By Bill Kray
How common are foot fetishes?
April is Foot Health Awareness Month. It is the goal of MYanatoMY Store to create separate Pinterest boards for different parts of human anatomy. Each board depicts artistic, photographic, physiological, medicinal and other aspects of that body part. While assembling the MY foot anatomy board, it appeared that I may have bitten off more than I was prepared to chew. I can appreciate a nice looking foot as well as the next person. But apparently, quite a few people derive erotic pleasure from fondling feet and sucking toes. This might partially explain the popularity of pedicures, shoe shopping sprees or cosmetic surgeries to achieve the perfect foot.
Is it a Fetish or a Partialism?
"Foot fetishism is one of the most common of all the fetishes," according to Erica Goodstone, Ph.D. She continues, “However, to put things into perspective, as a practicing sex therapist and marriage counselor for over 25 years, I have worked with only TWO men who had real foot fetishes. There has to be a distinction made between ‘partialism,’ a focus on one body part that is found to be most arousing versus ‘fetishism,’ a focus on one body part that is often the ONLY means of sexual arousal.” Categorized as paraphilias, “Men, or women, with a true foot fetish usually CANNOT become aroused without totally focusing on the partner's feet. Men, or women, with a partialism toward feet may enjoy their partner wearing high heels, having toes that appear perfectly lined up, or some other aspect that they prefer, but they can also become aroused by the touch and other aspects of a partner's appearance or presence.”
So which is this foot obsession: Common or rare? Based upon the number of forums and websites devoted to it, Podophilia is more common than other fetishes. However, people with foot fetishes are not likely to seek therapy. Hence, there is no hard data. Any professional treatments are merely anecdotal of a much more vast phenomenon.
It may or may not surprise you to know that partialism is not limited to feet. Consider Armpit fetish (Maschalagnia), Belly button fetish (Navel fetishism), Breast fetish (Mazophilia; Mammagynophilia), Butt fetish (Pygophilia), Ear fetish, Eye fetish (Oculophilia), Foot fetish (Podophilia), Hair fetish (Trichophilia), Hand fetish, Leg fetish, Lip fetish, Neck fetish, and Nose fetish (Nasophilia). And this is a short list. A more comprehensive compilation of paraphilias is available. Focusing on various paraphilias likely contributes to fanaticism over many provocatively dressed pop singers. Each fan can lust over his or her desired body part.
So I hope you enjoy MY foot anatomy board on Pinterest — just not that much. And if your feet genuinely cause you problems, don't let outside perceptions of Podophilia prevent you from visiting the chiropractor or podiatrist.