Shoe Fetish & Boot Fetish


Send us your story,

if written well & interesting we may post it


If not 21, "EXIT NOW"  --- By entering you are declaring you are OVER THE AGE OF 21.


Shoe Fetish Research Comments


Shoes are a common fetish, experts explain

  • By By JH --- Iowa State
    Daily Staff Writer-- Oct 9, 2003

Although commonly tagged as a psychological disorder, if safe, fetishism can be an enjoyable experience for those engaging in the practice, ISU experts say.

Fetishism is a type of psycho-sexual disorder where individuals have intense fantasies that involve intense sexual urges or sexual fantasies through non-living objects, said Norman Scott, associate professor of psychology.

Scott, who teaches Psychology 460, an abnormal psychology class, said fetishism is classified under the category of paraphilia, which he described as "an attraction to something that's different."

"To be classified as having a fetish, one must have urges for a six-month period and have an exclusive focus on the means of intense sexual behavior," Scott said. "The urges or behavior must cause substantial disturbance to the person's daily life."

Scott said the most common types of fetishes are for shoes, boots and women's underwear.

Robert Hensley, graduate student in human studies and family development, said there are a number of ways one possessing a fetish can become aroused by their preferred object.

"If someone has a shoe fetish, they may become aroused by the touch of the shoe, how the shoe feels on them, or have a man or a woman wear the shoe," Hensley said.

"If someone has a foot fetish, they may look at [the foot] or be touched [by the foot] while masturbating."

Scott said fetishism is most commonly practiced by males.

"Males are much more likely to engage in fetishism," Scott said. "It doesn't mean it can't occur in females though."

Hensley, who teaches HDFS 276, a human sexuality course, said those who possess fetishes will usually keep their activities private from others.

"[People who practice fetishism] are not one to advertise that they have fetishes," he said.

One type of fetishism commonly and publicly practiced is transvestism, or cross-dressing, Scott said.

"This is usually not seen as harmful or destructive," he said.

Scott, however, described the many types of fetishes as problematic.

"Persons with extreme focus on fetishism will often perpetrate criminal acts to get a hold of the desired objects," he said. "[For example,] they will often resort to burglary or robbery to procure shoes or boots, and in some instances, will pursue the boots on the woman."

Scott said people who practice fetishism may experience depression, sadness, guilt or emptiness in missing out on daily activities.

Scott said it's relatively infrequent for people who practice fetishism to seek counseling due to the satisfaction that arises from the fetish.

While there is treatment that exists, the success rate is not overwhelming, he said.

"What we know about fetishism is from people who get into legal trouble. Overall, this is an area where therapeutic success is not the hallmark of the day," he said.

Scott said many abnormal psychology textbooks categorize fetishism under the category of sexual disorders.

However, the practice may be considered OK if it were mutually accepted.

"I suppose some elements [of fetishism] could be useful in terms of sexual arousal and enjoyment if two individuals find the fetish mutually arousing," he said.

Scott said it's likely there is an element of fetishism in everyone.

"Potentially, any member of our society, male or female, probably has some fantasies to objects," he said.

"Certain kinds of clothing seem appealing, like in Victoria's Secret ads."

Hensley said a common misconception associated with fetishism that "because it's different, it's wrong."

"My bottom line is there's a great deal of diversity in sexual expression," he said. "Even though [fetishism is] not common, as long as it's safe, people should be objective to other people interests."




Posted on wellsphere – Another set of doctors who have no idea what a shoe fetish is about but have decided they can speculate on the topic.


Psychology of Sexual Fetishes

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm

DAVID FO. TO.: Welcome to our webcast. I'm David Fo. To.. The topic today is fetishism. Now, you've probably heard people say, "Oh, this person has a foot fetish," or, "This guy likes that. It's kind of a fetish."

What really is fetishism? It's kind of like if think the object of your desire should be a person, but maybe the object of your desire really is more an object than that person. We're going to get to the bottom of the whole fetish deal.

Joining me are two experts who are going to help us put it into perspective. On my left is Robert J. F.. He is a clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders. He's also the Executive Director for the Center for Behavior Therapy in White Plains, New York. Sitting next to Robert is Dr. Ken Ro.. He's a psychiatrist affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital and Cornell University Medical Center in New York City. He's in private practice in New York, as well, specializing in substance abuse and sexual disorders. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us.

Let's start with you, Robert. Right off the bat, give us the technical definition of a fetish.

ROBERT J. F., PhD: A fetish is an object. Fetishism is really a disorder whereby a person is experiencing extreme difficulties in their lives because of the fact that they like these particular objects to provide for them a great deal of sexual arousal. The only way they can achieve this type of sexual satisfaction is with an inanimate object, a non-living object.

