What drives someone to develop a foot fetish? There have been many scientific hypotheses regarding this bizarre phenomenon, and one in particular actually makes a lot of sense. But let’s first look at the definition of podophilia, or foot fetishism. An individual with a foot fetish gains significant sexual pleasure from gazing at feet or shoes, and goes so far as to touch, kiss, and interact in other unmentionable ways with someone’s feet, provided the person whose feet are being worshipped is amenable to such transgressions.
It turns out that of all non-genital body parts, feet win the prize for being the most fetishized. This curious predilection which some people possess has prompted psychiatrists and medical researchers to investigate the underlying reasons. Perhaps the most fascinating theory behind foot fetishism comes from Dr. Vilanayar Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at University of California, San Diego. While studying the mechanisms behind phantom limb syndrome (a condition in which amputees still experience sensations in their missing limbs), he found that some amputees actually began to derive sexual pleasure in their missing feet. This likely stems from the fact that the brain areas associated with genitalia and feet are adjacent to each other on the brain’s body map (also known as a homunculus). Basically, some cross-wiring between the regions could be occurring in individuals who are not amputees. So it isn’t too far-fetched for someone to derive some sense of sexual pleasure from caressing someone’s feet or sucking on a toe or two.