Sex & Relationships

Feet=Sex? What's Behind the Kinky World of Foot Fetishes

An astounding percentage of the population is turned on by feet or footwear -- what gives?

I do not have pretty feet.

Maybe cute like a baby duck but not pretty. In fact, since I’m flat-footed, my foot sort of resembles a duck’s especially when I make a foot print fresh from the pool. I don’t take time for pedicures and I walk on hot pavement to the trash can. And he will want to see my feet.

That’s because Stan has a foot fetish.

We meet in his office in downtown Little Rock. It’s funky with a mod rug and an abstract art. Stan is in his early forties, has two kids, attends church regularly and is happily married. Oh, and he’s a Republican.

Before we meet, he tells me via email he wants to be my foot stool. I can honestly say I’ve never once fantasized of being someone’s foot stool. Do my feet stink? I really need a pedicure.

For Stan, it’s not just about attractive feet in fishnets or fuck-me heels. No, it’s also about submissiveness. For years, he has IM’d me asking to be my slave and offered to wash my car, clean my yard, polish my boots. Anything. So far, I’ve always said no.

On this afternoon, he offers me wine. We’ve known each other for many years, and the chit chat turns to mutual friends, work, family. He plays some background music. Some crooner I’m unaware of – maybe Michael Buble?

He gives the Cliff’s Notes version of foot fetishes:

Some men love socks with pungent odors.
Some men get off on nasty flip flops.
Some men really like old shoes that look like they have been through the trenches of war.

He is not joking.

“Seriously, some men really like these things,” he says.

Who knew? But Stan is apparently right. More times than not, feet equal sex. In fact, according to a 2007 study from the University of Bologna, feet and toes were the most popular parts of the body. Forty seven percent of the sampled preferred them to other parts of the body. Researchers also found that, when it came to objects associated with the body, shoes, boots and other footwear scored 64 percent. No wonder Manolo Blahnik is so rich. When you buy a pair of designer shoes, though, stinky gym socks usually don’t come with them.

Face-to-face, rather than on instant messenger, Stan seems slightly shy. I don’t envision him licking the soles of my shoes anytime soon.

“Let me see your feet,” he says out of the blue.


My biggest fear.

“I want to see them,” he says.

He walks around his desk and I slip my right foot from my black Puma flat. Eew. Do they pass the foot fetish smell test? Does my foot stink? Wait, maybe he likes that.

“You could never be a foot model,” Stan says, tsk-tsking.


Now my feelings are hurt.

“Your toenails are not long enough. You need a pedicure. Bright classic red polish.”

Aye, aye, sir. He tells me he has work to do and I’m dismissed.

* * *

Stan is your stereotypical businessman. He runs his own company, plays hardball in the boardroom and seldom backs down. But in his personal life, he longs to be a submissive – a slave – at someone’s beck and call.

His wife, Leslie, indulges her husband’s kinky desires. While most men bitch and moan about honey-do lists, Stan gets off on them. That is, if Leslie allows it. On Friday night, Stan will ask Leslie about a list. She takes her time, composing it. She might add to it on a whim.

A typical Saturday might go like this:

Get up.
Take out trash.
Sweep the floor.
Wash the dishes.
Wash loads of laundry.
Clean out the car.
Cut the shrubs.
Go to the grocery store.
Cook dinner.

He doesn’t get off the hook easy.

“She checks all my work as I complete it and scratches it off the list if it’s done right,” he explains. “Sometimes I get to shine shoes right before bed, while she just watches TV or reads.”

Stan loves this reward, and Leslie enjoys getting the chores done. But Stan’s to-do list doesn’t always end shining shoes.

“I don’t do that every time,” he explains. “It's not always on the list.”

Leslie likes Stan to beg her, and he, in turn, likes to plead. Maybe when men are whining about their harpy wives they are secretly getting a hard-on. Hmmm. Maybe they are submissives in disguise.

Every week, Leslie gives Stan an allowance. If he has extra money, he gives that to her and she then decides how much he gets back. Sounds like many marriages, doesn’t it?

As they get ready for bed, Leslie, removing her makeup, may say, “I am not sure about your work today.”

At some point, she allows Stan to take off her socks and shoes. She may brush Stan with her foot. Leslie may let him touch up her pedicure, which she gets every other week from money she takes from Stan’s “allowance.”

One thing may lead to another if Stan has done a “great job” with his chores. Other times, they may have sex but she won’t let him cross the finish line in order to punish or torture him.

And yes, that makes him happy.

* * *

Stan’s earliest memory involves feet. Like age three.

“I first remember being aroused at the thought of a female's foot as a very young child, likely around three years old,” he says. “I remember a little girl, just about four , talking to me about making me be naked, and tying me up in front of her house to a tree and not letting me have clothes unless I begged her by kissing and licking her toes and feet. I remember that very specifically and getting a hard on as she talked about it. After that, I remember seeking out other girls in my neighborhood and creating situations in which I could lick their feet, the soles, specifically.”

