Why Do Some People Have a Foot Fetish

Why do some people have a foot fetish? 

Fetishes—about feet or something else—are a "multi-sensory experience," Lehmiller says: "Different people might find very different things arousing about their fetish object." "In the case of feet, it’s more about the visual aspect for some, but for others it may be about sniffing, licking, or otherwise touching feet, including using them during European adultery porn videos," he says. "People may be interested in any combination of these activities, or any other activity in which feet are involved, including being stepped on or helping a partner take footwear on and off." John, 31, describes himself as having a “crazy foot fetish.” He says, “A lot of guys like the sweating and smell of feet. I definitely don’t. I like clean, dry feet. For me, it’s more about kneeling down in front of a dom—showing them a form of ‘Thank you’ for letting me be used,” he says.

George, 42, says he’s had a foot fetish for as long as he can remember. “I love the intimacy of touching someone’s feet. I like being able to massage them and make them feel good.” How common are foot fetishes? It's hard to say exactly how common foot fetishes are, Lehmiller says. (According to Psychology Today, they're among the most common sexual fetishes.) "The best source I can cite would be the data I collected for my book Tell Me What You Want," Lehmiller says. "I found that 14% of my participants reported having had a sexual fantasy before in which feet or toes played a prominent role."

"It’s important to note that just because someone has fantasized about feet before doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a fetish for feet—just that they’ve been turned on by the idea of feet at least once," he adds. "So while about 1 in 7 people reported having had a foot fantasy before, the number who have a true fetish for feet, in the sense of being primarily or only attracted to feet, is likely much smaller than that." Here's the breakdown of how many people had fantasized about feet before, broken down into different groups: "So men and persons who identify as anything other than heterosexual are more likely to have fantasized about feet,"

Lehmiller says. What causes a foot fetish? People develop fetishes for different reasons, "but they are largely thought to be learned behaviors," Lehmiller says. "For example, let’s say you have a partner who spontaneously stimulates your genitals with their feet, and this is something you’ve never experienced before," he says. "Let’s also say that you happened to find it very pleasurable and had an intense orgasm. This could create positive reinforcement that would lead you to want to repeat the experience in the future, thereby laying the groundwork for a foot fetish." What are some of the biggest misconceptions about foot fetishes? People wrongly assume that having a foot fetish means you have a mental disorder, Lehmiller says. Fetishes can become a problem—like if a person is distressed about their own fetish, or if they're committing crimes in order to fulfill their desires—but for the most part, there's nothing wrong with having very specific turn-ons when it comes to sex."

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