Q: My boyfriend and I want to know more about foot fetishes. He has a foot fetish and we are both curious to know where it comes from. We enjoy the soles of feet, toe sucking, and foot smelling. We both find this incredibly interesting and healthy, and are eager to know more about it. Is it common?
Dr. Klein: Feet are, indeed, a focus of erotic pleasure for many people. Cultures such as the Mandarin Chinese and Victorian English celebrated feet, experiencing them as lively sexual objects worthy of worship. Smelling, looking, touching, and sucking are among the ways people express this preference. It is so common, in fact, that there are many erotic magazines devoted to it. You can find these at large adult bookstores and through the mail (try the website www.blowfish.com).
The way you share your interest sounds wonderful. By the way, I’d only call it a “fetish” if you can’t enjoy sex without foot-worship. How does a strong sexual preference (or fetish) develop? Dr. John Money leads the school of thought that we develop “lovemaps” or idiosyncratic erotic attachments at a very early age, typically in response to either 1) some sort of systematic comforting by a particular object, or 2) some sort of trauma in which an object has enormous erotic significance.
On the other hand, it also seems clear that people often acquire tastes for things serendipitously–experimenting with something seen in a film, getting turned on to something new by a trusted lover, etc. Unless your sexual preference for feet becomes a problem, let go of the search for a “cause” and just enjoy it.