DAVID FO. TO.: Ken, do you agree or disagree? Or add to that, if you like.

KEN RO., MD: I absolutely agree.

DAVID FO. TO.: Fifty points.

KEN RO., MD: I think that what Dr. F. said is right on. The important point is that it interferes in your life, right? That it's not just something you like to do or you want to do, but something you have to do.

DAVID FO. TO.: It's almost like there's a compulsion.

KEN RO., MD: Absolutely. Like there's no other way to have an orgasm except with a shoe or with a bra or a stocking.

DAVID FO. TO.: I mentioned in the introduction having a foot fetish. That seems to be the one everybody talks about. "This person has a foot fetish." Technically, is that a fetish, if the foot is part of a person -- it's not inanimate?

ROBERT J. F., PhD: Technically, it's not really, truly a fetish. It's what we call a partialism, a part of the body that's an extremely important part to achieve sexual arousal. But you could actually extend it out somewhat when you talk about shoes.

KEN RO., MD: I've had patients who love shoes, and shoes are the essential object. In fact, they meet women who send them their shoes. That's their entrée. I had a patient who -- some people give you their business cards -- this woman detected in some incredible way that he had a foot fetish and she sent him shoes. She sent him a pair, and of course they became an item. Of course, he was only interested in the foot. And one of the reasons that he's only really interested in the shoes that she sends him -- one of the reasons he might have this problem to begin with -- is because a lot of these people are really quite shy and find it really difficult to maintain normal sexual relationships in a healthy way with another human being. So they then gravitate to particular objects to go ahead and satisfy themselves.

ROBERT J. F., PhD: Right. People talk about sexual addicts or people being obsessed with sex, and really they're obsessed with dysfunctional sex. Their everyday sex lives with their partners, if they have partners, are actually quite boring and mundane. They have a hard time maintaining an erection. They have a hard time maintaining intimacy, so they really don't suffer from too much sex, they just have too much bad sex or dysfunctional sex. By "bad," I'm not casting a judgment, I'm just saying for them it becomes a compulsion that interferes in their lives.

DAVID FO. TO.: You said shy people might tend toward fetishism. It seems like you always hear about guys having fetishes. Do women have fetishes?

KEN RO., MD: It is a male disorder.

DAVID FO. TO.: Why is it a male disorder?

KEN RO., MD: It's an interesting question. Nobody really knows the answer to that, but most of the time it is. Maybe it's a genetic component, maybe it's the testosterone, maybe it's various things, but really, research hasn't borne out what the real reason is.

DAVID FO. TO.: I've heard before men are more visual. Would it come to that because they see and object and they are more fixated on it than a woman might be?

ROBERT J. F., PhD: It could be that. It could be that men are less socialized. They have more difficult times in social situations than women. Women find social situations a lot easier. They talk with each other more. They experience emotions and feelings a lot more, so they're able to go ahead and develop more healthy, adult sexual relationships than men are, so men will turn to an object to go ahead and satisfy their sexual desire because they find it really difficult to connect with a person who they have a sexual desire for.

DAVID FO. TO.: So it could be like a crutch to aid their sexual expression?

KEN RO., MD: Maybe, but it's so interesting because, actually, women have, on average, more sexual disorders than men, so it's so interesting that fetishism is a male disorder, whereas the estimates are 41 percent of women have a lifetime prevalence of sexual disorders, 31 percent of men. So women are over it by 10 percent, but they, of course, have more disorders like anorgasmia and --

ROBERT J. F., PhD: Vaginismus.

KEN RO., MD: Right.

DAVID FO. TO.: Let's say somebody has -- take the average man who has, say, a shoe fetish -- foot fetish, shoe fetish, whatever. How does he develop that? He doesn't just one day wake up and say, "Hm, I think I'll get a fetish," look through the book and pick that. How does something like that manifest?

KEN RO., MD: It's controversial. No one knows. I mean, there are lots of theories, and you could pick the one that appeals to you the most. There's a learning theory, and this is the kind of area Dr. F. specializes in. One could take more of a Freudian approach, that it's a childhood experience or a disturbed childhood experience that someone's trying to rework and replay. I see patients who developed some kind of weird relationship with their sister or with their sister's underwear, and ultimately, of course, they become obsessed with panties.

ROBERT J. F., PhD: One of the theories that Dr. Ro. is referring to is that during your sexual stage of development, if during that time you are experiencing, say, your sister, playing with her feet, or whatever, or watching her get dressed with her underclothes, then that can maybe become connected and associated in some way. There are other people that will say that your childhood experience was one such that you were really under-socialized, and therefore when you grow up and you develop relationships with the opposite sex, that you're feeling really inhibited about doing that, you develop a sense of shyness, and the only way, really, to get sexual gratification is to go ahead and seek objects that are associated with some sexual act with a person of the opposite sex or same sex that you're attracted to but are too shy to go ahead an have an encounter with.

