Expert Opinions On Foot Fetishism
There is a certain standard that is prevalent among the majority. This becomes a normal standard. Anything unique to it gets considered as an abnormality. Without even realizing we assume this, but when pointed out, it couldn’t be more obvious.
For instance, isn’t it normal to find sex organs desirable? This common trait suddenly makes every other choice an anomaly. So, naturally, a stigma forms around it, and assumes the status of a taboo.
Finding feet sexually desirable is one such misunderstood trait.
What is a foot fetish?
It is a subject that gets hazy around the fringes and it materializes itself in myriad ways. From getting aroused, wanting to touch a partner’s feet, witnessing feet-touching, fantasizing about it to direct stimulation.
For some, the appeal of the feet changes with their guise. The way the feet are adorned or presented. Jewellery, tattoos, stockings, sandals all seem to hold merit with Foot Fetishists.
The hard limit that pushes foot fetishism into the closet is the olfactophilia of feet. A sizeable percentage of foot fetishists find arousal in the way feet smell.
The complexity of this subject is what hits a nerve with the orthodox.
Below we demystify this fascination of feet that is Foot Fetishism.
Is foot fetish normal or not?
Coming to question, Is a foot fetish normal? In terms of sexual health, foot fetish is just another aspect of sexual well-being. It does not invite any unwarranted strain on the physical body. And like any other sexual activity, a hygienic interplay poses no harm.
This question comes up ever so often because of the lack of communication and the negative connotations associated with the word ‘Fetish’. It symbolizes an uncontrollable urge to gratify foot needs.
Unlike what most people believe, foot fetish isn’t a fixation. Neither does it spiral out of control. Instead, it is an association of feet with sexual pleasure that happens over time. Hence, its origin isn’t out of brutality but rather a necessity.
What do the numbers tell us?
Due to the lack of interest, there aren’t many numerical data to account for. However, from the studies conducted, it is clear that foot fetish isn’t solely about feet. For partakers, it is in association with some form or other. Another study by Lehmiller brought about a trend never before known. A staggering 21% of fetishists were people who identified as gay or bisexual. This number overshadowed the mere 5% of heterosexual women.
If we go by this study, it tells us something about the vigour of the relationships. It indicates a more reserved nature that floods a heterosexual mind. No wonder it takes so long for straight people to accept other realities.
Where did the phobia come from?
The studies done on this topic are uncomprehensive. Those involved in them had their prejudices infiltrating the results. Most parts of history saw foot fetish as a perverted obsession. Something that needed banishing from society. The imbibed hate and cruelty towards these people grounded them for a while.
Until recently, when freedom of thought and expression gained momentum. Along with the LGBTQ+ community, foot fetishists also came about to tell their stories. This was all done in the wake of approval. Wanting to be accepted was their vision all along.
The irony is, those who label fetishism as a psychological disorder are themselves suffering from one. Their animal instincts detect a threat from people who are different. Just like the unknown scares humans, the different does too.
It’s a defence mechanism that is protecting a very weak society. The general hatred and dominance that conventional dwellers impart is proof.
Kink vs Fetish
The words are dangerously similar in a way that they both facilitate out-of-the-box desires. But expert opinions on this suggest otherwise. According to them, their purpose divides them into distinct areas. Where fetish is a gratification of a need, Kink is an exploration of the limits.
The hard limit of a fetishist isn’t their limit but that of the more general participant. Separately, a hard limit of a kink is the extent to which all parties are willing to get more out of the activity.
Consequently, a repeated kink can help form a fetish. After all, the positive reinforcement of an action leads to its characterization.
Are feet special to elicit such a response?
Psychologists and biologists alike have conducted researches for this. They have aimed to identify biological properties of the feet that contribute to such a response. Their studies have shown interesting links between sexuality and feet. For starters, the receptive area of the brain for sensations to the feet is right next to the sexual receptors. And like most of us have felt, feet are sensitive. They are another bundle of nerves that get triggered instantaneously.
