Originally Published: January 9, 1998 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: June 10, 2011
I like to kiss my wife's feet. Do I have a foot fetish?
In Judeo-Christian tradition, kissing someone's feet was a sign of reverence. So, in that respect, your wife is a very lucky lady! Outside of that custom, though, it is not abnormal to have preferences for and stronger attractions towards different body parts from feet to breasts to butts and so on. In fact, there are groups such as the Foot Fetishists and Fantasies Society (FFF) that celebrate feet fanciers such as you. This group boasts a membership in the thousands but there is an estimated 1.5 million active foot fetishists in the United States alone.
However, a foot fetish is more than just a mere attraction to or penchant for puckering up to your wife's tootsies. Recognized as a psychological condition by the American Psychiatric Association, fetishism is one of a variety of paraphilias or sexual preoccupations with a particular object (common ones include shoes and lingerie), the absence of which hinders full arousal and orgasm. Paraphilias range from benign turn-ons such as dirty talk, to illegal and socially unacceptable acts such as peeping and pedophilia. Many psychoanalysts and researchers believe fetishes, which are much more common in men, develop in childhood as an association between the object and a pivotal figure in the person's life (a parent, for instance). Other hypotheses are that over time, objects become associated with arousal through repeated use in masturbation or other sexual activities (think "Pavlov's dog" in the boudoir).
Regardless of the origin of your preference, simply enjoying kissing your partner's feet is not a sure sign of foot fetishism nor is it something to be ashamed of. We each have our own sexual preferences and sweet spots and part of a healthy and satisfying sex life is embracing those individual turn-ons. What's more, discussing fantasies and other things that rev your engine may help add a scintillating new twist to your relationship with your partner. However, if your wife is uncomfortable with all the attention on her feet or you find that it negatively interferes with your life, you may want to consider speaking with a health care professional. Students at Columbia can contact Counseling and Psychological Services to set up an appointment and speak with someone.
But if you and your solemate are happy, keep the smooches comin'!