Barefoot woody: A fashion fetish?

Originally Published: January 15, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: May 23, 2008
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Dear Alice,

I have two questions:

1) It's getting to be summer over here; I don't know if that's part of it, but why do so many people wear sneakers or sports shoes without socks? Is it a new style or something?

2) Does it mean I have a foot fetish if I get a "hard on" when I see other guys not wearing socks? I mean, I've seen the foot fetish web pages and I have no reaction to them (basically the same reaction as if I were reading a VCR manual). And, occasionally, I do get a really big "woody" when I go out in public barefoot in my high-top sneakers or see other people do it.

Dear Reader,

No argument here: naked feet strapped into a pair running shoes is a joy of summer right up there with the smell of sunscreen and late, lingering sunsets. By themselves, toes, ankles, and arches alike are sexual turn-ons far and wide. As for what's "in" this season, you may get a better answer from the fashion magazines at your local newsstand. However, the rebel act, if you will, of slipping feet au natural into sports and casual footwear for a stroll down the boardwalk, or workout on the tennis court, can sure spell sexy wherever you erect your sandcastle. Shoeless stimulation, in this respect, is not so different from the thrills one might give and get from going without underwear.  

Moving on to your second question, being aroused by a certain body part doesn't mean you have a fetish. People with fetishes rely solely on specific body parts or objects for their sexual stimulation. Fetishes are actually pretty rare. It sounds like your foot fancying is more occasional, and not necessarily the only way for you to become aroused — certainly nothing to get jock itch over. If you're past puberty, you may have thought that oddly-timed erections were a thing of the past, but for many men erections will come and go as frequently as turn-ons enter and leave the picture. Perhaps the sight of male ankles off-set by a stylish pair of sports shoes is a turn-on for you, or perhaps the turn-on is how you look and feel sock-less. Either way, it's normal to get erections when you see or do something that makes you feel excited, happy, nervous, or sexy.

The thing about sexual arousal is that it's a highly individual phenomenon. What revs your engine may be entirely different from people you know, and your turn-ons may even change throughout your lifetime. What's more, something a little out of the ordinary or exciting, such as bare ankles, could be a turn on simply because it's an unusual or new sight for you. By noticing your reaction to shoes sans socks, you may have just discovered ripe material for your fantasies or for fun and games with your partner(s). Or you can simply enjoy the summer stimuli as long as the season lasts.
Alice