Foot fetishes: Fun or freaky?

| Sex Columnist

Foot fetishism, otherwise known as podophilia (not to be confused with pedophilia), is defined as an intense sexual interest in feet. For podophilists, the sight or physical handling of a foot—shoed, socked or naked (depending on their preferences)—incites sexual arousal that, if satisfied, ends in various sexual play. This can range from kissing feet or toes to the “footjob,” where foot friction causes ejaculation much like a handjob does in intercourse.

The foot fetish is the most common and documented fetishistic orientation, mostly (70 percent) occurring in males. It is characterized by modern psychological attitudes as fetishism only when the foot or its various accessories (stockings, ankle bracelets, boots, etc.) are required for one’s sexual arousal—that is, if a male cannot become erect without something foot-related involved, and a woman cannot gain a lubricated response without that same stimulus. This kind of sexually limiting mindset can grow to involve repressed urges, shame and even criminal acts.

That being said, the foot fetishes can be an accepted sexual preference outside universal norms, similar to sadism or bondage. Its prevalence and low rate of associated deviancy contribute to a greater contemporary understanding of this and other paraphilic behaviors. This understanding is manifested through various mediums, from large-scale porn sites to sex toys.

Popular sites include Foot Fetish Tube, a play off of RedTube and YouPorn (and further, YouTube!), which goes as far as to post podophilic events like “Footnight” or the “Foot Worship Party.” Sex toys include the Vagina Foot, a $35 jelly foot with a faux vaginal opening on its foot bed; Little Piggies, $60 latex-free fake feet (cut off at the ankle) for footjob-esque masturbatory play; and the Dildo Shoe, a shoe resembling an orthopedic boot with a dildo attached to the top for a more literal interpretation of podophilia. Beyond this, there’s even an eHow.com page called, “How To Satisfy a Foot Fetish,” and countless Web sites featuring boots, stilettos and sandals catering to foot lovers.

Although most college students deny any understanding of this fetishism, the industry is clearly there and ready to expand. “Baywatch”-famed actress and home self-made porn star Pamela Anderson calls feet the “sexiest part of a woman’s body,” while Playboy model (and mother) Brooke Burke relates, “Toe sucking is just so good.” Celebrities continue to endorse foot fetishism as well, from these ladies to Enrique Iglesias and Ludacris.

Some theorize this sexual predilection comes from the act of crawling at a mother’s feet during babyhood and sexual development. Others believe podophilic responses may come from the relative closeness of feet and genital processing in the brain. All I have to say is that after a man in a clothing store examined and stroked my foot, exclaiming of my “ballerina feet,” I was slightly traumatized. But to each his (or her) own!

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