We all have something that makes us feel like choking the chicken. A wide-shouldered Russian woman slicing a perfectly ripened avocado, JCPenney mannequins or the stretchiness of Mrs. Incredible could all give us the urge to flick our swollen bean. For many of us, it’s feet. From Quentin Tarantino’s obsession with Uma Thurman’s feet in Kill Bill to Ricky Martin admitting he finds feet really beautiful, being titillated by toes happens to be one of the most common fetishes. Yet in spite of its prevalence, it’s the butt of countless jokes. I myself have mocked the guy who asked for a video of my tootsies squishing a key lime pie when I was simply trying to sell a pair of Crocs on eBay. Unsolicited requests for pictures is off putting, as it is with every fetish, but when your friends open up to you about their love of feet, why laugh at them? Thinking feet are sexy is too often taboo when attractions to other parts of the body are expected or even encouraged.
Breasts are merely sacks of fat flopping around on someone’s chest. They have a pepperoni dot in the middle. They’re sweaty. They have bumps, lumps and acne. Yet, especially in America, we celebrate these milky bounce castles in pilgrimages to the Church of Hooters.
We find it strange if straight men don’t have a passion for chesticles. We undergo surgeries to make them more scrumptious. We make anime waifu pillows to simulate how they feel when we’re lonely. We worship the melons so much, we sensor female-presenting ones over the airwaves and throw a fit when we see them feeding babies in public. This isn’t the case for every culture. In Mali, Anthropologist Katherine Dettwyler told local women about Americans finding breasts sexually arousing, and they were horrified. They laughed and called American men babies.
It is feasible that under different conditions, our society would treat footsies like boobies. We would start restaurants where the waitstaff served mediocre wings with pedicures and skimpy footwear. The question, “Are you an ass or a tit man?” would become, “Are you a hand or a foot fellow?” Appendage appreciators everywhere would crawl out of the shadows to party in this new utopia where no one cracked jokes about a generally harmless fixation.
We as a society have to face that besides the taboo and a few interesting smells, foot fetishism generates no STD, unwanted pregnancy or violation of Christian purity. Sucking toes isn’t any less outrageous than sucking the body parts we shoot piss out of. Perhaps a skilled footjob will require a little cleanup of the juices of passion that flow from such a pleasurable encounter, but, given consenting parties, it’s otherwise guiltless. Footjobs are also a comprehensive ab workout for the one giving, creating a six pack as they fiendishly palpitate the folds of a cock saying, “Look ma, no hands!”
A partner disclosing their affinity for feet should be exciting and sensual; it’s a whole new erogenous zone to explore, even if you’re not the fetishizer. It can be sexy in and of itself to be intimate with a partner at the level of thrilling foot play. If you’re queasy from someone’s fixation, there could be an unrelated issue, perhaps a general discomfort with specific intimacy with that person. They might not be the right partner for you if you don’t feel comfortable with them begging you to step on their face.
After all, who wouldn’t want a free paw massage with every hookup? People pay to have those tiny fish nibble the dead skin off their feet at salons, so a boyfriend begging to do it himself will save you a paycheck. Like the fish, he also seems to enjoy it. You can also bask in the sensation of dominance, imagining the man at your feet as your fishy worshipper.
Even if science provides theories about why foot fixation is so prevalent, we will never fully understand it. Sex is mysterious. That’s part of why it’s sexy. If you have a foot fetish and your peers mock you, send them this article and tell them Anya Neeze wants to free the foot. Let us stand by our comrades. Raise a clenched foot in solidarity for our brothers and sisters of sucking toes.
Anya Neeze is a student at Cornell University. Boink! runs monthly this semester. Sex on Thursday appears every other Thursday.