If feet are a turn-on for you, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Famous foot fetishists (people with podophilia — not pedophilia) include Elvis Presley, Andy Warhol, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and megastar burlesque vedette Dita Von Teese.
Feet are second behind sex organs as the most commonly eroticized body parts, and there may be a scientific reason why. Feet and genitals occupy adjacent areas of the brain’s somatosensory cortex. In other words, areas of the brain that control genital pleasure and foot pleasure are neighbors. Neurologist Vilayanaur Ramachandran thinks the popularity of podophilia is due to “neural crosstalk” between the two.
There are sub-groups of this fetish. Some foot lovers are specifically turned on by certain footwear or toenail polish, others see foot worship as a power exchange in BDSM. Like all sex practices, foot fetishism draws inspiration from global culture. The industry of women’s high-heeled shoes exists to make feet and legs appear “sexier,” often at the expense of comfort. Giving attention to feet has been seen as an act of worship since ancient times. In the Gospels, Lazarus's sister Mary anointed Christ’s feet with oil and washed them with her hair — an act considered by Christians to be the greatest form of reverence.
Reverence is the stuff of fetish play. In this slideshow, I’ll run through different ways to explore your foot fetish, with insights from various kinksters (all names have been changed).
My name is Alexander Cheves, and I am known by friends in the kink and leather community as Beastly. I am a sex-positive writer and blogger. The views in this slideshow do not reflect those of The Advocate and are based solely off of my own experiences. Like everything I write, the intent of this piece is to break down the stigmas surrounding the sex lives of gay men.
Those who are sensitive to frank discussions about sex are invited to click elsewhere, but consider this: If you are outraged by content that address sex openly and honestly, I invite you to examine this outrage and ask yourself whether it should instead be directed at those who oppress us by policing our sexuality.
For all others, enjoy the slideshow. And feel free to leave your own suggestions of sex and dating topics in the comments.
Hungry for more? Follow me on Twitter @BadAlexCheves and visit my blog, The Beastly Ex-Boyfriend.
In a good leather bar, it’s not uncommon to see someone on all fours, licking a set of shiny leather boots. The smell of wax and polish can be a big turn-on for boot lickers. As with any sex act, you must always ask before licking someone’s boots, but asking is part of the eroticism.
“May I look your boots Sir?” is a sign of interest, if he’s a stranger, and a sign of subservience and ownership if he’s someone with whom you have an established BDSM relationship.
“I will lick anyone’s boots but I do prefer to know the person,” Mac, a leather pup in Cincinnati, told me. “I've also used [boot licking] as a nice way to get know to folks.”
“I've done it as a form of service where the person will be smoking a cigar and drop ash on their boot for me lick off. Its a fun and sexy power dynamic that can incorporate a lot of different things. I prefer high shines over oil tans simply because I like to make them shine again.”
Feet and footwear are rarely a kinkster’s primary fetish. “For me, I look at boot worship as a side dish kink, not an entree,” Mac said. “It’s a great addition or start to a scene, but I need a little more meat to it.”
Erotic foot massages are a great place to start. Feet are filled with nerve endings, and with the addition of massage oil and lotion, a foot massage can be anything from relaxing to very erotic. If this is your first foray into exploring your foot fetish with a sex partner, ask them if you can massage their feet and see how both respond to it.
Jonathan in San Diego first discovered feet play during a hardcore play session.
“I never knew I liked feet or could like feet until I was bound to a sling and blindfolded years ago. Of course, the sensory deprivation probably increased the first experience. He licked, sucked, feathered, flogged, all the things you can do to feet. I was blown away at how much you could feel from just your feet!”
Ever since that encounter, Jonathan loves incorporating feet play into sex. “It’s a surprise for most people. So what, you have my cock in your ass? Yeah, it feels amazing, but what’s your face going to tell me when I put all your toes in my mouth and start tonguing between them?”
Forced feminization is a form of erotic degradation that many people get into — including me. Some submissives like being “forced” to wear panties, hosiery, and high-heeled shoes in kinky sexual situations — clothing typically associated with women and femmes. Some of us even like getting treated roughly, spanked, spat on, and erotically degraded when we’re dressed like this. For submissives and dominants with foot and shoe fetishes, a good pair of high heeled shoes can make your next session so much hotter.
Many people aroused by sneakers are turned on by their smell and the act of putting their nose and mouth in them. A common form of erotic degradation is when a dominant puts your mouth and nose in a used shoe and ties it around your head with bondage tape or bandage wrap, forming a kind of muzzle.
I would start a typical domination session by getting the sub to lick my shoes. I’d make him go over the shoe with his tongue before finally sucking the heel in a tease before taking my shoes off and allowing him to lick my feet proper [sic].
But there’s more that you can do if he’s really into your sexy soles. Make him lie on his back, and suck off each of your toes one by one. Tell him you want his tongue to go around each toe, in and out the of gaps between and finally push as many as you can into his mouth to see how much he can take.
