Foot Fetish Statistics (2024) – How Common Is Podophilia?

How common are foot fetishes? Why do some people like feet? Are there any risks to consider when exploring foot play?

To answer these questions, we’ve combed through a mountain of data, facts, and statistics about foot fetishism. Below, we’re diving into everything there is to know about podophilia in 2024.

foot fetish statistics

How Common Are Foot Fetishes?

  • 14.28% of Americans have a foot fetish (1 out of 7)
  • In the U.S., the keyword “foot worship” is searched at least 40,000 times per month.
  • “Foot fetish” ranked as the 11th most searched sexual kink in the United States, with roughly 1.7 million searches per month.

With numbers like these, it’s easy to see that being sexually attracted to a partner’s feet is actually quite common.

Key Foot Fetish Statistics

In the following sections, we’ve compiled some of the most exciting statistics surrounding the love of feet, foot fetish, foot worship, and everything related to foot fetishism.

  • A study found that, of 5000 individuals, 47% admitted sexual arousal related to feet.
  • 1 out of 7 Americans have or have had sexual fantasies related to feet.
  • Fetish interests are significantly more prevalent among men than women.
  • Older age groups, between the ages of 48 and 65, were less into BDSM and fetish interests than their younger counterparts.
  • 61.4% of people admitted to having a fetish in their early 20s, typically before 25.
  • 88% of participants that admitted to having a footwear fetish identified as homosexual, similarly 12% identified themselves as having a bisexual orientation.
  • One study lists foot fetishism as one of 26 paraphilic tendencies, which include sexual attraction to armpits, breasts, legs, hands, ears, teeth, buttocks, and more.

What Is a Foot Fetish?

  • When a person has a sexual attraction toward feet, they can be said to have a fetish for feet. They are aroused by every aspect of feet, toes, ankles, or the entire foot.
  • The scientific term for this is podophilia. It is also referred to as foot partialism.
  • Podophilia is one of many paraphilic attractions (body part fetishes) where an individual fetishizes body parts other than the genitals.
  • When an individual has a sexual kink towards feet, they get sexual gratification from seeing, thinking about, touching, licking feet, or having sexual intercourse with either the male or female foot.
  • Some enjoy podophilia as only a tiny part of their sexual repertoire. But for many others, foot fetish is considered necessary for them to enjoy sex and achieve orgasm.

How Many People Have a Foot Fetish?

Because most fetish-related acts occur in the confines of an individual’s private life, very little is known about how many people are actually sexually attracted to feet.

But, based on the numbers we’ve found, it’s safe to say that podophilia is far from being a rare occurrence. And rather than being a “crazy foot fetish,” this type of fetish is really quite common!

How Popular Is Foot Fetish?

When we consider that the term “foot fetish” is searched more than 1.7 million times per month in the United States alone, it’s easy to see just how popular podophilia is.

After all, if there are that many monthly foot fetish searches in the U.S., the number of searches worldwide must be staggeringly more significant.

But who is searching for keywords like sexy feet, foot job, and podophilia?

Let’s review some demographic information to find out!

Demographics of Foot Fetish

One study found that age, sex, and sexual orientation were correlated with BDSM and fetish interests, such as podophilia.

  • The study looked at four age groups: 18 to 27, 28 to 37, 38 to 47, and 48 to 65, and found those in the oldest age group had less fetish interest than younger peers.
  • Between males and females, the prevalence of fetish interests is typically two to three times higher in men than women.
  • 20% of heterosexual men admitted to having sexual fantasies that involved feet. In contrast, only 8% of heterosexual women admitted the same.
  • Non-heterosexual participants scored lower on their interest in categories such as dominance, submission, visual, and attributes. But non-heterosexual participants scored higher on fetishism.

Which U.S. States Are Most Into Feet?

In the U.S., D.C. ranked as the state most interested in the term foot fetish. On the other hand, Connecticut and Illinois were the states with the least sexual interest in feet.

Let’s look at all the U.S. states with a considerable interest in feet.

  • In D.C., there were 48 searches per 10,000 people.
  • In New Jersey, there were 46 searches per 10,000 people.
  • In New York, there were 42 searches per 10,000 people.
  • There were 39 searches in Nevada and California per 10,000 people.
  • In Rhode Island, there were 35 searches per 10,000 people.
  • There were 34 searches in Texas and Florida per 10,000 people.
  • In Connecticut and Illinois, there were only 32 searches per 10,000 people.

Are Foot Fetishes More Popular Now?

Because sexual fetish acts primarily take place privately, there’s relatively little data available on whether or not the love of feet is more popular now than it was in the past.

But historically, the term fetishism didn’t appear in literature until the 19th century.

It wasn’t until then that Van Kraft Ebbing and Havelock Ellis first attempted to describe fetichism as a condition.

Before this, very little was known, and even less was studied regarding sexual fetishes.

But as we’ve mentioned, studies have found that older individuals seem to be less interested in BDSM and fetish than younger people.

This could indicate that sexual attraction to feet was less common in the past than it is today.

But more recently, the internet’s abundance of fetish material, and other media have helped the world of fetish gain popularity amongst today’s mainstream audience.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that more people seem to indulge in fetish than ever.

And we’ve found a few interesting statistics to back this up!

  • One study found more than 47% of participants have performed some activity related to BDSM or fetish.
  • 22% of participants admitted having sexual fantasies related to fetish and BDSM.
  • Nearly 13% of participants reported performing more than one fetish activity regularly.

So while there’s little information surrounding podophilia in the past, we can see that attraction to other people’s feet has gone from being virtually unknown to being a regular, everyday type of sexual fantasy for many people.

Why Do People Have Foot Fetishes?

Regarding fetishes, people can be sexually aroused by different thoughts, ideas, and concepts, ranging from standard genital stimulation to virtually all visual, textural, and auditory stimuli.

