If you find yourself with a sexual interest or an attraction to feet, you’re not alone. Podophilia, otherwise known as foot fetish, is hugely popular with many men and women.
According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, fetishes linked to feet are some of the most common types of sexual fixations.
As explained in more detail in our previous article ‘What is a fetish: A list of kinks explained’, in the simplest terms a fetish is an interest in an object which can be a simple attraction or a form of sexual desire.
Almost anything can be fetishised with most fetishes resulting in sexual excitement and/or arousal.
Typically, the more common fetishes revolve around those of the body, with foot fetish being one of the most common.
After the body, the most common fetish is linked to the items people wear, such as footwear (still linked to the feet) and underwear.
Below is a breakdown of everything related to feet fetishes, including dispelling the unnecessary stigma associated with this specific kink.
What is a foot fetish?
History has shown that the obsession with feet dates back centuries. It is not uncommon for people with a foot fetish to find themselves aroused by actions and sensual activities surrounding the feet area, such as massaging, kissing, sucking, rubbing, and licking feet.
This attraction to feet extends to all areas of the foot, including the soles, arches, and toes.
Although some people with this type of sexual fetish prefer bare feet, others also find things related to the feet, such as shoes and socks to inform a large part of their fetish. Everyone has a different preference.
Why do people have foot fetishes?
When it comes to the question of why people develop a foot fetish, the answers aren’t all that straightforward.
With no one correct explanation as to why so many people admit to having podophilia, it’s worth looking at our relationship with feet in general.
Interestingly Stella Anna Sonnenbaum, Certified Sexological Bodyworker & Somatic Sex Educator points out that:“Foot fetishes are usually aimed at women’s feet, and there could be a biological explanation for this, as small feet have a correlation with high oestrogen levels.”
According to various experts and past studies, below are further reasons why so many of us have an inkling for some tendon loving care.
Feet were considered submissive during biblical times
According to Fan Hong’s book “Footbinding, Feminism and Freedom: The Liberation of Women’s Bodies in Modern China”, some people once believed feet to be a symbol of praise and admiration, now those with a foot fetish often find feet a large part of power dynamics, submitting to them sexually.
Feet are a highly sensual erogenous zone
Undeniably, our feet can be the most pleasurable of body parts when touched. With many nerve endings in the foot alone, when receiving a foot massage or having them licked or sucked, the sensual feeling for some can be off the scale.
Feet are the more disgusting part of the body for some
Admittedly, although there are many who love feet, there are also a large number of people who find feet in general to be disgusting. Yet, even this attitude for many can be a turn-on. With the idea of feet and sex equalling a sense of dirtiness or naughtiness, some people find it sexy and, indeed, a contributing factor to turning them on.
Feet fetishes can start as young as childhood:
Some people may have had a sexual/sensual experience with feet very early on in their life. Although it is important to realise that not all fetishes, including feet fetishes, are something we inherent in our youth.
According to certified sex expert and sexologist Gigi Engle,“fetishes are not always something you’re born with, they can be environmentally driven. For instance, you might not have thought feet were a fetish for you, but once you see foot fetish porn it starts to grow on you. And suddenly, you realise you’ve developed a full-blown fetish for feet.”
Is foot fetishism common?
Foot fetishes are more common than you think. As previously mentioned, the Journal of Sexual Medicine and findings from our own research,
Foot fetishes being one of the most common fetishes is also supported by past research, whereby almost half of people surveyed claimed to have a foot fetish.
Also, as more people develop friendships and relationships online, the ability to talk more openly about sexual preference means more people are discovering others with podophilia.
Is having a foot fetish normal?
Understandably, along with many other fetishes, podophilia has its own taboos attached to it. These mainly stem from some incorrect perceptions when it comes to fetishes in general.
Unfortunately, there are a number of myths and stereotypes that so often are linked to feet fetishes, such as the person with the fetish is sexually perverted or merely creepy. For others, there’s a belief this phase will pass and should be ignored until the person has come to their senses. This also relates to many people feeling uncomfortable when discussing such a fetish, more so because it’s often believed feet are unhygienic in nature.
However, the truth is, as long as it is not harming anyone, or invading someone’s personal space or against their will, a foot fetish is a perfectly normal sexual fetish to have.
Is it bad to have a foot fetish?
Fortunately, as societies attitudes evolve, many more people are becoming more comfortable when opening up about their sexual fetishes This means the stigma of shame that was once attached to fetishes like feet are slowly dissolving.
This has led to many to many old age-old foot fetish myths being dispelled such as the two most common below.
A foot fetish is not normal – Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding about podophilia is that it isn’t healthy. To many, it appears a freaky and unhealthy obsession. Yet having a foot fetish is simply another way of expressing a healthy sexuality. There is nothing abnormal about sexualising an essential part of the body. In fact, it can help boost your sex life if both partners are on board with it.
Only certain people are into foot fetishes – This is also an entirely incorrect assumption. In fact, most of us may well have some form of foot fetish without realising it. With so many people experiencing a great deal of sexual pleasure from foot massages, and foot and toe jobs, you may well regularly enjoy bouts of podophilia.
The different levels of foot fetishes
What some people may not realise is that there are different levels of foot fetishes. They include:
- Clean feet
- Dirty feet
- Tickling feet – Lightly or more intensive
- Oiling feet – With baby oil or lotion
- Wearing heels or shoes to visually stimulate or as a scent
- Wearing nylons
- BDSM – Pouring hot wax, or wearing toe cuffs, for example
- Wearing socks
- Dangling shoes from the edge of your feet
- Crushing items between feet – Such as food, balloons, pillows
Furthermore, you may also hear a foot fetish mentioned alongside that of the terms kink and worship. Though such terms are closely related, they do mean something slightly different. Kinks can often add to that of sexual experience. However, they aren’t always necessary to achieve some form of sexual release.
Worship is an extension of a foot fetish, where typically the feet are worshipped. For some people this type of worshipping provides sexual satisfaction.
Making the most of a foot fetish
If you have a foot fetish, you can, in fact, incorporate it into your sex life and get increased pleasure from doing so. Better still, if you have a partner, there are many ways you can both benefit immensely from this fetish.
If it’s done correctly, a foot fetish is entirely harmless and an excellent way of living out some of your sexual fantasies.
Couples or sexual partners with foot fetishes can incorporate the following into their sex lives:
- Incorporating sensual foot massage into foreplay
- Lightly kissing feet during foreplay
- Sending photos of feet to each other
- Wear different types of shoes, such as high heels, during sex
- Making foot jobs or toe jobs a regular part of their sexual activities
It’s worth noting that there are some risks associated with foot fetishes. If you are a fan of this erotic fetish then you will need to consider risks such as STIs, cuts and skin infections.
Due to the current climate if you are thinking about practising this fetish, you should do so with a partner that you have been self-isolating with for at least 14 days, and have both not shown any COVID-19 symptoms.