Stan had a very different childhood in south Arkansas than I did.

In college, Stan’s girlfriend was a dominatrix. (And yes, he attended an Arkansas university.) She didn’t wear leather, but she was mean. While sweet-talking other boys on the phone, Stan would kneel at her feet and massage them.

When he met Leslie in college, he told her about his fetish. Leslie didn’t think it was a big deal. In fact, she thought it was funny.

“She would tell other people then I told her more and she stopped telling everybody,” Stan laughs.

When Leslie wasn’t paying attention, Stan would sneak into the closet and sniff and inhale her roommate’s shoes.

But Stan has embarked on more extreme foot adventures than what he did in college. He has licked the sole of a dirty shoe. He has used his toothbrush to clean shoes.


“And then re-used it?” I ask.

“Yes, washed it though,” he says.

Okay…but still. Ick.

As I learned when I went undercover to a bondage club, your kink’s not my kink, but your kink is okay.

“I am submissive, so the thought of being subject to the whims of a woman, cowering at her feet, is the scene that gets me,” he says. “I like soles, and toes, and really like the way feet smell.”

Well, I shouldn’t have worried so much that first day we met and he examined my feet.

Some men and women, get off on humongous feet, which is similar to a giantess fetish. This is called macrophilia – a sexual fantasy involving giants particularly Amazon women. Think Wonder Woman with super-sized feet. Confession: Until Stan mentioned this, I never knew it existed. You learn something new every day.

Stan doesn’t get turned-on by a particular size of feet, but he does like well-maintained – soft from socks and gym shoes, and painted nails or French tips. Okay, maybe he doesn’t like stinky after all, but rather pleasant smelling tootsies.

He also isn’t into the crush scene where a partner, say Leslie, would crush or step on an object – food or glass bottles, plastic cups or whatever you can envision – or an animal – mice or kittens. Thank ye gods. That might be too weird for even me to comprehend.

Nor does Stan want to feel much pain. Hence, why he may never find his way to a bondage club. He doesn’t want Leslie to brandish a whip or paddle.

“I do not like pain, a slap or spank sometimes is good, and hard, rough nipple teasing,” he says trailing off.

One thought keeps zipping through my brain: If only his employees knew.

* * *

He wants a what?!

A chastity belt. Yep, that’s what he said.

“I like, the idea of forced chastity, no I love it. I am going to get one of those soon, I think, and give her the key to it,” he says. “I’m going to get a tube.”

According to BMEzine Encyclopedia, a chastity tube is “a metal (or equivalent) tube (or equivalent) which fits over the penis and sometimes the scrotum as well in order to prevent erection and / or stimulation. It may be held in place by a piercing or most commonly a Prince Albert piercing – one of the most common genital piercings.

Many tubes are lockable.

Note to Stan: There’s a hazard to these contraptions. If you wear one that is too tight, it can act as an irremovable cock ring. The end result? A penectomy. And yeah, that is exactly what it sounds like: the removal of the penis. You’ll end up an “it” before you know it.

If the tube gets stuck, seek immediate medical attention. Just a word advice: I wouldn’t call 911. I’d go to an emergency room. You don’t want that 911 recording leaking out to friends, neighbors and relatives.

I search for a picture of such a contraption on Google, and frankly the medieval-looking device screams OUCH.

“The idea is total submission,” he says. “I do not get what I want until she is completely happy.”

That’s some dedication to your fetish right there, dude.

I will never be able to look at Stan again without wondering if his penis is wrapped in some metal case underneath those pressed Preppie dress slacks.

Stan also has a secret yearning that has to be actualized in real life. He wants to be the slave to my wife and her lover, the one she chooses sexually over me. Basically, a cuckold, he says.

Sometimes this fantasy rolls out in his head that Leslie’s lover is better in bed and can provide for her better than he can. Other times, he fantasizes that the lover is simply more gratifying to Leslie in bed.

Ask about feet and you can get an entire erotica book based in suburbia.

What isn’t a fantasy is Leslie’s use of Stan as a footstool. Yep. He really does act as one, and all this time in cyberspace, I thought I would be the first to use him as an ottoman. Nope, wrong, sistah.

Here’s how that works. The kids are visiting their grandparents or staying at a friend’s house, and Leslie walks into the house. Stan waits by the door on his knees in boxer briefs. He slips off her shoes, or boots if it’s winter.

“Get me some wine,” she says.

He leaves her to pour her a glass of Chardonnay and returns with it.

“I need to put my feet up,” she says.

Stan gets on all fours and Leslie puts her feet on his back, telling him to rise higher or bend lower. While he remains frozen, Leslie will watch television, chat on her phone or Facebook.

