Foot Fetish JENNIE-LOUISE KENDRICK Feet are not an erogenous zone for most. Some find them repugnant and if given the evolutionary ability, would prefer humans became footloose and fancy-free. Podophiles, however, just wanna suck some toes, lick the occasional arch, and pay randos on the internet for exclusive foot pics. People even sell their socks online with descriptions like “my older brother’s stinky socks” and “mismatched, sweaty”. While not as prevalent a desire as touching a titty or neck smoochies, podophilia is the most common fetish involving non-sexual body parts or objects. According to Wikipedia, the most trusted peerreviewed academic source available, the earliest recorded mention of foot fetishism was in the 12th century by Bertold of Regensburg, an old ass German preacher and Franciscan monk. However, the book cited was challenging to find and published 90 years ago so probably disproven. A study conducted and published in a 1989 issue of Psychological Reports by Dr A. James Giannini theorised that an “increased interest in feet as sexual objects was observed during the great gonorrhoea epidemic of twelfth-century Europe, and the syphilis epidemics of the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe”. Therefore, feet may have been seen as a safer option for sexual contact because the lack of orifice meant a diminished risk of infection. The same study also found an exponential increase of foot fetishism in pornography over three decades coinciding with the AIDS epidemic. It is also speculated that the focus on female feet as a sexual object is a reflection of the changing power structure of womxn (clock that ‘x’- it’s the trans-inclusive term for people who identify as
female – gender is a construct) in society as femaledominant sexual relationships become more accepted. A foot fetish could involve just touching or getting touched by a foot, the colour/state of the nails, footwear/accessories, and the smell. Many famous people have reportedly had a penchant for tootsies, including Andy Warhol, Elvis Presley, Thomas Hardy, and 18th-century adventurer/creeper Giacomo Casanova. Podophilia also touches less desireable historical figures. Serial killers Ted Bundy and Jerry Brudos shared three things in common; murdering women in Oregon, engaging in necrophilia with their victims, and foot fetishes. According to PsychologyToday, “most psychological theorising concerning both fetishes in general and foot fetishes concern early childhood imprinting and conditioning experiences (where sexual responses are typically paired with non-sexual objects)”. In his 2009 book Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices, Dr Anil Aggrawal wrote “it has been suggested that the foot’s shape is distinctly phallic and is viewed by the fetishist to replicate the female or male genitals or the shape of a female body. Another view is that the feet and the genitals are in the same visual window, and when looking at one, the other will be in view as well; thus the two (genitals and feet) become associated in the mind”. So podophilia could be a fleeting fancy to dabble with in the sack or a lifelong obsession but either way, it’s not the sign of a psycho killer. The fact that most of the research and literature is from forensic psychological sources is most likely because most people don’t get psychoanalysed and don’t seek treatment for a propensity for feet.