Foot Fetishes - How Common Are They?
Foot fetishism is one of the most frequent of all the fetishes. Although usually related to male sexuality and male preferences, women can also exhibit a sexual fetish even though the focus and object can be different, e.g., a fetish for womens' shoes.
Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is defined by Wikipedia as the sexual arousal a person receives from the physical object. The article of interest is called the fetish, the individual a fetishist who has a fetish for that object....Arousal from your particular body part is not to be confused with fetishism because it is classified as partialism."
The astounding fact about fetishes is that if it exists, there is someone available who is attracted to it. And also the advent of the web, there is certainly probably a special club dedicated to that specific fetish. Some common fetishes concentrate on body parts, such as feet, breasts, breast implants, legs, or butt. Other fetishes focus on bodily functions, such as sneezing, urination, or pooping. Then there are fetishes focused on clothing, such as womens' underwear, leather outfits, or nappies. And some fetishes require specific treatment, for example being given enemas, nursing at a woman's breasts, or just being spanked or tickled.
Not long ago i searched online to find research and statistics in regards to the prevalence of fetishes, specifically foot fetishes. One sire listed 34 Yahoo and 6 MSN Foot Fetish Groups, some targeted for lesbians, indicating it is not only men who have foot fetishes.
In August 2006, AOL evaluated search terms used by their subscribers that included the phrase "fetish." At that time, the most commonly searched "fetish" was for "feet." Another study in 2007 at the University of Bologna examined 381 Internet discussions about fetishes which have involved about 5000 participants. They learned that the greatest number of discussion groups along with the greatest number of messages written were devoted to body parts. And interestingly, one's body parts most mentioned were feet and toes. In a single discussion group, many people quoted statistics all the way to 20-40%.
However, to put things into perspective, being a practicing sex therapist and counselor for over 25 years, I've worked with only "TWO" men that had real foot fetishes. There must be a distinction made between "partialism," a focus on one body part that is certainly found to be most arousing versus "fetishism," attention on one body part which is often the ONLY way of sexual arousal.
Men, or women, having a true foot fetish usually CANNOT become aroused without totally centering on the partner's feet. Men, or women, having a partialism toward feet may enjoy their partner wearing high heels, having toes that appear perfectly prearranged, or some other aspect they prefer, but they can also become aroused through the touch and other aspects of a partner's appearance or presence.
There don't appear to be valid statistics around the prevalence of foot fetishes, however in my working experience the prevalence is pretty low. Of course, this could mean that some people with extreme foot fetishes have not sought therapy as their fetish does not appear to harm anyone and so they do not feel a requirement or desire to change.
Once you learn someone who has a foot fetish or if you, yourself, have a foot fetish, you probably need to understand that this just isn't an easily "cured" full sexual confidence pattern. The brain stimulation and association was probably formed at a very young age, possibly even at a preverbal age, in early childhood or early adolescence. And sometimes, the person with a fetish does not really want to change, although it can be inconvenient and preclude creating an intimate relationship with a real partner.