Foot fetish (aretifism)
Foot fetishism, foot partialism, foot worship, feet sex, or podophilia is a pronounced sexual interest in feet. It is the most common form of sexual preference for otherwise non-sexual objects or body parts. Depending on the circumstances in which it is performed, it can also be considered a moderate form of erotic humiliation.
Foot fetish has been defined as a pronounced sexual interest in the feet or footwear. Freud considered foot binding as a form of fetishism. For a foot fetishist, points of attraction include the shape and size of the foot and toes (i.e., long toes, high arches or slender soles, fat toes), treatments e.g.: french pedicure, state of dress (i.e., barefoot or clad in socks or nylons), odor, and any form of sensory interaction.
In order to estimate the relative frequency of fetishes, researchers at the University of Bologna examined 381 Internet discussion groups, in which at least 5,000 people had been participating. Researchers estimated the prevalences of different fetishes based on (a) the number of discussion groups devoted to a particular fetish, (b) the number of individuals participating in the groups and (c) the number of messages exchanged. It was concluded that the most common fetishes were for body parts or for objects usually associated with body parts (33% and 30% respectively). Among those people preferring body parts, feet and toes were preferred by the greatest number, with 47% of those sampled preferring them. Among those people preferring objects related to body parts, footwear (shoes, boots, etc.) was most preferred (64%).
In August 2006, AOL released a database of the search terms submitted by their subscribers. In ranking only those phrases that included the word "fetish", it was found that the most common search was for feet.
Relationships to health and disease
Researchers have hypothesized that foot fetishism increases as a response to epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases. In one study, an increased interest in feet as sexual objects was observed during the great gonorrhea epidemic of twelfth century Europe and the syphilis epidemics of the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe. In another study, the frequency of foot-fetish depictions in pornographic literature was measured over a 30 year interval. An exponential increase was noted during the period of the current AIDS epidemic. The researchers noted that these epidemics overlapped periods of relative female emancipation. Sexual focus on female feet was hypothesized to be a reflection of a more dominant posture of the woman in sexual-social relations. 
Neurologist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran proposed that foot fetishism is caused by the feet and the genitals occupying adjacent areas of the somatosensory cortex, possibly entailing some neural crosstalk between the two..
Famous foot fetishists
- * Tommy Lee
- * Ludacris
- * Quentin Tarantino
- * Enrique Iglesias
- * Brooke Burke
- * Ulrika Jonsson
1. ^ World Health Organization, International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, (2007), Chapter V, F65 Disorders of sexual preference.
2. ^ Dobson, R. "Heels are the world's No 1 fetish." The Independent; February 25, 2007 (retrieved via The Wayback Machine on 17 July 2007).
3. ^ a b Cameron Kippen (November 2004). "The History of Footwear - Foot Sex". Retrieved on 8 June 2007.
4. ^ Scorolli C, Ghirlanda S, Enquist M, Zattoni S, Jannini E A (2007). Relative prevalence of different fetishes. International Journal of Impotence Researchadvance online publication 15 February 2007; doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901547. http://www.nature.com/ijir/journal/v19/n4/abs/3901547a.html retrieved March 2007.
5. ^ Dobson, Roger (2007). Heels are the world's No 1 fetish. The Independent Online Edition, http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article2303022.ece, accessed 29 October 2007.
6. ^ AOL's Accidental Release of Search Data - The Sexmind of America. http://aphrodisiology.com/aol-sex-data, accessed June 2007.
7. ^ Giannini AJ, Colapietro G, Slaby AE, Melemis SM, Bowman, RK (1998). Sexualization of the female foot as a response to sexually transmitted epidemics: a preliminary study. Psychological Reports, Vol. 83, No. 2, 1998, pp. 491-498
8. ^ Kringelbach, Morten. Bodily Illusions. http://www.kringelbach.dk/Preprint_Beagle_BodilyIllusions.html, last accessed Sept 2006.
9. ^ Tommy Lee's Foot Fetish, ContactMusic.com
10. ^ Rapper admits he has a foot fetish and that he's not planning to run for public office, Associated Press via MSNBC, December 23, 2004.
11. ^ Tarantino in Foot Fetish Heaven, TMZ.com, April 28, 2008.
12. ^ in the spotlight - Enrique Iglesias, Teen People, March 2000.
13. ^ Brooke Burke on Feet, Anecdotage.com.
14. ^ Ulrika Jonsson has a Foot Fetish, ShowbizSpy.com, 21 December, 2007.