How Having a Foot Fetish Has Actually Gone Mainstream
In 2011, 50 Shades of Grey introduced everybody and their auntie to “BDSM”. I’m making use of quote marks because it was a specific idea of what BDSM is, with “slave contracts”, caning and “red rooms” set on a backdrop of supercars as well as billion-dollar corporations. Next came the films, including cameos from Rita Ora in an array of demanding wigs as well as confusing accents. Instantly, a version of kink had actually come to be mainstream.
A decade on, it feels like the foot fetish is now the accessible kink-of-the-moment. A “gateway fetish”, if you will. And also everywhere I look, there’s people cashing-in on it.
Not persuaded? Let’s start with my one true love: reality television. The Real Housewives of Miami’s Larsa Pippen claims to make $10,000 a day selling foot pictures on OnlyFans. Closer to home, Kerry Katona states she’s made ₤ 1m selling foot photos on the site, finally drawing the line under years of financial instability. Raquel Leviss, from Vanderpump Rules, just recently raised $30,000 to pay for plastic surgery by selling pictures of her feet. (In some, her toes are squished in spaghetti.
What’s the appeal?
“Feet are just really hot”, states James*, 31. Ten years back, James began paying guys he met online for photos of their feet. It started around ₤ 20 per picture and ultimately increased to ₤ 150 per photo. However why? “I think it’s something to do with paying money for literally the thing that walks on the ground,” he states. “It’s a submissive urge.”
Phil*, 29, has a foot fetish also. “When I was watching porn videos, I realised I kept watching the girl’s feet, even more than other parts of her body,” he tells. The quest for even more foot content took him to Tumblr, and also eventually what he as well as James both call “Foot Twitter” – an edge of Twitter that centres around sharing pictures and videos of feet. Likewise to James, Phil hints at a submissive nature to his passion in feet– though he doesn’t use that word. “For me it’s about worshipping the feet of a woman who is hot and probably out of my league,” he claims. “When I see a picture, I imagine how they feel and smell. On some level I know I’ll never experience it in the flesh.”
Just how common are foot fetishes?
That’s difficult to know without a doubt, yet 2018 research study of 4000 Americans by social psychologist Dr Justin Lehmiller found 21 percent of gay/bi males had fantasised about feet. For heterosexual males the number was similar (18 percent). And also there does appear to be a gender split: the numbers for females were much lower, at 10 percent for lesbian/bi females and also just 5 percent for heterosexual ladies.
Exists a clinical reason that some people – primarily guys – are turned on by feet? Every person as well as every fetish is different, obviously, so individuals can reach the same fetish for completely one-of-a-kind reasons. Sigmund Freud once asserted that people sexualise feet because they look like penises. Although he had not been entirely off-base, more current science has actually given a more detailed thesis. A research into phantom arm or legs exposed that feet and genitalia (not simply penises) are in “adjacent areas of the somatosensory cortex.” That’s the part of the brain which obtains as well as processes sensory information around the body. Neuroscientist Vilanayar Ramachandran, that authored the study, claims this may lead to a “cross-wiring” in the brain between both areas, where feet then come to be related to genitalia and sex.
Words like “cross wiring” might seem startling, however it’s important to note that there’s nothing incorrect with having a foot fetish. Besides, Lehmiller thinks fetishes, including of the foot variety, are more probable to be found out practices. This could be a factor for the foot fetish’s noticeable sex split, or why it feels like fetishes of all kinds appear more typical now – just as society appears to be coming to be more kink-positive.
Why are foot fetishes instantly all over?
OnlyFans has actually made all kinds of fetishes, specifically feet, a lot more mainstream since it launched in 2016. Phil tells me he’s spent “possibly thousands” on customized foot images as well as video clips on the over-18s membership site in the last two years. Yet there are other platforms too: Rate My Foot is a web site where individuals upload photos to be “rated” by strangers. On WikiFeet, the feet of celebs and also public figures can be ranked also (every person from Drew Barrymore to British political commentator Ash Sarkar has a “star” ranking). Feet Finder– a site which describes itself as the “safest, easiest and most secure website” for users to view, buy and sell custom feet material – asserts to have more than 350,000 day-to-day users.