In other words, sometimes people are turned on by looking at feet. Other times, they are turned on by touching them. And still, other times, people are turned on by licking, sniffing, tasting, tickling, or the idea of feet.

But why do people develop a sexual attraction to feet? Where does this excitement towards feet come from? Are people born with podophilia?

What is the origin of foot fetishes?

Just like all body parts, our feet are connected to our brains by an intricate system of nerve fibers. Therefore, foot sensations, like any other sensation, can send a direct physiological response through our bodies.

Over the years, psychologists have attempted to postulate all kinds of theories as to why people develop foot fetishes.

  • Psychoanalytic (Freudian) theories suggest that “perversions,” such as podophilia, are permanent mental deviations from the norm. Psychoanalytic theories often associate the development of foot fetishes with one’s upbringing.
  • Behavioral theories suggest that classical or Pavlovian conditioning plays a role in the development of fetishes. With these theories, at some point, we see something that turns us on. Then we begin to associate our sexual arousal with that fetish object. Over time, the reinforcement of foot fetish behavior becomes normal.
  • Etiological theories suggest that fetishes are derived from ancient human instincts and natural hormones.
  • Sociocultural theories suggest that an individual social and cultural upbringing plays a vital role in the development of fetishes.
  • Biological theories suggest that our brains process sensory stimulation from our feet and genitals in a similar area. Therefore, it’s relatively easy for our brains to create an association between feet and sexual stimulation during normal development.

As to whether or not people are born with foot fetishes, to this day, there is no direct link between genetics and developing a fetish of any sort.

There are links, however, between personality types and a predisposition to developing a fetish. So while people aren’t born with podophilia, some people are born more likely to develop them throughout their lives.

Common Foot Fetish Fantasies

There are all sorts of different ways that individuals with a fetish toward feet can be turned on or get sexual gratification from actions with feet.

Let’s look at the most common types of fetishes and fantasies surrounding feet.

  • Foot jobs
  • Foot fetish parties
  • Licking, tasting and sucking toes
  • Tickling feet or being tickled
  • Sending or receiving feet pictures
  • Giving or receiving pedicures
  • Shoe fetish or footwear play
  • Foot massages
  • Foot worship (devout appreciation for feet)
  • Foot fantasy
  • Odor fetishism (the smell of feet)
  • Dirty feet, clean feet, or dry feet
  • Foot fetish sex toys
  • Fetish for phantom foot patients
  • Ugly or beautiful feet
  • Intense feelings for feet

Are There Any Risks to Consider?

For the most part, foot play is safe. However, like any other sexual activity, safety risks do exist.

Unless you’re planning on inserting toes or feet into your mouth, vagina, or anus, STIs aren’t likely to be transmitted.

However, transmitting STIs and other infections is still possible, and bodily injuries may occur if safety is not adequately considered.

Let’s review a few essential safety considerations surrounding foot play and fetishes.

  • Consent is always required when participating in any sexual activity, including podophilia.
  • It’s important to talk about your fetishes with your partner beforehand. Talking about what you like and dislike is integral to trust, which is vital during any sexual activity.
  • Hygiene is also of the utmost importance. Keeping feet clean and toenails trimmed is critical, especially if you or your partner plans to insert toes or feet into any bodily orifice, including the mouth, anus, or vagina.
  • Finally, avoiding foot play is essential if you or your partner have open sores, wounds, viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. Molluscum contagiosum is an unsightly skin infection that you can easily spread through skin-to-skin contact.

Can a Foot Fetish Be Psychologically Harmful?

Like any sexual activity, podophilia is safe both physically and psychologically as long as the act is consensual, hygiene is made a priority, and it’s not allowed to develop into an unhealthy obsession.

So to answer the question, foot fetishes are not inherently harmful to one’s psyche. And there’s no evidence to indicate that podophilia is a psychological disorder.

But like many other fetishes, podophilia can develop into an unhealthy fixation, leading to physical and psychological harm.

Therefore, as long as a person’s foot fetish doesn’t develop into an unhealthy obsession and isn’t interfering with a person’s job, family, or social life, there’s nothing psychologically harmful about enjoying it in one’s private life.

Behavioral Facts About Foot Fetish

  • Studies have also found evidence of fetishism in primates. But because they lack the same social structures as us, primate fetishes don’t present themselves nearly as often as they do in human society.
  • Podophilia and other common fetishes are widely regarded as being outside the norm. But today, many kink-positive apps, such as Feeld and Fetlife, make it easier than ever for fellow foot lovers to find communities of foot fetishists just like them.

What are the Biggest Misconceptions About Foot Fetishes?

  • Foot fetishes are dirty – There is nothing dirty or unclean about having or being with someone with a foot fetish, especially when hygiene is prioritized. However, some individuals are turned on specifically by dirty feet. So, in that case, foot fetishes can be dirty, but in a good way.
  • A fetish towards feet is not normal – While a fetish for body parts might fall outside the typical range of sex, there is nothing inherently abnormal about it. Especially when you consider how many people admit to having a foot fetish, you might even argue that having one is normal.
  • Foot fetishists are always submissive – While many foot fetishists are submissive, it’s just as likely that someone who enjoys foot play is the more dominant type. Both dominants, submissive, and everyone else in between enjoy foot play.

Conclusion

Ultimately, we can see that podophilia is only one of hundreds of common fetishes.

And when we look at the data, we can see that there’s nothing wrong with having a full-fledged foot fetish as long as knowledge, consent, and hygiene are prioritized.

So whether you already have a love for feet, and this read got your engine revving. Or you’ve never thought of a foot in “that way”, we hope you’ve learned a thing or two.

Either way, don’t yuck someone else’s yum!

Sources

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