“I bring the computer or phone as needed,” he says.

Leslie will then ignore Stan. Sometimes, if she is nice, she will tease his nipples with her toe or tell him to her off her socks as she rubs her feet in his face. He will take them off with his mouth. This scene could go on for ten minutes or an hour.

Yes, that is what could be going on in the cookie cutter house next to yours.

* * *

You’ll never look at a raggedy pair of shoes at a garage sale the same way again.

At the end of the day, with or without a tube attached to his penis, Stan is a businessman. He’s about the bottom line and making a buck. So he’s turned his fetish into a mini-industry. He sells shoes to fellow fetish folks on eBay.

A few years ago, Stan read that Britney Spears was selling some of her shoes for thousands of dollars on eBay. He saw them and then cruised through the site, seeing all the other shoes selling. Then there were athletic socks. If he liked them, surely other men did, too. And black stockings. Ah ha, he thought, I can do this. He conferred with Leslie.

“I told her I thought I could make a buck selling old shoes of hers or those I found with her modeling them online,” he says.

Sure enough, he was right.

They dug through Leslie’s closet and pulled all the old shoes that would have ended up tossed out in the trash or in a Goodwill bag. She modeled them on eBay. The bids came in. They soon ran out of shoes.

“It got so big I had to go to yard sales to get more shoes,” he says.

The buyers believe they are buying Leslie’s shoes and her persona online is that of a bossy shoe gal. But in reality, it’s Stan playing the role to these shoe hungry men. He buys shoes, or gets them through Freecycle, that is a believable size for Leslie to wear – anywhere from 8 to 9.5.

The more worn out and trashed, the better for business.

“They have to look well worn with footprints,” he says.

Some men request putrid shoes, and the ones Stan has in his for-sale collection may not have a strong enough odor. Therefore, he must create stink. He wraps feta cheese in a napkin, sticks it in a Ziplock bag, and then puts the pair of shoes in the bag for a week. When the seven days are up, he quickly pulls the shoes out of the bag and crams them into another baggie before putting them in a box and heading to the post office.


Some buyers request toenail clippings. Others want Leslie to step on food or crush candy before receiving the shoes. A return customer paid $50 for a picture of Leslie’s foot stepping on a bug. Stan has shipped as far away as Canada. He makes the most money in summer when there’s a high demand for nasty flip flops that can go as high as $35. One August he made $2,000, and for a time, averaged about a thousand a month.

“God, there was a pair of the nastiest Slide athletic shoes once,” he says. “God, they were nasty. They sold for like 50 bucks.”

Wonder how much my stinky kickball cleats could catch? And the dirty socks after a game? Hmm. Maybe there’s a side business for me. Ka-ching!

On eBay, it’s all in the wording, too. The site doesn’t allow such fetish items to be sold so Stan has to be careful what he says.

He uses such words as “trashed,” “well-worn,” and “old.” The required eBay disclaimer also goes on the listing: These very well worn, old brown Birkenstock sandals will be cleaned prior to shipping per eBay and manufacturers required and recommended standards.

Stan has a 100 percent buyer satisfaction star on the site.

Once Stan has reeled in a customer, he feeds into their need for submissiveness. He chats with them on instant messenger. They ask him questions about particular pairs of shoes. They must create the scene in their head before they buy. Stan spends hours at night concocting – okay, lying – about the pair sof shoes telling the buyer Leslie wore them here or there before deciding to sell them to that special someone.

He even has customers who buy the shoes, then pay, then beg to relist so they could do the game all over again without ever getting the shoes.

Stan also wows them with such harsh domineering words that they willing send him “tributes” aka Amazon gift certificates and Paypal transactions.

So online for the cold cash, Stan will sell out and play the role of a dominatrix. He also has the real names of these people because of Paypal transactions. They don’t know his, but he knows theirs. If any of them ever run for political office, Stan can easily blackmail.

So I have to ask: What do people do with these shoes?

“I think they jack off in them or with them,” he says. “They smell and lick them, too.”

Oh. Shoulda guessed. Duh.

* * *
One night, Stan instant messages in his slave role. He tells me what he wants.

“Ma’am, hide me in a room behind a curtain, have your friend stick her feet in the space behind the curtain for a foot pampering that she describes,” he says. “Do you know anyone?”

I run through a mental list of friends who might be game. The ones who might would likely know Stan if for some reason the curtain fell down around his ankles. Wait, I do know one adventurous person. I throw out her name and Stan quickly searches for her on Facebook.

“OMG, she’s friends with SH.”

SH works for Stan.

“We’ll have to go out of state for this,” I say.

And I’ll have to get a pedicure. 

Suzi Parker is an Arkansas journalist. Her work frequently appears in The Economist and US News and World Report. She's the author of Sex in the South (Justin Charles & Co.)
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