Coming to the psychological findings, feet worship is a form of dominion. It is a power dynamic at play. And it works both ways as a form of submission or domination.
Destigmatizing foot fetish
You’re someone who has a foot fetish, but you never owned up with all the drama surrounding it. Now you’re in a relationship, and it has become essential for you to speak out. All of this needs to be done keeping in mind the naivety of your partner.
You need to be ready to let them question you. For them, it is unusual and even a little edgy.
- Start laying a foundation– Exposing an intimate part of yourself like that shouldn’t be abrupt. It also shouldn’t be untimely. These are all recipes for a disaster. And is probably the reason why most people run for the hills when they hear this. To begin with, start making your partner comfortable with you exploring. Let them shed all their mental barriers. Then, just the general vibe of the relationship will decide how it goes down. At this stage, starting a conversation about fetishes or name-dropping one isn’t wise.
- Make a move- After the initial reluctance has worn off, it is time to take a step. Provided it is a small step. Suppose you sense that your partner has qualms with their feet being touched. Now is your chance to put them at ease. Help them relax at your touch. Letting the trust build will make your partner more accepting of you. Do not emphasize the feet but take a roundabout way. This will prevent any sudden freakouts.
- Stretch it– When you’re way into your comfort zones, it’ll become easier to communicate. See this as a sign to stretch your partner’s limits. But that isn’t without asking for permission. This will establish beforehand that your urges are controlled. Then, make use of the same positive reinforcement to scour new heights.
- Fess-up– This is your judgment day and how you go about it decides what’s next. Never portray it as a weakness. Your job is to convey the honest reaction your body has to feet. If you stick to this, it’ll guarantee patience on your partner’s part. While in it, make it a point to answer all the questions but for someone new to this territory. And in the end, give it some time to rest. It isn’t an everyday thing for most people. But, after a while, they’ll come around.
What’s in it for the partner?
Throughout this conversation, we have tackled the assumptions people have about Foot Fetishism. However, the last one on the list needs most of our attention.
This piece of misinformation believes that gratifying the fetishist means staying put. It paints the partner as having to be a stationary object. And the fetishist is the only active one in the dynamic. To support a person with a fetish, for the majority, is sacrificing one’s pleasure.
If that were the case, then fetishists wouldn’t need a partner to get through. Even if their desire is targeted, they aren’t indifferent to the rest of the person.
That brings us to the supposedly passive participant of the two. The truth is that it feels equally arousing to be touched at one’s feet. The long route that such a relationship goes through lands exactly here. To shed the shame and find freedom within this practice.
This by itself is a solid enough reason to know What is a foot fetish. It isn’t about what the world wants you to find pleasure in. It is about the direction in which you wish to go.
As discussed earlier, there is an unexplained alarm underlying the phobia. This has given credence to the few violations by fetishists. And in turn, the whole act connotates immorality even if it is within the bounds of consent.
Even sex-offenders, the normal ones, have grimly assaulted people’s dignity. But that has never seemed to put the act of sex under any scrutiny only because people are open to it.
The times when you need to bear caution are when things transcend control. It is revolting to have someone exploit you under the guise of being a fetishist. Ask yourself What is a foot fetish and what isn’t.
Remember, fetishists are people first; it is never on their minds to please themselves at the cost of others’ discretion.
Ways to open yourself up to foot fetish
- Be comfortable– If you have polarizing thoughts about fetishism then, it is time for some introspection. Your disgust with sexualizing feet shows your discomfort. All the beliefs you hold shape you, and a lot of these are probably faulty. If not faulty, at least they’re keeping you from opening up. A certain amount of reserve is always healthy. But one that outdates time isn’t. Your beliefs need to align with the times that you are in. And if you’re having trouble with it, then you’ve weakened yourself. Find out What is a foot fetish from your point of view. Then go ahead and elicit a response for its iniquity. You will find yourself with an answer that has nothing sinful in it.
