustle, covering sex, relationships, women's reproductive rights, feminism, and more. She is a regular contributor to Glamour, We-Vibe, and Bolde. Other bylines include: Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Huffington Post, Men's Health, and BlackBook. She divides her time between NYC and Barcelona. | Read More
When it comes to sexuality, it’s important to think of it as a spectrum: it’s long, colorful, and no matter which direction you head on the spectrum, you’re bound to come across something unique. While each end may be polar opposites, it’s that beautiful range along the middle that can really open your eyes. That is, if you dare to venture a bit beyond your space on the spectrum and see what else might be out there. To do so might feel daunting at first, but it’s also a necessary move if you’re going to explore human sexuality to the ultimate depths and allow yourself to discover the particulars of, let’s say, a foot fetish. One doesn’t wake up one morning and suddenly have a foot fetish, rather one might wake up one more and suddenly discover that they’ve had a foot fetish for quite some time.
What Is A Foot Fetish?
While some might categorize a foot fetish as loving feet, it goes beyond that. Also known as podophilia, a foot fetish is a sexual desire for feet. For a foot fetishist, there can be a craving to lick, suck, fondle, bite, and even rub their genitals against feet — foot job, anyone? — or simply admire the foot from afar without even touching. Although some foot fetishist might sexually fantasize or desire the whole foot, others may just have an interest in the toes, or the heal, or the arch of the foot. Podophilia can also extend to include shoes and socks, as well as foot odor. There is no one way to fetishize a foot, so not all foot fetishes are the same.
Why Do People Have Foot Fetishes?
As is the case with most fetishes, trying to pinpoint exactly why one might fetishize a foot, of all things, differs. For some researchers it’s a matter of classic conditioning, meaning something happened during one’s childhood that made an impression upon them that resulted in a sexual desire for feet. For example, parents tend to touch and play with the feet of babies and toddlers, imprinting upon the brain that feet are to be touched and adored.
While other research has suggested that because the genitals and feet are in adjacent areas of the brain’s somatosensory cortex, podophilia can be linked to that. Then there are those theories that echo that of Freud, who don’t only suggest the resemblance between the foot and the penis, but the resemblance between the foot and both male and female genitals, as well as the female body. In other words, the jury is still out and, honestly, may remain out forever on the exact reason why someone would have a foot fetish. However, the one thing that has been found is that gender plays a role in the chances of one being sexually aroused by feet. And, yes, it’s more common in men.
Although we tend to think that only men have foot fetishes, that’s not exactly accurate. According to Kinsey Institute research fellow Dr. Justin Lehmiller, of the more than 4,000 adults he surveyed about their sexual fantasies, men were the most likely to have a foot fetish. His survey resulted in the finding that 21% of gay and bisexual men have fantasized about feet. Not far behind, at 18%, were heterosexual men. As for whether or not women have foot fetishes, 11% of lesbian and bisexual women reported sexual fantasies about feet compared to only 5% of straight women.
But while the why and the how and the who are interesting, what’s most important is recognizing your foot fetish and what you do with it — there’s so much exploring to do once you have your foot fetish epiphany.
Most Common Types Of Foot Fetishes
Because there is no one way to desire or love a foot, or even one part of a foot that everyone equally gets off on, not all foot fetishes can be lumped into one category. Each foot fetish has its own characteristics and particular traits that make it different from the other foot fetishes out there. Here are five of the most common types of foot fetishes.
For some, just the foot alone is enough to arouse them. It’s all about the shape, the toes, the arch of the foot, or the size. In these cases, there may not even be a need to touch the foot at all; just the look of a foot is enough to get them going.
When it comes to foot worshipping, it’s taking the appreciation for the foot and putting it on a pedestal. For these foot fetishists, they want to massage, rub, lick, kiss — do everything that one does to make something, in this case a foot, feel like royalty. Find yourself a foot worshipper and you’ll never have to pay for a pedicure again.
Because feet are at the very bottom of the body, the lowest of the low if you will, for those who find arousal in being humiliated by a foot will consent to all sorts of humiliating/dominating types of behaviour. It can be anything from being forced lick stinky feet that just got home from the gym to even foot-gagging, or literally being walked all over, either in bare feet or in heels.
In the same vein of foot worship, is foot adornment. This can include being aroused by feet that are tattooed, wearing jewellery, socks or stockings, or shoes. Some people become aroused at just a peak of a foot that’s wearing sandals or prefer the look of a foot in heels, so they can imagine what’s underneath and the thrill of what it will feel like to take those shoes off as if unwrapping a gift on their birthday.
When it comes to foot fetishism, the smell of feet is very much connected to the sexual desire for feet. Although olfactophilia, a fetish for odor, can be separate from feet and include other parts of the body or other smells in general, research has found that for those who become aroused by feet, the smell is often part of the equation. As in what one might consider stinky, the foot fetishist would consider hitting the jackpot.
Fun Things To Do If You Or Your Partner Have A Foot Fetish
Because foot fetishes are common and, even for those who don’t have them, definitely not as intense as some fetishes can seem, a lot of fun can be had with them. If you open your mind to your partner’s foot fetish or, if you’re the one who has the fetish, give in to your foot cravings, a lot of intimate, sexy activities can be enjoyed. Here are a few ideas.
While we may usually think of our genitals as a place to be played with and/or teased by fingers and toys, if there’s a foot fetishist in the equation, then things can get kinky fast. Foot jobs, instead of hand jobs, are a lot of fun. Just lube up your feet and/or your partner’s penis and do as you would with your hands, but with your feet.
Although feet giving a foot job to a penis might be the first sexual act that comes to one’s head, we can’t forget about the person with the vulva. Feet, toes in particular (hence the term “toeing”) can be used to stimulate, tickle, and tease not just the clitoris, but the entire vulva. If you and your partner are into anal play, then toeing can also be done to the anus. Just don’t forget the lube!
One of the best things about sex is that it isn’t just penetration, but a whole range of fun activities. When either one or both partners have a foot fetish, you can make an evening of it with massages, pedicures, and foot worship. Your feet – or your partner’s feet — can get hours of the royal treatment they deserve.
If you or your partner find that your sexual desire for feet is linked to domination or humiliation, then break out the BDSM gear and put your partner through the wringer. Have your partner lay down while you make them lick the bottoms of your feet, take out your highest heels and step on them, or make them beg to be punished and taunted while you arouse them with your feet and your power.
Playing dress up
Because there are so many variations of foot fetishism, if either you or your partner enjoy a well dressed foot, you can incorporate your wardrobe full of shoes. For some, just the visual of putting on and removing a shoe from a foot is enough to make them not just turned on, but on the verge of orgasm too. See? There really is a reason why one should have many pairs of shoes! It’s for foreplay for your foot fetishist partner.
Did You Know You Can Incorporate Foot Fetishes Into Tantric Massage?
If you just read this post and asked yourself, “Do I have a foot fetish?” then that’s a great first step, because you just might. One of the best ways to figure out if you do, is to explore your sexuality in a deeper way and see what’s behind the curtain. A tantric massage in a safe, welcoming, and judgment-free space with a tantric masseuse can help you incorporate your foot fetish into tantric massage. Karma Tantric’s Fetish Massage has all the details you need to either make your foot fetish a reality or help you discover another fetish you may have yet to realise.