Fascinated by Feet

Friday, October 20, 2006

Question

I love women's feet. I masturbate to the fantasy of having a woman gently compress my cock and balls with her bare feet. Or I jerk off thinking about being on my knees licking her feet while she talks about all the ways she wants me to serve her. My ideal job would be to work in a shoe store so I could handle women's feet all day and see them try on lots of beautiful, sexy shoes. When I go out on a date I always wonder if she has nice feet. I have tried offering to give my girlfriend pedicures, foot massages, or tongue baths, but I get very few positive responses. After a while, regular sex gets boring for me and I have trouble functioning. This causes trouble in my relationship. Why don't women enjoy having their feet pampered? How can I find a woman who wants to receive daily foot service?

Answer

Victorian sexologists (and some modern psychiatrists, psychiatrists, and sexologists) would say that you've got a fetish—an erotic obsession with a part of the human body (or, to make the definition complete, an object or substance). This is to contrast a "sexual disorder" with "normal" male obsessions with big boobs and pussy. That's not a fetish! Fetishism, according to this paradigm, is only a male deviation. Women don't have them. And people with fetishes are unable to enjoy sex unless they can focus on the fetishized item.

There are several things wrong with this way of looking at human sexuality. We all have strong, probably unchangeable, cues that lead us to experience sexual attraction, get turned on, make love, and experience orgasm—perhaps form an ongoing relationship. We can talk about which behaviors seem more common than others, but classifying minority desires as "perversions" or "paraphilias," to borrow John Money's term, is not based on any sort of science. It's a recapitulation of fundamentalist Christian morality (which isn't very different from conservative Jewish or Islamic morality).

In my opinion, in order for a human behavior to be thought of as a disorder, it has to include dysfunction in some area of life. So instead of asking, "Do most people get turned on by this?" we might (more reasonably and objectively ask), "Are people who get turned on by _____ able to form close and mutually rewarding, consenting relationships with other adults; find a profession that fulfills them; contribute to society; and find a purpose for living beyond meeting their basic survival needs?" Of course, that question is based on my assumptions about what constitutes a healthy life, just as traditional sexology is based on the assumption that there is something fundamentally wrong with people who don't confine their sexual behavior to vanilla heterosexual relations. But it has the advantage of demanding that we tie labels like "disordered" and "perverted" to some concrete form of dysfunction, rather than mere difference.

Besides, the old assumptions about fetishes have been disproved. There are all kinds of people who have intense sexual reactions to leather, amputees, latex, cock cages, diapers, tit clamps, being photographed, etc. who (like you, Dear Reader) are able to enjoy vanilla sex as well. And many of those people are women. Instead of dividing the world up into the normal majority versus the fetishists, I propose that we talk instead about sexual cues. This term carries no stigma, and it allows us to have a much more interesting discussion about what exactly tells us, I want that person, or I want to do this right now, or I need to do this with that if I want an intense orgasm.

The problem is that if you have one or more sexual cues that are not in the majority's repertoire, you still inherit all that Freudian bullshit and baggage. Because other people don't share or understand what turns you on, they can react negatively, and the knowledge that one is different can create self-destroying feelings of shame. Your girlfriend may be picking up on the hidden sexual agenda that you have when you offer to do something nice for her feet, and she may be refusing because she thinks there's something weird about combining arousal with feet. Or she may be refusing simply because she doesn't know how often you fantasize about massaging her feet, etc., and so she doesn't know how important this is to keep you in tiptop, horny stud shape.

Bear in mind that any turn-on is creepy if it isn't shared. There's something icky about straight men who like really big breasts, who try to hit it off with well-endowed women, and if they do manage to get a D-cup beauty in bed, treat her tits as if they were not connected to the woman who owns them. Sex is an exchange. So if your girlfriend thinks it feels disgusting to have come between her toes, you can't jack off on her feet. If she doesn't want to dominate you, she may not be able to come up with a good dialogue while you are on your knees. But if she likes wearing toenail polish or she likes massage as part of sensuous foreplay, you've got an overlap of interests that could make the sex much better for you.

I don't see any way around telling her what you like, if you want to get more of it. Present it as one of the ways that you love and admire women's bodies. Reassure her that you are turned on to her as a whole person. Then be sure you don't treat her as if she could leave her feet in the room and walk away, without you noticing that the rest of her was gone. I hope she has some little secret fantasy of her own that she can confess which you can perhaps get to come true.