DAVID FO. TO.: If somebody had a fetish of any kind, when is it a problem, when is it not a problem?

KEN RO., MD: It's a problem when it's the only thing that they can do or when it gets them in trouble. Many people with fetishistic problems don't come to treatment because they want to, they come to treatment because they have to, because their girlfriend says, "You know, I want you to be with me, not with my clothing or not with my shoe." Or they get in trouble with the law, or their caught in someone's house or in a dormitory going through the girl's underwear.

ROBERT J. F., PhD: If you go next door and you go into your neighbor's house in the middle of the night to steal underwear out of their drawer, you're going to get caught by the police and then you're going to have to go to court, and know you're going to have to seek treatment. Or you could have a situation where you're at work and you're watching the secretary shoes or her nylons, and you begin to start becoming sexually aroused there, and it preoccupies you to interfere with your job, and now you're in jeopardy of losing your job because you're not performing well or you're actually engaging in some sort of masturbatory behavior underneath your desk.

DAVID FO. TO.: And you don't want that to happen. There are no desks here on the set, by the way. Let me ask this, then. If somebody has a fetish that has caused problems such as the examples you just explained, what do they do for treatment? What is the treatment for somebody seeking that treatment?

ROBERT J. F., PhD: The main goal is trying to reduce the arousal that accompanies the particular object. That's really hard to do, because people develop these fantasies and they don't get rid of them so easily. In fact, often the bad news is that sometimes they never lose the fantasy, that the shoe, the bra, the underwear is what turns them on the most. But you try to expand their repertoire and you try to give them some other options and you try to improve their sex lives so that they have the option of having intercourse or oral sex or manual sex, and there's other things they can do.

KEN RO., MD: And if you subscribe to the fact that it really, truly is an inability to be assertive or an underdevelopment of social skills, then you teach them assertiveness skills and you teach them socialization skills. You help them interact with people in a social way that they begin to feel comfortable so they can go out on a date, so they can begin to become communicative with a person as opposed to just an object.

DAVID FO. TO.: We're almost out of time. Go ahead.

KEN RO., MD: Medications also have an important role, because if you look at fetishism as a compulsive sexual act, you want to give someone an anticompulsive medicine like Prozac, Zoloft, the SSRIs, those kinds of antidepressants that have anticompulsive effects.

DAVID FO. TO.: Also, I had read somewhere in the research about shock therapy, odor therapy.

ROBERT J. F., PhD: Yes, absolutely.

DAVID FO. TO.: Is that a radical treatment?

ROBERT J. F., PhD: It's been around for a long time. When you say shock, it's almost like, "Oh my God, you shock somebody?" But it's really light finger shock. It's just a little aversive stimulus, and people have tried it whereby you have them begin to fantasize about having sex, having a sexual act with a particular object, and you finger-shock them.

DAVID FO. TO.: Like "A Clockwork Orange."

ROBERT J. F., PhD: It's like "A Clockwork Orange." Then, after you do that, you have them fantasize about having sex with a person in a normal, healthy, adult way, and you then go ahead and not shock them or give them a pleasant scene or even a pleasant odor. So you can use odor that's an aversive odor or shock, or you can use a pleasant odor or a pleasant scene. So you're really, essentially, punishing the reaction to an object and you're reinforcing their reaction to a human being.

DAVID FO. TO.: Lastly, for people who do seek treatment, what degree or what percentage actually succeed and are either cured or, if that's not the right term, make progress to their goal?

KEN RO., MD: I think the vast majority of people make progress, unquestionably, because you could really improve someone's sex life with sex therapy and you can really improve their social skills with therapy in general. What extent never, ever want to be with their object, never want to be with that piece of wood or that blanket? Very few lose the desire, but their behavior is most definitely changed.

ROBERT J. F., PhD: And it changes in any way. You expand their repertoire in terms of sexual interaction, but you also expand their repertoires in other areas of their life so it improves them all around as a human being. They become more social, more assertive, they get their needs met more, and therefore it lowers their desire to get their needs met just through one thing.

DAVID FO. TO.: In five seconds -- we're almost out of time -- who do they go to if they decide they need treatment?

KEN RO., MD: They go to a qualified, licensed professional. Anyone could call themselves a sex therapist, so you really want to find a good psychologist or psychiatrist who you trust and is well-referred.

DAVID FO. TO.: Okay, great. Gentlemen, thank you very much. We've been talking fetishism with Robert J. F. and Dr. Ken Ro.. I hope you've learned about it. Thanks for watching the webcast. I'm David Fo. To.. We'll see you next time.