Sunday, December 7, 2008
Profile of a Foot Fetishist
Published research indicates fetishists have poorly developed social skills, are quite isolated in their lives and have a diminished capacity for establishing intimacy. Rossi (1990) reported the majority of male fetishists were married, living perfectly conventional lives with their spouse, who in turn was fully aware of partner's behaviours and preferences. In most instances the author reported the fetish did not interfere with normal sexual relations. Clearly there seems to be a dichotomy of thought. Perhaps the former description meets the profile of level 3 & 4 Fetishism and Rossi's description Level I & 2. However there remains a dearth of informed opinion within the scientific literature. Hence no hard and fast conclusions can be made.
Not all foot lovers (or podophiles) are shoe fetishists, or vice versa and seldom will they be attracted to both. The majority of fetishists are completely unaware of the beginnings of their pedal love affair . Foot fetishists tend to keep their inclination concealed for fear of social ridicule or other apprehensions. They maintain a close network of fellow fetishists wherein they function comfortably. Clubs and now websites have sprung up catering for these special interests. Foot fetishists can be found in every sphere of society, and this includes many famous and influential people including: Casanova, von Goethe, Charles Pierre Baudelaire, George du Maurier, Thomas Hardy, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Quentin Tarantino. < br>
Estimating the number of foot fetishists is complicated because many are latent or closeted. Most authorities agree men are more likely to be sexually aroused by a pedal fetish but no one is entirely sure why this is so. When incidence is compared to other paraphiliac behaviour such as exhibitionism, cross dressing, and sadomasochism, the population has a similar demographic (von Krafft-Ebing, 1965).
There is no reliable data on the number of foot fetishists but estimates indicate something in the region of between one quarter to three quarters of one per cent of the adult male population (aged over 17). Translated into Australian, that would mean there were approx 50k in the country with 4.5k in WA. Enough to fill a medium sized stadium at a final to overflow and those waiting at the gate would represent the number of male foot fetishists in the state of WA.
Fetishists view the foot as others seek aesthetic pleasure from some other erogenous form. Points of attraction include the size of the foot, curve of the arch and instep, the length and straightness of the toes, the texture and complexion of the skin, contours of the heel and ankle, the softness of the sole, and if possible, even the foot odour. Each segment is an exquisite part to kiss, bite, caress, lick and fondle. Even the toes are used to simulate fellatio (Stekel, 1964). The fetishists attraction to the foot (or shoe) is because it has exactly the characteristics considered most attractive and elegant in the female personality. Unless these features match completely then no attraction will take place (Ellis, 1936).
The fetish is usually meticulous about cleanliness although there have been reports in the scientific literature about dirty feet being of particular attraction, especially in homosexual foot fetishists. Foot odour is a powerful sexual arousal factor for podophiliacs. Aigremont reported in Rossi (1990) the smell of feet was to the fetishist the same as the smell of the genitals to others and the olfactory stimulus added to the sexual excitement. Foot lovers like to be stimulated visually and will gaze at pictures of feet. By in large foot lovers enjoy relatively gentle aesthetically pleasing scenes that concentrate on soft caresses, kissing or licking and worship. They revel in the sensuality of the object of their desires.
The fetishist experiences intense sexual excitement and arousal from direct pedal lovemaking which is either used as precoital behaviour or a substitute for coitus itself. Most shoe and foot fetishists are relieved to learn their partner will usually accommodate foot loving into normal intimacies. This is probably because foot fetishism is usually considered non-pathological and a variation of normal intimacy.
The foot is a very tactile organ which gives sensual pleasure to both partners. Foot tickling can itself provide a pleasant foreplay as well as an erotic response. The devoted foot fetishist will voyeur feet in the same way others seek the opportunity to view people dressed in tight clothing. They are naturally attracted to feet dressed in open design footwear such a high heel sandals. The focus of their attention is on the behaviour of the owner especially in the way the person uses their feet in non verbal ways.
Ellis H 1936 The Psychology of Sex (Vol I & II) New York: Random House.
Rossi WA 1990 Foot and shoe fetishism : part one Journal of Current Podiatric Medicine 39:9 9-23.
Rossi WA 1990 Foot and shoe fetishism : part two Journal of Current Podiatric Medicine 39:10 16-20.
Stekel W 1964 Sexual aberrations New York: Grove Press.
von Krafft-Ebing R 1965 Psychopathia sexualis New York: Putman's Sons.