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Why Do Guys Have Foot Fetishes

by Lyndon Langley
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Why Do Guys Have Foot Fetishes

Why Do Guys Have Foot Fetishes

The most famous and controversial experiment on foot fetishism was conducted in 1998 by Dr Harold Kleiner, a psychologist at the University of Miami. He recruited two groups of men – one group who had been masturbating over women’s feet for five years or more, and another control group who hadn’t yet experienced any foot-related masturbation. The subjects were shown slideshows of women walking around with their legs spread wide apart while wearing high heels. In one sequence an actress’ bare toes are visible as she steps down onto a bed. In other sequences she wears stockings, sandals, socks, and shoes; sometimes her feet are visible through sheer fabric.
All the men watching the film reported feeling aroused when they saw these images of women’s bare feet. But only those men who’d already been using their hands to stimulate themselves over female feet showed this response. They also rated the actresses’ bare feet higher than did the men in the control group. This suggests that foot fetishes are not just about visual stimuli but also involve tactile sensations.
Kleiner believes that sexual arousal starts with sight then moves into touch. “When you see someone naked, your mind focuses on what she looks like,” he told New Scientist magazine. “But if you want to be really honest with yourself, when you’re actually looking at naked bodies, you’re probably thinking about how nice it would feel to caress them.”
A number of researchers have since tried to explain why men might be turned on by feet. One theory says that we use our feet to explore objects, so being able to touch and manipulate objects close up may turn us on. Another idea is that our ancestors used sex to pass on their genes, so it makes evolutionary sense that humans should find stimulation of their genitals pleasurable. And finally there’s the classic Freudian explanation that links foot fetishes to our early childhood. We all start out with a desire to suck on our mothers’ breasts, which leads on to masturbation over females’ nipples, cunts, and thighs. So perhaps foot fetishists simply haven’t got round to moving beyond those first three erogenous zones?
It turns out that foot fetishes aren’t limited to heterosexual men either. A research team led by Vilayanur Ramachandran from the University of California discovered that gay men could become sexually aroused by feet. When asked to rate photographs of nude male models’ feet, both gay men and straight women found them highly arousing. To try to find the source of this attraction Ramachandran placed a series of dots on a screen and asked his volunteers to point to where they thought each dot lay on a graph showing various parts of the human body. Both gay and straight men pointed at the lower half of the graph, suggesting that their brains were interpreting the model’s feet as the genitals.
Ramachandran thinks that the reason we find feet particularly sexy has something to do with our evolution. Our forebears needed to walk long distances across rough terrain carrying heavy loads, and they needed to keep warm. Feet therefore became important for regulating temperature, keeping the blood flowing, and helping muscles retain water. As Ramachandran points out, women tend to wear tighter clothes than men do when outside, which means their feet will be exposed to greater temperatures. It follows that women’s feet are more sensitive to heat than men’s are.
This isn’t the case with electrical outlets however. Women are less likely to suffer electric shock injuries from touching live sockets than men are. According to one hypothesis, this difference may stem from the fact that women have smaller nerve endings in their feet, making them better suited to detecting changes in skin conductance caused by electricity.
Foot fetishes don’t necessarily cause problems between partners. Studies show that couples who are happy together often engage in mutual foot play. However, foot fetishes can make relationships difficult if the person having the foot fetish keeps cheating on their partner. If you think you may have a foot fetish you can talk to a therapist about whether it affects your love life negatively.
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