Let’s Not Tip Toe Around It – Why Are Foot Fetishes So Popular?Last updated February 14, 2019
Do you have a full blown foot fetish? Maybe foot massage is your Achilles heel in the bedroom. Or, perhaps, they make your own go cold!
Whatever your partiality to partialism (the sexual attraction to a specific body part), this study on fetishes found that “feet and objects associated with feet were the most common target of preferences”. Along with with the vast amount of foot porn out there, certainly makes this topic foot for thought.
Podophilia is the distinct partialism for feet, ranging from fetishism to kink. For clarification, sex educator, Dirty Lola explains that:
“Fetish is heavily tied to having a psychological need for those specific objects or acts in order to experience pleasure and/or orgasm, whereas kinks can add to a sexual experience but aren’t necessarily needed to achieve sexual release.”
So, if you are new to feet, allow yourself to become footloose and fancy free for a moment. Bare with us, and open your mind to how sensual this part of the body can be. We wanted to tread carefully into finding out what makes the foot so erotic!
Are Foot Fetishes a New Phenomenon?
People were fascinated with feet, even long before the demonisation of the foot in Medieval Europe for its phallic appearance. Historian, Daniel B Levine, remarks:
“The notion of eros was bound to the human foot from early to late antiquity…The foot left its imprint on Greek erotic thought from Homer to the rise of Christianity.”
In 10th century China during the Song dynasty, small feet were celebrated, so much so that foot binding from a young age became popularised amongst upper-class women. This painful process intensely eroticised feet, up until it began to die out during female emancipation in the early to mid 20th century.
During the Victorian era, footwear fashion particularly the high heel became second only to corsets as objects of fetishistic worship and play. But shoe fetish (altocalciphilia) is a whole other kettle of fish. Freud believed that this was because “little boys see shoes when trying to look up their mother’s long skirt.” Oh, classic Freud…
In more modern times, Elvis Presley infamously studied women’s feet before he would get involved with them romantically. And even Britney Spears has been rumoured that she loves it when men kiss her feet.
So, Why Do So Many People Have a Foot Fetish?
For one, incorporating feet within your sexual repertoire encourages more creativity and sexual exploration in the bedroom, which could easily have you head over heels for more.
“It’s just more colours to paint with in terms of playing together.” – Pleasure Mechanics
Our feet are powerful sensory body parts with around 200,000 nerve endings in the sole of each foot. Evolutionary biologists suggest that for thousands of years we used our bare-feet for “proprioception” to sense our environment for survival.
Despite the practice of foot binding, the Ancient Chinese therapy reflexology, dating all the way back to 2330 B.C. importantly maps the body onto the feet. This reflexology map has also been found on tombs in Ancient Egypt.
Reflexology is the intense massaging of different areas to ensure a balance flow of energy. Where pressure is applied tension unblocks in different body parts. This include the genitals – making foot interactions a full body experience.
Modern science has also found similar connections. Since the mapping of the Sensory Cortex in 1951, neuroscientists believe that the penis crosses wires with the feet as they sit next to each other on the brain. Though the female body wasn’t mapped until 2011 – including the clitoris, cervix, vagina and nipples – the female genitals have also been found to overlap with the feet too.
Sex engineer and relationship therapist, Colin Richards, explains that most fetishes resonate with us from an early experience. Our psychology developed from childhood finds memories that manifests itself into a sexual desire. This could be associating feet with the kindness of a teacher, hence stroking feet helps them feel calm and relaxed which can translate into a sexual scenario.
It could very well be the total submission to another, or even just a sign of pure intimacy with a lover. Alternatively, just like many kinks, podophilia can arise through the eroticism of social taboos.
What Fuels Taboos or Disgust Around Foot Fetish?
There are social etiquettes of wearing shoes in public. Aside from culturally in the home, and some places of worship as a sign of respect, going barefoot is typically discouraged. These could easily fuel taboos around the sexualisation of feet. Not to mention their phallic shape offending the more pious historically.
A more obvious reason for people’s aversion to feet and foot fetishes could be hygiene related. If not looked after they can indeed smell bad, harbour infection and toenails can become ingrown. Being shamed for the size or shape of their feet can also create feelings of embarrassment and disgust for feet.
Richards adds that not wanting people to touch your feet can also be a sign that you need to stay in control. Feeling ticklish can be a very vulnerable experience.
So whether you are a foot fanatic or curious to dip a toe, keep an eye out for our upcoming piece on how to incorporate feet into your foreplay.