I’ve been dealing with a foot fetish for some time, and want understanding about it, to see if my preoccupation with this needs some guidance.
Specifically, I’m attracted to and have been discreetly smelling inside other men’s dress shoes at events, house parties, and gatherings where shoes are taken off.
Smelling inside the shoes turns me on. Seeing the back of men’s feet and their soles also charges my libido.
Seeing men in summer flip-flops which I’ve also taken and smelled, is like a light-scented sweaty smell which I like.
I only go for men between 20 to 40, who are professional-looking when they’re wearing dress shoes.
Please advise me whether counselling is needed or not.
The attraction to feet, including even the smell of men’s feet and their shoes, is not uncommon.
According to a 2020 article in Men’s Health, research fellow Dr. Justin Lehmiller at the Kinsey Institute and author of Tell Me What You Want, surveyed 4,000-plus Americans about their sexual fantasies which included asking people about fantasies pertaining to feet and toes.
The author’s sub-title is “The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life.” So, foot fetishes aren’t as uncommon as you might have thought.
I recall receiving questions like yours a decade ago, but they’re not as common today. Or, perhaps people who are sexually excited about feet and their smell, take their turned-on feelings for granted.
Also, some foot fetishists then, unlike you, were as turned on by women’s feet and hid females’ shoes at home.
According to Dr. Lehmiller, fetishes of many different types are a “multi-sensory experience.” His theory fits easily into your own experience and is likely common to other fetishists.
IF you’re concerned about your erotic reaction to foot and shoe odours, you could seek counselling help to better understand the attraction. Conversely, counselling may give you increased comfort that your fetish is relatively common, especially if a partner is equally interested.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding a father’s year-long affair and absence (Oct. 14):
“Just because children aren't consciously aware of events doesn't mean they aren't absorbing everything on an unconscious level. Whatever the now-adult daughter’s feelings regarding her family, her marriage, abandonment issues, etc. she must explore them. She must do that for herself, either in therapy or personal development work, etc. The feelings coming up are real, and just because nobody acknowledged something hugely significant during her childhood doesn't mean it didn't happen and hurt her.
“The phone call from her late father's ex-partner may have been a nasty experience, but could provide an opportunity for insight and validating herself.”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman who found letters in her husband's jacket from her mother-in-law criticizing her (Oct. 13):
“During my 40 years married, my mother-in-law regularly wrote critiques of me. My husband and I told her repeatedly to stop. She always starts with a prayer, then insults and belittles me to become more like her daughters and daughters-in-law who pray with her at their church and have never worked because they “put their husbands and children first.” I worked hard all my life, before and after marriage, and raised a wonderful family.
“We don’t read anything from her anymore. My husband insisted that it stop.
“Now the entire family is angry at us when ‘she only means well... it's ‘no big deal...’
Ellie - Actually, it's mean-spirited and cruel. And she believes that she’s right.
The letter-writer’s husband understands it won't stop. So, throwing those letters out without reading them is the only answer.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who married a stranger (Oct. 9):
Reader – “This young woman unfortunately married a covert narcissist. He can mirror a partner and control their impulses for long periods of time. But once the relationship settles (through marriage or children), deep-seated wounds, fear and self-hatred find a target.
“He won’t change for her, only himself, and will either act like he’s agreeing with her concerns when in therapy or not attend. The gaslighting will continue.
“She should see a lawyer and meantime, not engage with him.
“This is emotional and mental abuse and she needs to get therapy for herself. Online support groups exist for people who’ve experienced these relationship types. She can be proud she detected the abuse so quickly and believes in herself.
“She’ll recover and find a person worthy of her care, respect and love.”
Tip of the day:
When a sexual preoccupation takes hold, check that it’s equally acceptable to a hoped-for partner.