Television has actually also made foot fetishes more mainstream as well. This isn’t exactly new: fans of Sex and the City will certainly remember the episode where Charlotte came across a shoe salesman who had a foot fetish. Today it’s also on the BBC prior to the 9pm watershed: last summer season Holby City featured a story about Kylie, a nurse, joining a registration service to earn money from foot photos. At the time, The Sun reported fan complaints that the program was “turning into Love Island.” This is possibly a reference to Love Island star Jake Cornish, that entered 2021’s villa and disclosed he was very into sucking toes.
A Love Island contestant proudly stating he enjoys feet was a huge moment for foot fetish visibility. It’s a show that is highly sexualised, but never kinky. “Love Island is most likely as ‘vanilla’ as it gets,” states Vice UK’s Lauren O’Neill, a reality TV expert. “Sex-wise, it’s certainly not pushing the envelope in any real way, in fact, often it’s the opposite – it’s strange to think of a show where people technically ‘have sex on TV’ as conservative, but Love Island’s values often are.”
Foot fetishes have actually long been considered a relatively mild turn-on contrasted to various other fetishes. Yet after an appearance on Love Island – the stronghold of basicness – is the foot fetish currently viewed as “vanilla” by the masses as well? O’Neill believes not. “Generally, the show’s approach to sexuality is a comic one,” she tells. “Jake’s interest in feet was definitely presented on the program as an anomaly as well as responded to because of this on social networks also. It was simply niche sufficient not to be everyday, however not threatening to the status quo either, which is probably why the foot fetish found a place on the program.”
When Jake appeared on Love Island, there was no indication that he pays anyone for foot images, or sells his own. If there had been, well, it’s most likely that scene would have ended up on the cutting-room floor, provided the program’s reported dislike for OnlyFans and sex work. Like many people with an interest in feet, Jake’s could not involve financial transactions.
Twitter as well as OnlyFans.
Still, on Twitter and OnlyFans, there is a great deal of crossover in between individuals who deal foot pictures, as well as individuals that take part in “financial domination.” This is a kink where submissives (subs) pay money to a “dominant” (dom) individual as part of a power exchange. Ben* (@MasterDomUK) has been selling foot content on Twitter, OnlyFans and other fetish websites for about 7 months. His partner of eight years, Roxy* (@roxysfeetxoxo), has been selling foot images because March 2021. Ben caters to a range of fetishes, including “findom.” He estimates foot fetish content made up 90 percent of his customer base originally, but it’s still definitely over half of the web content he makes currently.
Basically everyone that comes close to Ben is gay and self-defines as “a sub.” He assumes they’re brought in to his feet since they’re “big, hairy and also manly,” plus they delight in being submissive to an “unattainable” straight man. “I’m fascinated by kinks and asking questions about what turns people on, I’d love to study more about the psychology behind it,” he claims. And also does it turn him on, despite the fact that he’s straight? “Absolutely. I genuinely enjoy it! Who doesn’t love being admired and paid for it?.”
Ben states his income fluctuates enormously, yet he as well as Roxy now make more than they ever before have actually done before. He’s currently creating fetish content full time as well as, in his best month ever, he earned ₤ 7,000. However he insists it’s not as very easy as it looks. “I’ve never worked harder at anything in my life,” he states. “I’m constantly at it, whether it’s talking to people, thinking of ideas, recording content, editing stuff.”
Without social media sites as well as platforms like OnlyFans, this sort of career most likely would not be as available. For now, the foot fetish seems to exist in a wonderful spot: it’s fairly mainstream, but still kinky enough for people to seek it out and, frequently, pay for it. “It’s such a huge fetish, but most people still aren’t happy to admit to it publicly yet,” Ben says. “So they’ll come online anonymously and be sneaky about it with someone like me.”
The foot fetish being so sought-after really feels representative of a culture that’s significantly accepting of some kinks. Similar to the “BDSM” of 50 Shades, the foot fetish is being enabled to dip its toes right into the mainstream due to the fact that it rocks the boat somewhat, without destabilising it. On some degree, though, it’s probably changing our concepts of what’s “normal” – and that’s no small feat.
* Names have actually been changed.