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Foot fetishism
by Simon Sheppard - SGN Contributing Writer

Nobody ever claimed that sexual turn-ons were a simple thing, but of all the kinks and fetishes, few are more puzzling to the un-turned-on than the love of feet.

"They're ugly," says one unconvinced fellow. "Well, my own feet are particularly ugly, but I can't figure out what anyone sees in any foot, except for a weird-looking, bony appendage."

But one man's turn-off is another guy's cherished sex object, and the pedal extremity is no exception. In fact, you'd have to search far and wide to find another non-phallic male body part more widely fetishized than the foot.

"I have no idea why just the sight of someone's foot makes my dick hard," gushes one foot fancier, "but it definitely does. Even if I'm cruising a handsome, well-hung guy in the locker room, my gaze inevitably drifts floorward to his beautiful, bare feet."

And there are plenty of podophiliacs out there, as a quick trip through internet porn will prove. Says one foot-photo fan, "It may seem silly to some people that I jack off to pictures of guys' feet - especially if they're covered with cum. But it doesn't hurt anybody, and I surely have a right to my kinks."

There are a number of possible explanations for foot fetishism. Doctor Freud himself speculated that the foot was a stand-in for the dick. Others have pointed to the close neurological connection between the genitals and the feet; there's no doubt that your size 10s are a responsive - if ticklish - erogenous zone. Those who link sexual stuff to early-childhood development point out that infants spend a lot of time crawling around at their parent's foot level, so logically they might link the thought of toes with Mom and Dad's love. The apparent boom in foot play's popularity may even be a safe-sex reaction to the HIV epidemic.

And then there's the "Why ask why?" bunch, folks who spend less time searching for root causes than finding ways to get off. They argue that sex, after all, should be fun, not a science project.

Says our foot fancier, "A love for feet is so common that plenty of guys I play with are at least willing to try foot play. Sometimes if I'm sucking off a guy with attractive insteps, I'll just reach down without asking and start stroking. It feels great to have your feet massaged, so only the most ticklish men tell me to stop."

There are size queens among foot folks, but most seem to be attracted to beauty, not bulk. As our online porn voyeur says, "Some men's feet are just very good looking. So masculine, so strong." But while classic below-the-ankle beauty is a plus for most, there are some kinky dudes who get off on gnarled toes, bunions, even athlete's foot. "I'm sure," our voyeur says, "there are men turned on by toenail fungus, though I'm betting it's a small minority. But then, I like pictures of dirty soles, so I'm hardly one to judge."

And while some fetishists are content to merely gaze upon the feet that they desire, others long to touch, fondle, and even sniff them. Says one man who adores the scent of feet, "I'm really not excited by shoes at all, but I have been known to stick my nose into another guy's Nikes so I can smell the traces of the feet that the sneakers have been on."

Does that sort of devotion sound quasi-religious? Well, many faiths feature foot-based imagery, like Jesus washing his disciples' arches, or the footprint of the Buddha. But that stuff's probably a bit highfalutin for a down-and-dirty, dick-hardening foot fetish.

While there are those who extend their fetishism to footwear, that's not a prerequisite. Some who love feet could care less about loafers - and vice versa. Others prefer the objects of their worship to be all dressed up in socks. Kink is, after all, an area of specialization, so you'll find those turned on by high arches, and others who crave flat feet. And feet can be linked to kinky scenes like erotic tickling or foot bondage.

But, as with other erotic obsessions, a love for feet is harmless, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. But if you don't focus solely on soles, and relate to the rest of men, too, then you're in good company. So the next time you go down on a guy, go all the way down, past the knees and ankles, and see what his fabulous feet have to offer.

Simon Sheppard is the editor of Leathermen and Homosex: Sixty Years of Gay Erotica, and the author of Sex Parties 101, Kinkorama, and In Deep: Erotic Stories, and can be reached at SexTalk@qsyndicate.com. Visit Simon at www.simonsheppard.com.

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