Q&A: Foot Fetishes – Are They Normal?

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QUESTION: I’ve always been extremely aroused when touching or kissing my wife's feet, and she recently became aware of my fetish and is okay with it. Now, her feet play a large role in our foreplay and sex life. I still feel strange and embarrassed about it even though she has no problem with it. How normal is this kind of thing?

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red high heels hanging from a woman's feet

Photo: markusram (flickr)

Some researchers believe that foot and other types of sexual excitements may have been formed around the time of puberty when hormone levels are high and many things become exciting for the first time.

There has been only a little research related to what some call “foot fetishes” and though it is quite clear that people have linked feet into their sex play for centuries, it is unclear what it is that drives some people to experience such intense arousal or eroticism when they see, touch or lick another person’s feet.

Unusual But Not Strange

We do know that foot fetishes are relatively uncommon and are perhaps experienced by less than 5% of the population. That said, uncommon doesn’t mean “strange” and your sexual interest is nothing you should be made to feel embarrassed about.

Given the lack of research on the topic, we know very little about what causes people to form these interests. Some researchers believe that foot and other types of sexual excitements may have been formed around the time of puberty when hormone levels are high and many things become exciting for the first time. Others wonder if there isn’t some biological basis for certain types of sexual interests, particularly given that some interests are noticeable across time and in various cultures.

People also enjoy the sexy side of feet in different ways. Some people find that their foot-related arousal is highly problematic in their lives, especially if they find it difficult to find a partner with whom they can enjoy their foot fetish. Other people are fortunate to find one or more partners who support, encourage or enjoy foot play, just as you have found an open and accepting partner in your wife.

Check In With Your Partner

That said, since this is a relatively new experience with your wife, you might want to check in from time to time with her to see how she feels about the ongoing foot play during foreplay and other types of sex play.

Sometimes a person’s partner might grow tired of foot play if it feels too frequent, or if they worry that their sexual connection has become more about their feet and less about them as a whole person.

She may never have these feelings, but continuing to communicate with each other about your sex life, and what helps you both to feel turned on, desired, wanted and connected, may help to keep your sex life feeling meaningful and satisfying over the long term.

Recommended Reading

You and your wife might also enjoy reading Sexiest Soles: Erotic Stories About Feet and Shoes.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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