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Why are Feet Fetishes So Common?

Let’s face it; if the 2010s was the era of bondage and BDSM, then the 2020s are marked by a pronounced interest in feet. Films and books like the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey franchise buoyed the tide of the former. Similarly, the recent interest in feet in mainstream media has been pushed forward by celebrities.

Rise in Popularity

The recent surge in feet-based interest has been years in the making. The most prominent mentions or depictions of feet in recent pop culture memory would be in the films of Quentin Tarantino. The director is famous for including shots of his lead actresses’ toes in his films. One of his most well-known muses has been Uma Thurman.

The American actress is famed for showing her feet in iconic Tarantino films like Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction. In more recent episodes, Hollywood lister Margot Robbie also flaunted her dirty feet for the director’s film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Aside from Tarantino, popstar Britney Spears is also known to be vocal about her love for her feet. Endorsements like these have been vital in pushing foot fetishes into the mainstream. As a result, these days, people feel more comfortable discussing their love for toes and more.

Representations in Media

For example, British reality TV star Jake Cornish made headlines when he confessed to being very into feet. In fact, his confession is probably one of the show’s most talked-about moments. This discussion on the 7th Season of the reality show Love Island shows how widely mainstream media accept feet fetishes.

Instead of being a dirty secret, these fixations are more readily accepted as part of a broad spectrum of sexual fetishes. Promotion by influential figures and depiction in seminal films has pushed the subject beyond its niche.

Surveys and Polls

Research on foot fetishes has also allowed more people to understand the phenomenon. From psychoanalytical to neurological and social, several influential theories explain this attraction. In fact, feet fetishes are the most widely studied fetishes.

This figure makes sense because it comprises almost 45% of all fetishes. Based on this, you can say that almost half of the fetishists are foot lovers. Studies like these have shown that foot fetishism is 100% natural and can be explained by science.

Why Do Men Like Feet More Than Women

According to research conducted by social psychologist Dr. Justin Lehmiller, at least 14% of the American population has fantasized about or been involved in sexual activities involving feet.

Moreover, the same study shows that the percentage of foot fetishes is higher among men than women.

In addition, this phenomenon seems more common in gay and bisexual men than in heterosexual males. Of the four study groups, bi/lesbian and heterosexual women were placed last. Compared to their male counterparts, the percentage of women was markedly lower.

Role of Gender Norms

However, discomfort and the pressure of gender norms could be some reasons stopping the female demographic from only admitting their fetishes. The fear of being coarse, crass, or unfeminine could negatively affect their openness on these surveys.

Women are socially expected to adhere to a specific set of behavioral norms. Admitting to liking feet sexually goes adverse to this. Fewer women could be willing to be open in interviews to avoid damaging their reputations.

Based on these factors, the study mentioned above showed the following percentages for the prevalence of feet fetishes in the US

  • 5% of heterosexual women had feet fetishes
  • 18% of heterosexual men admitted to being sexually attracted to feet
  • 11% of lesbian and bisexual women interviewed were aroused by feet
  • 21% of gay and bisexual men interviewed admitted to liking feet

Out of the 4000 participants interviewed by Lehmiller, the top groups checked for foot fetish prevalence were all male. Compared to their female counterparts, both homosexual and heterosexual males seemed more comfortable admitting their attraction.

This disparity can also be seen in websites like Feetfinder that deal with foot pics. A quick visit to these websites will reveal that the majority of sellers are women. Meanwhile, most of the visitors and the buyers identify as male.

Simply put, men seem more turned on by feet than women. One of the reasons could be the submissive nature of foot fetishes. Many foot fetishists share a desire to be humiliated and degraded. The act of worshiping a body part usually seen as “base” can thus be arousing.

Role of Traditions

Feet play for some, thus representing something taboo. On the other hand, in many cultures, feet were seen as symbols of beauty for the longest time. The prevalence of foot fetishes in these places is a remnant of these traditions.

For example, many women in China-bound their feet tightly to keep them from growing. Since the ideal foot size for a Chinese bride was 3 inches, they had to adhere to this painful measurement. Even though these practices have been abolished, traces of this culture remain.

The penchant for foot-based activities in these places is a clear example. The lasting effects of these traditions are why Japan and China are among the top countries in the world for foot fetishes.

This phenomenon has even made headway in mainstream American culture. For example, the US generates more than 1.7 million search results for “foot worship” annually. It is also the top-ranking country for foot fetishes, along with Japan, China, Italy, and Germany. But rather than saying feet fetishes are “becoming popular,” it would be more correct to say that it is being given more visibility.

Last Updated on December 26, 2023 by