- Be flexible– These are changing times, more like tumultuous. But if you think being comfortable once solves it all, then you’re wrong. A lot of new ideas will take birth or come out of hiding as you live on. Of these, you need to be accepting of those which contain people’s identities. One year’s work on destigmatizing Foot Fetishism will not solve your discomfort with some other evolved expression.
- Be social- Staying inside one’s head is detrimental to progress. There is no new perspective on the offer. Neither is there any chance of understanding the current scenario. To keep in check with reality, get to know more people. Gather different perspectives before you land on the assumption. A diverse group of friends usually helps one stay suggestive to newer, more bold ideas. Closing off is going back in time. And there’s no returning once there.
- Humanity transcends tradition– It is okay to adhere to religious beliefs. But to have them interfere with someone else’s happiness isn’t done. For the sake of your faith, you cannot offend another person’s identity. It takes them as much work as you to be kind to themselves. People in the 21st century already feel out of place. Becoming the reason for their downfall isn’t judicious.
- Avoid stereotyping– The last thing a fetishist wants to be called is a fetishist. So don’t make it their identity that all your conversations with them revolve around the same topic. Instead, see them as a whole and not a part of what they identify as. Another reason why stereotypes need to be avoided is to refute, making them feel different.
Being aware of a certain issue is to know what not to do. The biggest mistake people make is they try to do something. They do just about anything to justify their stand. When all they have to do is nothing. Be who you are to them, and you’ve been successful in opening yourself up to fetishism.
What to expect with a foot fetishist?
- Unusual attention to feet- You will see their eyes vying for a look at your feet. And this will happen periodically. Their locus of attention is the feet. So don’t be jealous if other parts of your body don’t get as much attention. Your feet will, nevertheless, be worshipped the same.
- Little things– If you’re someone who tends to the feet last, you’re about to hear some truth. Since foot fetishists tend to observe feet more than most, they are also prone to observations that most wouldn’t even care to make. If you’ve had a good day and gotten a manicure, get ready for a compliment. If it’s your usual man-feet day, prepare yourself for some disapproval.
- Massages in disguise– You will keep getting feet massages that did not begin like that. It is their way of coping with their bashful nature. Not everyone is forthcoming with their preferences. So, the only way they get undivided attention to your feet is a massage.
- Foot accessories over you- They are less likely to notice that you did your hair a new way. But they wouldn’t miss a beat in letting you know those new boots look great if you want to get more of a reaction from them, trying taking them off. The whole ordeal will upset them to no end.
- Caught red-handed– You might have to witness a scene where your partner catches a whiff of your feet. Or gets touchy with the foot accessories you just used. Their fascination with these items is also olfactory, so be ready to catch them sniffing your month-old socks.
- Grabby hands– Once they are comfortable, their hands will try to aim for your feet. They would interact with you via your feet. Be it to calm you or make you laugh.
Mind and feet
Feet as a component of sexuality has had the due of being the most controversial. That is, with the way psychologists tried to make sense of it.
The most popular among them, and also the most questionable, is Freud’s theory. Freud was a well-known psychoanalyst. He had gained popularity for his elaborations on Oedipus and Electra complexes. These two theories justified the sexual attraction a child has for the parent of the opposite sex. As if this wasn’t far-fetched, he went on to add foot fetish to this mix.
Freud believed that foot fetish showed up early on in a child’s life. And it found manifestation in the parent of the opposite sex. His reason for this obsession was the absence of similar genitalia in one parent. The kid would be shocked at that and would go on to find organs that resembled their sex organs. More so the male sex organs. This theory did not hold up for long. It marked the arrival of a new one, the reward hypothesis. Kids during their early childhood days resort to physical attachment. Their inability to reach an elder’s height forces them to bind to the legs. And most kids end up succeeding in getting a prize. This natural behaviour positively reinforces reward with feet. When they grow up, their childhood behaviours get carried forward and morph into foot fetishism.
No matter what it gets theorized to be. One thing is clear; it isn’t a mental disorder. It will forever be another way to build new bonds and connect with people.