There is an entire world of internet “porn” videos featuring women in high-heeled shoes stepping on gas pedals — usually in muscle cars, trucks, and so on. Sexy feet, bright shoes, high heels, and a loud gas pedal are an erotic formula for many people since there is a virtually endless supply of internet pedal porn.
Footjobs — the ultimate jack off for playmates with penises and raging foot fetishes. Put their penis between the arches of your feet and stroke up and down. It might seem awkward at first because your feet are not as dexterous as your hands, but don’t give up. Your foot fetishist friend will love it.
For people with shoe fetishes, certain kinds of shoes may trigger arousal over others. Lisa — a panromantic demisexual from Savannah, Georgia — has a particular affinity for a certain style of men’s dress shoe.
“I am absolutely in lust with wingtip shoes on a man,” she told me. “To the point where if I see those on a person they automatically get points.”
“They're a direct tie into my attraction to older men. And the clacking sound they make on a hardwood floor gives me an instant lady boner. As in, ‘I am coming to give you just what you deserve, naughty girl.’”
It’s no secret that socks are sometimes used among kinky queer men to flash their hanky code colors. Red socks at a kink event is an indicator that someone is into fisting, while yellow socks show a fetish for piss play, and so on. This is a modern-day version of the classic gay hanky code, which was used in the ’70s and ’80s by gay men to wordlessly cruise.
Colored hankies worn in the back left or right pocket of your jeans indicated what kind of kinks you were into and whether or not you were submissive or dominant. The practice has largely dropped off, but colored socks remain a throwback to that time.
But what if socks themselves are your fetish? That’s the case for Michael in Atlanta. For him, the smell of feet is the biggest trigger. “I love the sweaty smell from a guy’s feet. It’s a total aphrodisiac. Instant boner.”
“I like to rub the feet all over my face, licking and sniffing them like a good hit of poppers. Working my way back and forth and giving a guy a boner as I worship his feet really gets me going.”
Elmer Batters (1919–1997), another famous foot lover, is one of the first fetish photographers to capture women's feet, legs, and stockings with seductive, sultry clarity. His vintage black-and-white photographs have elements of burlesque and BDSM and mostly depict women reclining in erotic poses in cars and living rooms adorned in the style of the 70s and 80s, with stockinged feet and pantyhose on full display (yes, he has a Taschen book).
His work would go on to inspire artists like Dita Von Teese, RuPaul winner Violet Chachki, and countless others. A quick search for gay stockings and pantyhose porn will deliver thousands of videos — both amateur and studio — proving that this fetish is explored and enjoyed by everyone.
Grab some slick silicone or oil-based lube and see how many toes your playmate can take. But first, grab clippers and a nail file. Nails must be trimmed and filed down as close to the skin as possible before attempting anal play with toes.
Remember, your feet are not as dextrous as your hands, and the skin on the bottom of the feet is thicker, meaning you will be less aware of the feeling of their ass as you would be if you were fingering them, so use caution and listen to your partner.
Bend him over and wear him like a sock. Some pro-level ass pigs can take whole feet (and more) up their holes — an awesome skill that comes after years and years of training, stretching, and expert-level fisting (or handballing, for our friends in England).
Recommended lubes are J-Lube, K-Lube, Fist Powder Tech, or my personal formula for fisting: a combination of J-Lube, Crisco, Corn Huskers Lotion (you can usually find this at farmer feed-and-seed stores) and a dash of clove oil.
Foot worship is the gold-standard sex play for foot lovers. Judas, a friend and fellow kinky sex worker, has ample experience in this area.
“I largely interact with foot fetishism as a form of body worship,” they told me. “I enjoy looking down and watching them open up their mouths as they swallow, or try to swallow, more and more of my foot. It clearly becomes a phallic object at that moment.”
Judas is a skilled switch — someone who enjoys both dominant and submissive roles. “When I'm worshipping someone else's feet, I love looking into their eyes as I suck each and every one of their toes,” they said. “I can watch as the sensation starts to overwhelm them.”
“But my favorite act involving feet is when I'm inside someone with their feet resting on my shoulders. I love running my tongue up their sole before nibbling or biting into their heel, depending on their pain threshold and preference. For me, this taps into this primal, more animal energy. As my teeth bite into their heel, I bury myself further into them.”
Foot worship isn’t always part of a dominant/submissive power dynamic or exchange — for Judas, it often isn’t. “What's so intriguing to me about foot worship is that it varies from tough and heavy power exchange to soft and delicate intimacy.” If you’d like to know more, reach out to Judas via Twitter.
This is the only way to learn about a particular fetish. Visit sites like FetLife — queer men, try Recon — to meet kinky people and find playmates. If you’re turned on by a certain kind of shoe, love a man in boots, love a dominatrix in black stiletto heels, or love the feeling of your toes being sucked (it’s sensory overload — try it), take necessary steps to find people to play with. Some work is always required to find playmates when your sexual interests fall outside the mainstream, but the work is worth it.